- Rick Katz posted Memories of Frank Haight from the early 1970s:
- Frank Haight supervised my Ph.D. thesis in statistics (really in applied probability), completed way back in 1974 at Pennsylvania State University. I still remember his advice to select a field of application that interested me, even if my expertise in that area was limited and even if any connection to queuing was rather remote. So I thought back to my early childhood interest in the weather and, more than 30 years later, am still applying probability and statistics to this field.
This choice took me far away from the world of queuing and transportation so, unfortunately, I eventually lost contact with him. But I still remember the sage advice he provided me on numerous occasions, typically not on research per se, but rather anecdotes on how to communicate technical material more effectively. The legacy of Frank Haight is much broader in scope than most people realize.
- Jiuh-Biing Sheu posted I miss you so much, Frank:
- Dear Frank, I never forget what you've brought to me in my life, especially your encouragement which really pushed me to complete my PhD career in UCI in 1997. Also, encouraged by you, I successfully published my first paper in Transportation Research Part B during my postgraduate researcher career in ITS of UCI. These mean very very much to me, and drive me to keep going and going in research. You are so unforgettable, and I will miss you forever and ever.
- Xiubin Wang posted re: a kind gentleman:
- Professor Haight is one of the most kind gentlemen I have ever met. I once asked him for a reference letter for my immigration. He agreed right away. A short time later, he came to my office with a draft letter, and said, "Xiubin, can I put the wording this way?" I had never imagined that an international authority would do such a favor to a PhD student in such a humble manner.
With time, I feel this impresses me more and more. This has become part of my precious memory at the ITS.
- Myron Hlynka posted remembering Frank Haight:
- Frank Haight was my "academic father," the supervisor of my PhD dissertation in Statistics (actually probability) which I completed in 1985 at the Pennsylvania State University. I know of one other person from Penn State, Dr. Richard Katz, who was supervised by Frank. I have no idea how many others there were.
He was an excellent supervisor, always encouraging. He suggested general areas of research but then left me on my own to find a topic, study the literature and do my own research. He would read what I had written and make sugestions. I found out how well known he was when I went for job interviews and mentioned my supervisor's name. Many people recognized the name. One faculty member at one university where I interviewed said "Frank Haight? He's the one that invented parallel queues and queues with balking and reneging." When I asked Frank, he proudly showed my the acceptance letter of his first paper on parallel queues, in which the editor asks why there was no
other work on the subject, since the question topic was so natural.
I just finished supervising my first PhD student, Xiaoyong WU. Frank would have appreciated knowing that he was an "academic grandfather."
Frank, you will be long remembered!!
- Tom Golob posted So long, Good Friend:
- Friends and family gathered at the UCI University Club on Saturday, June 3rd, to honor Frank. The weather was gorgeous, and there were many eloquent speakers. But I was not one of them. I choked, as they say in sports. It was at that time they I finally understood how much I will miss that man. Here, too late to be of direct comfort to those who loved him, are some random thoughts, conjured up a day too late.
Every day Frank and I were both at the University of California Irvine, we spent time together. These were the highlights of my twenty years there. Whether over coffee, lunch, or just chatting, I was constantly awed with the breadth and depth of his knowledge. Travel, culture, literature, movies, current events, you name it and Frank had an interesting take on it. An intrepid traveler, Frank was our inspiration for many enjoyable journeys, and Jackie and I plan to continue to follow in his footsteps until, like Frank, our bodies force us to give up that quest.
Frank also guided my research at countless times with sage advice. Generally this involved pushing me gently away from consulting toward good science. “Don’t write it if you can’t publish it” was a consistent counsel of his.
Scientifically, Frank was a man of great international stature. His contributions essentially defined two separate but related scientific fields of study, generally known today as traffic flow theory and traffic safety research.
The scientific study of traffic flow was defined by Frank’s book – Mathematical Theories of Traffic Flow – published in 1963 by Academic Press. Up until then, pioneers in the field had published articles on important aspects of this new science, and several of those articles were Frank’s, for example “Towards a unified theory of road traffic” and “The volume-density relation in the theory of traffic flow,” both published in Operations Research, and “The future of traffic flow theory” in Traffic Quarterly. But until Frank’s seminal book, no one had put it all together.
