Dr. Tom Whaley is retiring after 24 years at W&L.
Professor Whaley joined the Computer Science Department as a full professor in 1987, after holding academic positions in mathematics and computer science and positions as head of ITS at several other institutions. Professor Whaley’s teaching, research, and service as department head were critical in the growth of the department into one of the national leaders among liberal arts colleges. His interest in database management, formal development of algorithms, parallel computing, and digital libraries produced several new curricular and research initiatives in the department. Professor Whaley helped to develop the department’s introductory survey course, which became a model for courses of this type in liberal arts colleges. He worked with dozens of student research assistants on problems in graph theory, parallel algorithms, and Web access to databases. Many of these research projects were interdisciplinary and resulted in published papers and journal articles, as well as honors theses for computer science majors.
The capstone of Professor Whaley’s research activity was as a co-principal investigator of the ALSOS project, a digital library for nuclear issues, which was sponsored by two major NSF grants and which supported interdisciplinary research experiences for numerous computer science students.
While at Washington and Lee, Professor Whaley also became an accomplished mandolin player, often performing with local old-time music groups.
We will miss him!