Roskies, Ralph
Interview Date
December 19, 1996
Respondent Physicist, born 11/24/40.
[T1S1] Respondent gives background of parents, Austria-Hungary, Budapest; Chassidic lineage, moved to Montreal; father started cloth factory; parents spoke many languages, highly educated. Respondent comments on attendance at public school in Montreal, describes school system; attended afternoon religious school: conservative right wing. Respondent comments on father's knowledge of Tanach (Bible). Respondent attended McGill University, met wife Dolores Dines there. Respondent names siblings on both sides, notes careers; gives background on wife's parents: Poland/Russia. Respondent discusses inconsistencies in religious observance in parents and in-laws homes. Respondent mentions no experience with anti-Semitism; raised in intellectual home; excelled in school. Respondent discusses education: studied math and physics at McGill University, won medal for excellence; attended Princeton University graduate school, received PhD: 1965. Respondent notes family from Montreal immigrated to U.S. and Israel; discusses 1967 in Israel at Weizmann Institute, returned to Yale as assistant professor, 1968. Respondent comments on fellowship at Stanford University: 1971; received offer from University of Pittsburgh.: physics professor, 1979. Respondent elaborates on way he attacked problem in elementary particle physics; discusses collaboration with Mike Levine of Carnegie Mellon University, worked together 10 years. Respondent explains interest in how computing can be used in theoretical physics; discusses large scale computing project: development and implementation in 1986 of University of Pittsburgh., super computer center.
[T1S2] Respondent discusses proposal presented to National Science Foundation for Westinghouse, University of Pittsburgh. and Carnegie Mellon University: joint venture. Respondent mentions various physics courses he taught and comments on colleagues and close friends involved in physics. Respondent joined Young Peoples Synagogue, gives reasons for leaving, now member of Beth Shalom Synagogue. Respondent gives names, birth dates, careers of 3 daughters; discusses youngest daughter: her Down's Syndrome, achieved more than expected at birth; gives information on helpful schools and programs she attended. Respondent discusses wife and her graduation from McGill University, physical therapist; lists her places of employment, various positions held in community organizations.
[T2S3] Respondent comments on large role Israel plays in his life and his work there; sheds light on collaboration of super computer center, University of Pittsburgh. and Carnegie Mellon University: explains Senator Arlen Specter's role in project. Respondent provides examples of how program operates.
Canada; Down syndrome; Education; Israel; Physics; Specter, Arlen; Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; University of Pittsburgh
Birth Date
Carnegie Mellon University; University of Pittsburgh
Occupation (father)
Cloth factory
Length (hours)
Braun, Howard
Weiss, Slema
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 105 FF 35
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