RLE News Articles

In memoriam: Hermann A. Haus, 1925 to 2003

Haus05_22_03May 22, 2003

Dear Friends,

It is with profound sadness that I report the passing yesterday of Hermann Anton Haus, Institute Professor Emeritus.

Hermann was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1925. After attending the Technische Hochschule, Graz, and the Technische Hochschule, Wien in Austria, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1949. In 1951, he was graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, and came to MIT, where he earned his Doctorate of Science and joined the faculty in 1954. Hermann was promoted to Associate Professor in 1958, to Professor in 1962, and to Elihu Thomson Professor in 1973. In 1987, he was conferred the honor of Institute Professor. In 1995, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. In his over half century at RLE and MIT, he was a prolific contributor to the emerging technologies in the field of optics.

When Hermann was asked what his philosophy of life was, he said, “Try to do your best, because that’s all part of the fun. The greatest thing is that once in a while something clicks. It happens every three or four years. It can’t happen more often than that, except for some exceptional individuals.” Hermann was, of course, one of those very exceptional individuals. His death is a tragic loss for his family and friends, and for the Laboratory and the Institute.

I know that you will join me in conveying your sympathies to Hermann’s wife, Eleanor, to his family, and to his wide circle of close friends. His achievements merit reflection, and at the appropriate time, celebration. We will keep you informed when the time comes when we as a Laboratory can honor Hermann’s legacy of contribution to the life of RLE.


Jeffrey H. Shapiro
Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering