Dr. William Blitzstein, a professor emeritus of astronomy who was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, died February 27 at the age of 78.
Dr. Blitzstein received his A.B. in 1941, his A.M. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1950 all from Penn, where he studied physics and astronomy. He became a research associate at Penn's Flower and Cook Observatory in 1950, developing research instrumentation and planning the new Observatory, and was named assistant professor of astronomy and electrical engineering in 1954. In 1958, he was made assistant director of the Observatory, a post he held until 1973. He was promoted to associate professor of astronomy in 1960, and to full professor in 1964.
In 1973 Dr. Blitzstein became associate director of the Observatory, supervising the engineering phases of observational research. Dr. Blitzstein also served as chair of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, which has since merged with the Physics Department. He became an emeritus professor in 1986.
Throughout his career, in addition to publishing widely in journals, Dr. Blitzstein consulted for corporations such as Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co. and Spitz Laboratories, where he was involved in the prediction of the solar, lunar and planetary positions as seen from the earth and other places in the solar system. He was also a consultant to the Frankford Arsenal in radiometry, propagation of high power laser beams in the atmosphere, and optical properties of the atmosphere.
He is survived by his wife Anna, daughter Sybil Csigi, son David Blitzstein, and grandchildren Jesse and Gina. Memorial contributions may be made to the Anti-Defamation League.
Almanac has just learned that Dr. Stuart I. Katz, 39, clinical instructor in dermatology, died on January 6, of complications from primary amyloidosis, a plasma cell proliferative disorder.
Dr. Katz, a native of Philadelphia, received his bachelor's degree in 1981 and medical degree in 1985, both from Penn. After an internship in internal medicine at the Graduate Hospital, Dr. Katz trained in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, where he served as Chief Resident in dermatology. In 1989, he was appointed clinical instructor in the department of dermatology at Penn. He participated in the res-idency education program at Penn and served as an attending physician at the HUP and at the Philadelphia Veterans Affair Medical Center.
"During this time, while he established himself as an outstanding clinician in the Philadelphia community, he contributed generously of his time to residency education," said Dr. Victoria Werth, chief of dermatology at the Philadelphia Veterans Affair Medical Center. She added, "Dr. Katz's contributions to the dermatology resident training program were invaluable and he will be sorely missed."
Dr. Katz is survived by, his wife, Dr. Miriam Green Katz, a pediatrician and a 1986 graduate of Penn's School of Medicine, and their two sons, Jordon, age 8 and Brett, age 3.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 24, March 16, 1999