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Fleisher, pioneer in use of computers in urban planning, dies at 85

Aaron Fleisher
Aaron Fleisher

Professor Aaron Fleisher, a pioneer in the use of computers in urban planning, died on Aug. 12 at age 85 following a brief illness. His wife and their children were with him at the time of his death.

Professor Fleisher, a professor emeritus in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, was known for his use of mathematical models to describe, explain, project and simulate urban areas.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1919. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from New York University in 1939. He attended Columbia University from 1939-43, but interrupted his studies to serve in the U.S. Air Force from 1943-46. He earned the S.M. degree from MIT in 1947, followed by the Sc.D. in 1950, also from MIT.

Upon graduation, he joined MIT's Department of Meteorology as a research associate. In 1960, he began teaching in the Department of Urban Studies in Planning; he received tenure in 1964. Professor Fleisher retired in 1988 and remained in the department as a professor emeritus until his death.

Professor Fleisher, who lived in Brookline, is survived by his wife of 42 years, Polly Doyle, and by their children, Ann, Jacob and his wife Lauren; granddaughter Ava; his sisters Alice and Rhoda; and by many nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were private. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Leland Cemetery Association, c/o Mary L. Bennoch, treasurer, Box 2, Salisbury Cove, ME 04672, or to the Jesup Memorial Library, c/o Nancy Howland, 34 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 3, 2004 (download PDF).

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