Donald Wann Fellowship This fellowship was founded to commemorate Professor Donald F. Wann, one of our most distinguished faculty members, who passed away in 1986 and is awarded annually to our most outstanding first-year graduate student. It is funded in part by an endowment established with contributions from Washington University alumni.
Prof. Donald Wann (1932-1986) came to Washington University in 1957 after receiving a BE degree from Yale University. Prof. Wann, working in the area of analog computation, attained both the MSEE and DSc degrees at Washington University. His skills as a researcher and teacher were such that he was invited to join the Washington University instructional staff as an Assistant Professor. He rose through the ranks, becoming a professor of Electrical Engineering in 1970. Initially, his research interests were in application of electronic techniques to problems in medicine such as image analysis of tissue and red blood cell counting. Later, through the 1970's and 80's he and his graduate students turned towards problems in digital computer systems. These ranged from basic circuit problems such as metastability in digital logic circuits to optimization of large interconnected computer systems. He and his students published extensively in this latter area.
Prof. Wann's abilities as a teacher were widely recognized. Over the years he advised and counseled a large number of graduate students, many of whom went on to teaching and research positions at other universities. Always approachable, with a smile and a kind word for everyone, the department faculty also looked to him for guidance in course development and department decision making. He served as interim department chairman in 1964-65 when the engineering school began emphasizing research and then served as department chairman in 1975-76.
Prof Wann was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma at age 48. Despite suffering debilitating effects from both his disease and treatments for his disease he continued his teaching, research, and advising until approximately two years before his death at age 54.