Frank’s pioneering role in traffic safety research is eloquently described by the tributes posted earlier by Rune Elvik and Raymond Peck. The titles of some of his articles reveal the scope of Frank’s contribution (citations available on request): “The role of accident data systems in future traffic safety research” “Conceptual pitfalls in traffic safety project evaluation” “Road safety: A perspective and a new strategy” “Some underlying issues in traffic safety” “The developmental stages of motorization: implications for safety“ “Research and theory in traffic safety” and “Problems in estimating the comparative cost of safety and mobility.” Frank was particularly adept at think pieces in which he issued challenges to scientists and policy makers (for example: “A traffic safety fable” “Institutional issues in traffic safety” and ”Why is the traffic safety community so often hostile to research?”
It is one thing to publish in a “top tier” academic journal; it is another thing to invent one. In Frank’s case, not one, but the top journals in two fields: Transportation Research, and Accident Analysis and Prevention. Frank founded Transportation Research in 1967, and, like a successful stock, it split into two parts – A: Policy and Practice, and B. Methodological – in 1979. It has consistently been the top rated journal in the field it is named after. The impact of Accident Analysis and Prevention was that it defined an entire new field of study, as testified by the tributes posted by Dominique Fleury and Rune Elvik. Frank always felt that he worked for the authors, not for the publisher or for academic institutions that used peer review publications as evaluation criteria.
Finally, for many years Frank kept interesting lists. One list was of favorite quotations, which was posted on this website by Lyn Long. Another list was of regions of Europe. Frank’s regions were not based on mere political boundaries, but on nebulous historical, traditional, and physical factors that define the cultural identity of the people who live there and the uniqueness of their natural and built environments. After Frank retired from UCI and turned over his editorial duties to a new generation of editors, he decided to write a book on these regions, and he invited me to be his coauthor. Writing with Frank was much fun and extremely rewarding, and we were able to develop a fairly extensive first draft together – Regions of Europe © 2005 by Frank A. Haight and Thomas F. Golob – with the help of numerous friends in Europe and elsewhere. I pledge to carry on this work in his honor. That is the least I can do. I owe him so much.
Newport Beach, CA
June 4, 2006
- Carlos Daganzo posted Thank you Frank:
- I always admired Frank's pioneering work in traffic flow and his ensuing efforts to advance the transportation profession. Frank was open minded, always on the look for fresh new ideas and interested in helping the people who generate them. I try to imitate him in this regard, not always successfully. Frank included me in his editorial team for Transportaion Research when I was just an assistant professor fresh out of school. For this crazy gamble, I will always be grateful. I will miss him.
- Kelvin Cheu posted :
- Frank and the journals he served as Editor-in-Chief were one of the reasons why I came to ITS-Irvine to pursue my PhD in 1989. As a student then, my interaction with Frank was not as frequent as the senior researchers and faculty at ITS-Irvine. But 2 occasions stand out in my recollections. In one occasion, when I was discussing with Dean Deeter on whether to call it a day or to stay late in the lab to continue with our work, Frank passed by the corridor (as usual, with his hat) and gave his advice:"When in doubt, go home!". The second one happened at TRB 1992, when the TR and AAP journals hosted a reception at Marriott jointly with ITS-Irvine. As the host, Frank stood on a chair, hitting a wine glass with a metal spoon to try to draw attention to start his speech. I will always remember his style of humour. More importantly, I'll always remember his work on probability theory in transportation. We were fortunate to have his "Poisson distribution" book in our National University of Singapore library. I read this book in 1987 as a master student in Singapore, and that had contributed to my interest to do a PhD in traffic engineering. I still have a copy of this book in my office. I'm sure Frank won't mind as it is out of print many years ago. At a gathering of editors and editorial board members of TR(C) in TRB 2006, I suggested to Elsevier that we have a special session in the next TRB to honor his contribution in scholarly journals on his retirement. I hope this will eventually happen.
- Charles Mock posted :
- I only had the chance to meet Frank a few times. I mostly interacted with him over the phone and through correspondence related to Accident Analysis and Prevention. However, his dedication to making the world safer come across loud and clear through even these short interactions. I think it is especially noteworthy that he devoted an entire issue of his journal to safety in the developing world, at a time when the problem was just barely getting on the global radar screen. Likewise, he encouraged my own work and development, for which I am very grateful and will miss him.
