The passing of Professor Emeritus Fred Bisshopp

The Passing of Professor Emeritus Fred Bisshopp

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Fred Bisshopp on January 25, 2017.  

Fred Bisshopp came to Brown in 1959 as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow.  His undergraduate career in Physics was spent at the University of Chicago (1950-1952) and Illinois Institute of Technology (1952-1954).  He obtained his M. S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1959, with a short stay at the University of Kansas (1954-1955).  At Brown he was a research associate (1960-1961), and remained at Brown as Professor from 1961-2001.  He was a visiting member at the Courant Institute (1966-1967), and an Associate Professor at Paris VI, Mechanique in 1972-1973.

Throughout his distinguished career, he has worked with Armour Research Foundation, American Machine and Foundry, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Boeing Scientific Research Labs, G.E. Research and Development, IBM Research (Watson Lab), and Foxboro Corporation. In addition to teaching at Brown, he was a Guest Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute from 1987-1988. His work on computer graphics for scientific visualization (with Banchoff, Kocak, Laidlaw and Margolis) has appeared at the Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH), in Scientific American and in Newsweek (U.S., France and Brazil). Dr. Bisshopp maintained a homepage at, where he posted frequent updates about his current research.

Professor Bisshopp's research work made significant contributions to the fields of hydrodynamic stability, thermal convection, perturbation theory, rotating fluids, nonlinear waves and wave packets. His work also involved the areas of electromagnetic theory, optimization, complex analysis, numerical analysis, computer graphics and partial differential equations. His other research interests included water waves, stratified flows, rotating flows, global circulation models, capillary waves on jets, and waves on beaches.  He felt strongly that using advances in computer graphics for scientific visualization was an important tool for communicating research and for teaching.  He was a dedicated teacher who enjoyed sharing knowledge with students.