Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Professor Shot by Student at UCLA Identified as William S. Klug

Aerospace Professor was known for his kindness; Perp also Identified

Aeronautical engineering professor William S. Klug has been identified the victim of a fatal shooting on the UCLA campus on Wednesday.

According to students and the UCLA online catalog, Dr. Klug taught aerospace and mechanical engineering at the university and was a married father of two.

The professor was one of two pronounced dead following what police called a "possible murder-suicide" that took place around 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday. The campus was placed on lockdown for about two hours until LAPD declared the incident over just after noon PT.

UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh said Wednesday afternoon that the campus is expected to "resume normal operations" on Thursday.

Klug was the principal in Klug Research Group, which studied Computational Biomechanics at UCLA. A professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Klug did his B.S., at Westmont College near Santa Barbara in 1998. Westmont is a Christian college with 2000 or so students. Klug complete his UCLA in 1999, and his Caltech in 2003.

“I am absolutely devastated,” Dr. Alan Garfinkel, a professor of integrative biology and physiology, told the LA Times. Garfinkel collaborated with Klug to develop a computer generated virtual heart. “You cannot ask for a nicer, gentler, sweeter and more supportive guy than William Klug.”

About his own research, Klug wrote: "We are primarily interested in theoretical and computational biomechanics. In particular, we are developing continuum and multiscale methods to understand the mechanics of biological structures from the molecular and cellular scales upward."

Update, 6/2, 9 AM: The LA Times has identified the shooter at Mainak Sarkar, an Indian graduate student who worked with Klug. Sarkar had evidently become obsessed with Klug, and accused the latter of "stealing his computer code," a charge dismissed by everyone who knew the 2 men. Sarkar had expressed his grudge against Klug on social media, such as Facebook; warning the professor to "be careful whom you trust."

While students rarely shoot professors at American universities, such murders are not without precedent. Graduate student Theodore Streleski murdered math professor Karel deLeeuw in 1978. Streleski turned himself in within 12 hours and ultimately served seven years in prison following his conviction for second-degree murder based on diminished capacity. He had used a hammer to repeatedly bash deLeeuw’s head for making “derogatory remarks about his appearance and for interfering with his study of mathematics.” Streleski then placed a sign on deLeeuw’s office door saying the professor had no office hours that day due to a family emergency.


Reader Comments(0)