JULY 4, 1927 – APRIL 9, 2021
JACK MINKER July 4, 1927 – April 9, 2021
Jack lived in Bethesda, Maryland. He was the beloved husband of Johanna Weinstein, former husband of the late Rita G. Minker, devoted father of Michael Minker (husband of Katharine (nee Cowgill) Minker) and the late Sally Minker (late wife of Jason Carucci), cherished grandfather of Roger Carucci, Beverly Minker and Katie Minker, great grandfather of Charlotte, Naomi and Olivia Minker, step-father of Lawrence, Charles, Steven and Kenneth Weinstein, and loving uncle, great uncle, step-grandfather and friend to many others. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at King David Memorial Gardens, Falls Church, VA. The family suggests that contributions be made in his name to the Committee of Concerned Scientists, The American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice. Jack was born in Brooklyn to Harry and Rose Minker. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College in 1949, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1950, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. After a career in industry, Jack joined the University of Maryland in 1967, becoming Professor of Computer Science in 1971 and the first chair of the department in 1974. He became Professor Emeritus in 1998. Jack was one of the founders of the area of deductive databases and disjunctive logic programming. He made important contributions to semantic query optimization and to cooperative and informative answers for deductive databases. He has also developed a theoretical basis for disjunctive databases and disjunctive logic programs, developing the Generalized Closed World Assumption (GCWA). Jack had over 150 refereed publications and edited or co-edited five books on deductive databases, logic programming, and the use of logic in artificial intelligence. Jack was a Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Concerned Scientists since 1973, and a Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights of the Association for Computing Machinery from 1980 to 1989. He led the struggle for the release of Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Lerner from the late Soviet Union. He also campaigned on behalf of Andrei Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner. His memoir, Scientific Freedom & Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War, was published in 2012 by IEEE Computer Society Press. Jack was the recipient of many awards and honors in recognition of his contributions to the field and his work on behalf of the human and intellectual rights of scientists around the globe.