In Memoriam: Shaoul Ezekiel, 1935-2015
OSA Fellow Shaoul “Ziggy” Ezekiel passed away on 7 January 2015 at home with his wife at his bedside. He died from soft tissue sarcoma cancer. His research interests were primarily in the fields of lasers and optics and their applications in such areas as: atom-field interactions; ultra-high resolution spectroscopy; optical frequency / wavelength standards; and sensors, including optical / fiberoptical gyroscopes, magnetic field sensors, and spectroscopic sensors.
He was born in Baghdad, Iraq on 20 July 1935 and lived with his parents David and Naima Ezekiel, his brother Fred and his sisters Clairette, May and Farah. He moved with his family from Baghdad to London in 1948. In 1963, he married Susan Kovnat and lived in Lexington, MA. He has two daughters, Annette Kogan of New York City and Rosalie Poelker of Atlanta, GA. He has 5 grandchildren. In 1985, he married Suzanne Courtright and lived in Medford, MA.
Ezekiel received a BS in engineering from the Imperial College London in 1957. He moved to Montreal to work for Canadian Aviation Electronics in 1959. Joining MIT as a graduate student in 1962, Ezekiel received both the M.S. and Sc.D. in aeronautics and astronautics. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1968. He was appointed Professor, Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Electrical Engineering in 1978. In 1986, he was appointed Director, MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study. Honors he received included, Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society and the International Society of Optical Engineering. He published technical papers and edited several books. At MIT, he taught a variety of courses, including Dynamics; Modern Optics; Laser Fundamentals; Basics of Measurement Systems; and Optical Sensors.