In Memoriam: Doug Smith

Douglas Smith

March 25 1947–December 18, 1999

Doug Smith taught in the English Department at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo California from 1977 until his death. He is remembered here for his professional work as teacher, scholar, administrator, innovator and guide.

His teaching fostered creativity, initiative, collaboration and practical application. Some of his students’ projects, like programs teaching children about sickle cell anemia and AIDS, have been used in hospitals and social welfare agencies all over the world.

Doug Smith’s approach to technology, though scientifically informed and always current, was profoundly humanistic. He regarded hypertext and multimedia as new forms of communication that could be understood and controlled with the traditional concepts of rhetoric. His pioneering extension of technology was accompanied by a healthy scepticism and a critical awareness of its dangers.

Doug Smith devoted great effort to awakening his colleagues to the promises and threats of the computer revolution as well as to mentoring those who wished to participate in it. He coached Professor Kathleen Lant, who in turn trained and inspired many people in the English department and the College of Liberal Arts and went on to a post as Instructional computing dean at CSU Hayward.

This is a selection of web projects left on Doug’s Server, “Rhetoric” at the time of his death:

This is a selection of non-html projects produced by Doug and downloadable by FTP

Obituary San Luis Obispo Tribune

Eulogy by Russ Smith, brother, editor and publisher of The New York Press

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