Trinity professor emeritus, Aaron Konstam, dies at 78

According to the university release on Jan 22, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, Aaron Konstam, professor emeritus of computer science died following a brief illness at the age of 78. Konstam was born in New York City and received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1957 and a doctorate in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1961.

Despite a lack of programs in computer science, Konstam taught himself about the young discipline. Following his doctorate, Konstam did research at the Technion-Isreal Institute of Technology in Haifa, Isreal, serving as the director of a computer center. He also served as a research chemist in 1965 for the Monsanto Research Corporation and then became an associate professor at the Lindenwood colleges, located in St. Charles, MO., before moving to Trinity.

Konstam became an associate professor of computer science in 1972, and was one of the early members of the department. In 1986 he became a full professor teaching  programming languages, data structures and other computer science courses. During his time at Trinity Konstam made connections with various faculty and students, influencing those around him, like Paul Myers, professor and chair of computer science.

“He was a colorful and outspoken fellow,” Myers said. “I always felt his heart was in the right place and his number one priority was the university and the students.”

Konstam, as one of the early members of the department helped make the department into what it is today.

“He was definitely a very influential person,” Myers said. “He was hugely influential in getting the department equipped and off the ground.”

Konstam retired from Trinity in 1999, but stayed connected to Trinity, coming back regularly to talk with professors and use equipment, according to Myers. Konstam is survived by his wife Pat, son David and brother Marvin.