Physics professor dies at 60


Photo courtesy of Merla Hubler

Portrait of Professor Alfred Hubler.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

After living with lymphoma for four years, Alfred Wilhelm Hubler, a physics professor at the University, died last week — four days after teaching his last class.

Hubler started teaching at the University in 1989 as a visiting assistant professor and has since made many contributions to theoretical physics.

In addition to his nonlinear system research, Hubler developed a software program called CyberProf. The program is designed to analyze students’ homework assignments and to provide feedback. The web-based program is now in use at the University and other universities throughout the country.

Thomas Kirsh, graduate student in LAS, said he’s been working with Hubler since August 2014.

“I was an undergraduate researcher for Prof. Hubler, and just applied to be a graduate student under him,” Kirsh said in an email.

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He said he had listened to a presentation Hubler gave in 2013 about his research to his PHYS 199: Undergraduate Open Seminar course, which got him interested in working with Hubler.

“He was very kind and patient. He laughed a lot and was very passionate about his research and ideas,” Kirsh said. “He’d always end a research meeting by saying, ‘Great job!’ enthusiastically, even if it felt like I hadn’t done a lot.”

Kirsh said Hubler was dedicated to teaching students different ways to approach problems.

“He was always supportive and patient with new students working on projects and would help you through any rough patches you encountered,” Kirsh said. “His passion for research was evident by the way he’d get animated when talking about it and you couldn’t help but get excited also.”

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