In Memoriam: Robert Frost, 1952-2011
I am sad to announce the passing of Robert L. "Bob" Frost (1952-2011). Bob was an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, my alma mater, where he had taught since 2000. Bob had been battling cancer for over two years. Ed Vielmetti has written an obituary of Bob on his blog, including the announcement from SI Dean Jeffrey Mackie-Mason.
Bob was an inspiration to many of us SI alums, and his magnetic personality, sharp wit, and joie de vivre ensured he had a bevy of his students and colleagues buzzing around him at any given time. I had the opportunity to take his class Material Culture and the Interpretation of Objects in the spring of 2004, my final semester at SI. The class was intense in a way that few of my other classes at Michigan were, and it provoked my continuing curiosity in identifying theoretical frameworks to analyze the everyday world.
Bob reinforced my fascination with Wilhelm Reich and The Fugs by introducing me to Dušan Makavejev's W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism to the point I still have the DVD bootleg copy he made me in 2004. He challenged me to become an advocate for unpopular and "unrealistic" ideas. He introduced me to the history of science. Most importantly, he was a faculty member in a huge and ever-growing graduate program who seemed to enjoy nearly every interaction he had with a student, and encouraged us to reach out to him to send him links to "cool stuff" on the Web that might interest him.
Donations in his honor may go to Team Frost.
Repose en paix, Bob.