Terrence

March 9, 1939 ~ January 31, 2021

Born in: Manhattan, NY
Resided in: Pittsford, NY

Pittsford:  Sunday, January 31, 2021 at age 81.  Predeceased by his mother, Lola Breidberg; father, Abraham Fine; favorite aunt, Ray Breidberg; many aunts and uncle.  He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Dorian Fine; son, David M. (Kelly Tsai) Fine; daughter, Jennifer (Eric) Jilot; step-daughter, Jennifer (Rob Hess) Leeds; step-son, Ryan (Merideth) Leeds; grandchildren, Kaitlin and Madeleine “Maddie” Fine, Tjaden and Max Hess, Jordan, Abbie and Gigi Leeds; sisters-in-law, Anne and Ira Brous and Ellin (Tye Ellingwood) Chess; many cousins; friends and colleagues.

Terrence was an American scientist, engineer and philosopher.  He was known especially for his contributions to the defense and development of alternatives to the classical calculus for probabilistic modeling and decision-making.  Other contributions include Fine’s theorem, the Fine numbers and the Fine-McMillan quantizer.  He was the recipient of the first patent awarded in the area of statistical delta modulation.

Born in New York City in 1939. His academic degrees are from City College of New York (B.E.E.) and from Harvard University (S.M., Ph.D.). He was awarded a Miller Research Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley for the period 1964–1966, after which he joined the faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he remained until his retirement in 2010. There he served as Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; concurrently, as Professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences; and from 1999 to 2004, as Director of the university’s multidisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics. He was a Professor Emeritus at Cornell. He was a Life Fellow and Third Millennium Medalist of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).  He authored numerous books and publications.  Terrence will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Terrence’s graveside will be Sunday, February 7th 1:00 PM at Lake View Cemetery, Ithaca, NY.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Cornell University or a charity of one’s choice in his memory.  For full obituary, visit www.meesonfamily.com

Services

Graveside Prayers: February 7, 2021 1:00 pm

Lake View Cemetery

Ithaca, NY


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Charities

The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Terrence Leon Fine 's name.

Cornell University


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Guestbook

  1. Terry was a true friend and a great scholar. He helped recruit me into the School of Electrical Engineering where he was a protege and colleague from 1981-2000. Although I didn’t have a chance to see him in recent years, I remember him fondly and will miss him.

  2. Dorian, I have many fond memories of Terry when he was Director of CAM. I want to express my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  3. I am so sorry to learn that Terry has passed… he was a wonderful colleague at Cornell, with an amazing breadth of interests and contagious enthusiasm for research and knowledge and teaching of every kind. He really will be missed. My deepest condolensces.

  4. Dorian, I just found that that Terry passed away. I’m really sorry that we seemed to have lost touch for the past few years. I hope that they went well for both of you. Please accept Gale and my deepest condolences.

  5. I am so sad that Terry has passed. When I met him through my wife, Elinor (z’l), we bonded over the resurgence of Yiddish as a cultural phenomenon and as an avenue for preserving Ashkenazic Jewish values. My heart goes out to Dorian and the entire ‘gantse mishpoche’.

    May Terry be remembered for the many mitzvot he performed and kindnesses he displayed while he was with us.

    Sincerely,
    Jeremy Sachs
    (Ya’a’kov ben Avraham Chaim, ha-Levi)
    Bloomfield, CT

  6. Terrence was a valued colleague of mine in the School of Electrical Engineering at Cornell. He has an alert mind and did not hesitate to contribute thoughtful comments in faculty and committee meetings. He was always respectful of others whether they agreed with him or not. He made positive contributions to the school and he was supportive of his step children. I cherish my memories of him and offer condolence to his family. I will be happy to see him again on the other side of the veil.

  7. To: Dorian, David and Jennifer
    I have just (Feb. 20) learned the sad news. I am so sorry to hear that Terry is gone! He was a wonderful person in many ways. He was warm, engaging and often remarkably witty. This was in addition to his being academically brilliant and courageous in the range of intellectual topics he addressed in his academic career. I know he cherished you three, and he was so lucky to have had you all in his life. I was fortunate to have known Terry since David and Jennifer were young children.

  8. To: Dorian, David and Jennifer
    I have just (Feb. 20) learned the sad news. I am so sorry to hear that Terry is gone! He was a wonderful person in many ways. He was warm and often remarkably witty. This was in addition to his being academically brilliant and courageous in the range of intellectual topics he addressed in his career. I know he cherished you three, and he was so lucky to have had you in his life.
    http://www.isem.nus.edu.sg

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