Cary Lu

Daniel Aranovich[hidden]

I met Cary in 1967 while at Cal Tech in Pasadena. He was a graduate student in Biology working towards his Ph.D. I was an engineer at the Computing Center working in vision research, an area of great interest to Cary. We had many things in common, especially in technology related to optics, electronics and photography, so we became friends, as well as friends of his parents. Beth and Abraham Lu. A few years later, after Cary got his Ph.D., he said to us "since I can't be the best biologist in the world, I'll explore other areas". And so he did. One day we received a worried call from Beth. She was very concerned about Cary, her youngest son, abandoning biology, a discipline he worked so hard to master. She was worried about Cary's future. What was going to happen to him. She did not need worry.

After our daughter was born in '68, it was apparent that Cary had a keen affinity for children and was developing at that time his interest in education and the exposure of young people to science. He used pictures he took of Florie at a nearby park when she was three, to demonstrate perspective distortion in photography in his famous lecture at Cal Tech. A short time later we were having dinner at his house. In the middle of the second course, our daughter expressed an interest to go outside. We told her that she would have to wait until after dinner. Cary left his place, took Florie by her hand and guided her to the garden and a view of the valley. When we objected, his father said to us "it is OK, he needs a feminine touch".

It is very well known that Cary had great knowledge about a very wide range of subjects. He would express his views with total candor and self assurance without a trace of arrogance. This did not mean he would not tell you, with the same freedom, when he did not know about something. We learned this when he called us one night from Boston from his new apartment, were he was starting to write for High Technology magazine. We would call each other two or three times a week for whatever reason, so it was no surprise to hear his voice. Except that this time he had a problem. He was expecting someone for dinner and did not know how to turn on the oven. My wife, Graciela, came to the phone and explained the tricky maneuver to him. I must say I also learned that evening how to do it.

We will greatly miss him.