Remembering Max Mintz

Max Mintz

It is with deep sadness that we share that Max Mintz, Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, passed away on Monday, April 18, following an illness.

Max joined Penn in 1974 as an Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering, now part of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. He changed his primary department to Computer and Information Science (CIS) in 1986, and he was an important part of CIS undergraduate education and advising for 36 years.

Max was a legendary teacher, an extraordinary advisor, and he was able to inspire students to go well beyond their comfort level in their academic preparation and homework. He won numerous awards including the S. Reid Warren, Jr. Award, the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Ford Motor Company Award for Faculty Advising.

His students describe him as being “funny, animated, exciting, clear, passionate and dedicated.” One student notes, “He genuinely cares for students and will do anything necessary to help them succeed.” Even when he was in the hospital, he was working on his textbook for his Freshman Seminar course, CIS 181: The Quantum and the Computer, which he was planning to publish as a book for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Finally, he was a friend, colleague and mentor to so many of us in Penn Engineering. We all recognized Max from a block away. He’d be wearing his trademark yellow windbreaker, and he was ever ready with a smile, whether you were a colleague, a student in his class or a staff member he’d known for years. We will all miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Max’s wife, Catherine Mintz.

We will find an appropriate time and venue to celebrate Max Mintz and his accomplishments, to recount the long list of “Maxisms” that his students have compiled, and everything he has done for Penn Engineering. Meanwhile, we share this short video about Max to remind you of everything he meant to our community:

If you have a memory of Max you’d like to share, please share it here. Submissions will be considered for a future story about Max’s legacy and impact on Penn Engineering.