CSC News

February 20, 2004

Endowment to honor the late Dr. K.C. Tai

An endowment has been established in honor of the late Dr. K.C. Tai, a long-time professor of computer science at NC State.

The endowment was established during a brief ceremony held in Withers Hall on Nov. 19, 2003, attended by computer science faculty, staff, and Mrs. Ling Tai, Dr. Tai's widow. Stopping for a photograph with Mrs. Tai were alumnus David Perkins, left, and Dr. Alan Tharp.

The endowment was made possible through the generosity of friends, relatives, former students, and professional colleagues of Dr. Tai, who had been a professor of computer science at NC State for 27 years prior to his death in October 2002. In that time, he had advised more than 30 doctoral students. To date, contributions from more than 50 individuals have raised the endowment to over $20,000. Proceeds from the endownment will be used to support department programs. “I thank all of you for your generosity and support to make this become a permanent endowment,” Mrs. Tai said. “This is a wonderful way to remember K. C. I’m sure that he would be very happy to know that this is helping the department, faculty and friends.” Joining Mrs. Tai in the ceremony was David Perkins (CS, ‘77) of California, whose sizeable donation earlier in 2003 placed the contribution level at the $15,000 minimum required to establish a permanent endowment.

Contributions will continue to be accepted to this endowment fund. Those interested in making a contribution in remembrance of Dr. Tai may complete the Gift Intention Form (PDF or Word) or contact Ken Tate, ePartners program director, at 919-513-4292 or by email at


Kuo-Chung (K.C.) Tai, Ph.D., was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at N.C. State for 26 years and co-director of the NC State Software Engineering Laboratory.

In the course of his career, he made significant research contributions in software engineering, concurrent systems, programming languages, and complier construction. He also co-chaired and contributed to numerous international conferences on computer languages and parallel processing, and had been nominated as an IEEE fellow.

Dr. Tai had served as an associate editor of Computer Languages, International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, and International Journal of Computer and Software Engineering. From 1989 to 1991, he was the director of the Software Engineering Program for the National Science Foundation; from 1992 to 1997, he was the chair of IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Computer Languages.

Born in Shanghai, China, on June 21, 1948, Dr. Tai earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 1970 and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University, in 1973 and 1977, respectively. He passed away at his home on October 24, 2002.

-- abstracted from the News & Observer

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