The University Record, May 6, 1997

Obituaries

Chia-Shun Yih

Chia-Shun Yih, the Stephen P. Timoshenko Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and a distinguished scientist internationally known in his field of fluid mechanics, died April 25 near Tokyo. He was 78.

He was a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. Among the numerous honors accorded him were a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award (Germany), the Theodore von Karman Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers (1981), the U-M's Stephan S. Attwood Award, the Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Otto Laporte Award of the American Physical Society. He was elected to the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academia Sinica (the Chinese National Academy of Science in Taiwan). Yih was one of three scientists who, at the 1996 meeting of the Academia Sinica, proposed the creation of an institute of mechanics in Taiwan. He was en route to this meeting to discuss the status of mechanics in Taiwan and the mission of such an institute when he died.

Yih was born in 1918 in Kweiyang, Kweichow Province, China.

After graduating in 1942 from the National Central University, Nanking, Yih worked as a research assistant at the National Hydraulic Laboratory in Quanshien, an engineer at the national Bureau of Bridge Design and an instructor at the National University of Kweichow. Selected by the Ministry of Education to study in the United States, he entered the University of Iowa in 1946, earning his M.S. in 1947 and Ph.D. in 1948. He taught at various universities in North America and France before coming to the U-M as an associate professor in 1956. Two years later, he was promoted to professor of fluid mechanics. In 1967 he was named the Stephen P. Timoshenko Distinguished University Professor, and in 1974 he was chosen to give the Henry Russel Lecture---the highest honor the University can bestow upon a senior faculty member.

His students found him an inspiring teacher whose excitement and enthusiasm were contagious. He was much in demand as a doctoral thesis adviser for students in other departments as well as in his own. He is remembered by many students, colleagues and friends for his quick mind, spontaneity, enthusiasm and love of life.

His published work covers a wide field and includes well over 100 scientific papers as well as two books, Dynamics of Nonhomogeneous Fluids (1960), later revised as Stratified Flows (1980), and Fluid Mechanics, A Concise Introduction to the Theory (1969). These have been widely used and one has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. One colleague noted that "his depth of achievement in the broad areas of mechanics and applied mathematics is matched by his abilities in the physical sciences generally. He can speak from the platform of sound knowledge on a whole gamut of subjects in physics and mathematics ... he could logically be a professor in mathematics or physics or in any one of several engineering departments where he would be capably at home."

Yih is survived by his wife, Shirley; sisters, Chia-Ju and Chia-Ling; children, Yiu-Yo, David and Katherine; and three grandchildren. A memorial ceremony will be held in Ann Arbor in July.

 

 

Robert Lyons Danly

 

Robert Lyons Danly, an award-winning translator, writer, editor and professor of Asian languages and cultures, died at his parents' home in Illinois of a brain tumor on April 27. He was 50. He had been on leave since the fall of 1995.

Danly achieved immediate fame among translators and scholars of Japanese literature when his Yale Ph.D. dissertation was published as In the Shade of Spring Leaves: The Life and Writings of Higuchi Ichiyo, A Woman of Letters in Mejii Japan. The volume, which combined a biography of Ichiyo with masterful translations of nine of her short stories, received the American National Book Award for translation in 1982.

He received a bachelor's degree in 1969, master's degree in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1980, all from Yale University. He was appointed assistant professor of Japanese literature at the U-M in 1979.

At the University, Danly was quickly recognized as a dynamic teacher and was awarded the Class of 1923 Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1984. He directed a popular translation workshop for the Program in Comparative Literature and was the acting director of the Program in Comparative Literature in 1985. He was director of the Center for Japanese Studies in 1989-93. During his tenure as director he made the Center a vital part of the intellectual life of the University and transformed its publishing program into one of the most highly regarded publishing series in Japanese literature, culture and history in this country.

He lectured at major universities in the U.S. and in Europe and was a visiting professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 1994. He published translations and shorts stories, co-authored screenplays, and he chose and edited the selections of Japanese literature for The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, thereby establishing the canon for Western readers.

Danly will be remembered by his friends and colleagues for his brilliant wit, his dry humor, his fine discernment, his stubborn tenacity and his extraordinary range of interests---from Kabuki theater to Broadway musicals, from Japanese architecture to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, from Ed Debevecs to the Four Seasons.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. And Mrs. Donald Danly, of Burr Ridge, Ill.; his sisters, Christina Denton (Larry) of Hinsdale, Ill., Beth Burtt of Burr Ridge, Ill., and Catharine Zoufal (Robert) of Western Springs Ill.; and 11 nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Thomas Hospice, 7 Salt Creek Lane #204, Hinsdale, IL 60521.