Dad photo

Dad photo

In Memory

A living site in memory of Ashok K Chandra to remember and honor him. A man with a golden heart and an extraordinary mind. A cherished father, husband, and friend. And a doting grandfather. He left us November 15, 2014 after a brave battle with cancer.

The site features the sentiments and memories shared by friends and family. Feel free to send this site to others. We will keep adding to it; if you have something you’d like to share, please click here to send it to me.

Click below to see a category of posts such as Remembrances or Talks from the memorial event. See pictures of Ashok.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Talk: Abhay Bhushan

I first met Ashok in July 1964, when he was just 16, starting at IIT Kanpur as a freshman.  I was a senior then, and a student guide for the freshmen. Ashok captured my attention with his bright eyes and inquisitive mind, and his questions about the new computer center at IITK, the first at an Indian university. He graduated from IITK in 1969, with the President’s “Gold Medal” and on to Berkeley and Stanford for Masters and PhD.

I reconnected with him, when I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid 80’s, and he was a senior director at IBM. He continued to amaze me with his insightfulness and brilliance, like his ideas on alternate Turing machines, on organizing knowledge for improved human-computer interactions with the Leibnitz platform, and creating many industry breakthroughs like the Trackpoint device in Thinkpads.  He was a leader, a master at building world class teams of researchers and leading them to excellence and scientific breakthroughs, which he did at IBM, Verity and Microsoft. For his professional achievement IIT Kanpur honored him with its highest Distinguished Alumnus Award, remarking that Ashok proved beyond a doubt that excellence can indeed be coupled with relevance.  Ashok also gave back to IIT’s and to IIT Kanpur, and established several scholarships, honoring his parents Harish and Sushila Chandra.

Ashok continued to give back to society, as a mentor for younger people, supporting ideas and causes he believed in, helping many startups, and leading some of them like Contessence Software and SpeedDev.  He was a joy to his family and friends, and he often expressed how much Mala meant to him, and how supportive she was of his endeavors.  He spoke warmly of his children and was proud of their accomplishments. His warm captivating smile, his self-effacing humor, and the love he exuded won our hearts.

The IIT alumni and the Indian community will miss one of our brightest and the best.  I express my condolences to Ashok’s family on this tragic loss, which is a loss to the entire community, and to US and India.

In summary, Ashok was a leader, a mentor, a caring, compassionate, warm and loving human being, a dear friend, filling us all with his cheerful optimism – a Man for All Seasons. Words cannot express the admiration we felt for Ashok and the deep sorrow we feel at this moment. May the memories of his life and his shining example brighten our days ahead and fill our hearts with hope.  Farewell my friend, rest in peace, your shining example and spirit is with us forever!

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