Remembering Arthur Gill, UC Berkeley academic, avid traveler

Arthur Gill was on the faculty the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley from 1959 to 1991.

Arthur Gill. Photo: Courtesy family

Arthur Gill passed away on March 21, 2020.

Arthur was born in Haifa, Israel, on April 18, 1930. From 1948 to 1950 he served in the Israel armed forces. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and 1956, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in the same field from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1959.

In 1956-57 he worked at the Research Division of the Raytheon Company in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he was engaged primarily with semiconductor circuitry design. From 1958 to 1960 he was a member of the Advanced Programming Development Division of the Bendix Aviation Corporation, where he worked on the development of the G-15 computer.

Since 1959, until his retirement in 1991, he served as a faculty member — first as an Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor and Professor — in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences of the University of California, Berkeley. In this capacity he taught courses and supervised research in network analysis and synthesis, communication theory, system theory, and computer science. From 1981 to 1991 he also served as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering at Berkeley.

In 1962-63 Arthur participated in the Kanpur Indo-American Program, under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development in India; his work was concerned with the development of electrical engineering curriculum and laboratories in the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.

In the summer of 1964 he served as a guest lecturer in the International Summer School on Automata Theory in Ravello, Italy. He spent the academic year 1965-66 at the Centro Di Cibernatica of the University of Naples as a Guggenheim Fellow, studying the interrelation between automata theory, information theory and reliability. In the summer of 1970 he served as visiting professor in the postgraduate engineering school of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

From 1957 to 1991 Arthur was also associated with the Electronic Research Laboratory of the University of California, where he worked on system theory and computer science problems. He is the author of the books “Introduction to the Theory of Finite-State Machines” (McGraw-Hill, 1962), “Linear Sequential Circuits: Analysis, Synthesis and Applications” (McGraw-Hill, 1967), “Applied Algebra for the Computer Sciences” (Prentice-Hall, 1976), “Machine and Assembly Language Programming of the PDP-11” (Prentice-Hall, 1976 and 1983), and a co-author of “Assembly Language Programming for the 68000” (Prentice-Hall, 1987). Most of these books were translated into Russian and Chinese. He is also the author of numerous journal articles in the areas of systems and computer sciences.

Arthur was fond of traveling and, together with his wife Velta and later with his partner Marijke vanDoorn Lawler, visited many countries around the world. Velta and he went on several treks in the Himalayas, the Andes, and other regions.


Arthur was preceded in death by his first wife, Rikki, and by Velta, his wife of 32 years, who died of cancer in 1998. He is survived by his two children, Jonathan Gill and Leori Gill, by his three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and by his long-time partner Marijke.