- Raymond C. Peck posted Reflections on Frank Haight:
- I first met Frank when he was a member of UCLA’s Institute of Traffic and Transportation Engineering in the mid-1960s. I subsequently became familiar with Frank’s work on the Poisson distribution and the negative binomial model, and he was instrumental in encouraging me in 1969 to publish some work on their application to predicting variations in driver crash risk when he founded Accident Analysis & Prevention. I had frequent contacts with him in subsequent years as a member of the journal’s editorial advisory board, which often involved his kindly prodding me to complete my review on time but also my assisting him in locating reviews that were somehow lost or misfiled on his end.
Although his own contributions to the transportation literature are substantial, I believe his primary legacy lies in the founding of three major scientific journals that stimulated a vast accumulation of knowledge regarding crash causation and prevention. This took vision, energy and intellect. Many people have one or two of these attributes, but Frank had them all. He will be sorely missed.
- Jackie Golob posted Dear Frank:
- I have sat on these thoughts, pushed them down and let them ripen, trying to delay the day that I acknowledge you really are gone forever. For more than twenty years you have been that very special center in our lives. How often have we had supper together and spent happy hours lost in conversation that spanned the globe and back again. You would arrive with yet another jaunty hat in hand, eyes a twinkle, ready to talk about everything, often reaching back in memory to a long ago experience to illuminate a point. That rare mix of a gentleman who is, erudite, insightful, thoughtful and unconventional just as likely to come with a comment on a latest reading of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a remark about the latest movie. An endlessly agreeable companion prone to softly made exclamations such as “Ah pears, King of Fruits! How we listened, shared and drank in your love of escapist plans. Often the topic of conversation would turn to where would the next trip be to? This invariably required us to pull out the maps and guides and check the globe. Frank’s fondness for Gibraltar, a satisfied wish to see Malta, a story of a visit to a dusty museum in Libya all delivered lightly and with an endless enthusiasm for new knowledge, new places and perspectives.
Ah Frank, how we shall miss your jaunty hats, your intellect, your friendship and your roving mind. We were so lucky to have known you!
- Tom Golob posted a fitting tribute, written in advance:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world "This was a man!"
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 5, Scene 5
- Rune Elvik posted On creating an academic discipline:
- I will always remember Frank as one of the very few people I have met who made a major contribution to creating a new academic discipline. I am, of course, referring to accident research, which was greatly helped in growing to maturity by the foundation of Accident Analysis and Prevention and the masterly editorship of that journal in Frank's steady hands for 35 years.
He was clearly reluctant to give it up. It is a huge privilege and a great honor to have become one of his successors as editor of the journal. This is a huge responsibility, but the very good foundation laid by Frank makes it possible for me, and my colleague Karl Kim, to take it on in the same fearless manner as Frank would have done.
- Joan and Lawrence Margol posted Our friend Frank Haight:
- We knew Frank as a friend, a very good friend, with whom we had more than fifteen years of closeness. He was and remains in our memory, a courtly gentleman. Together we spent time in discussions of esoteric subjects, in travel and in many shared meals. We will miss his good humor and his kindness and the fun he generated.
- Fleury Dominique posted To Frank:
- I belong to a generation of French researchers who have been working in the road safety field since the early 1970s.
For us, Accident Analysis and Prevention has always been THE reference review for our field of research. The articles it publishes provide information on the issues that our research hypotheses are based on. Their results are also always very present when trying to shed light on decisions taken by the public authorities, basing them on veritable expertise. This testifies to the importance of Frank’s work over the years as editor of AAP.
I met with Frank regularly over the years. Above and beyond his academic integrity, it was his curiosity for such a wide range of subjects that was impressive. He was a man of great culture, totally open to the world. His memory will remain with us always.
- Fred Mannering posted Remembering Frank:
- I have extraordinarily fond memories of Frank. He was an incredible talent, an influential and committed mentor and above all a friend. In addition to his scholarly body of work (books and journal publications), his contributions to the transportation field, through his journals, were immeasurable. Indeed, it was his editorial genius that set the stage on which we all now play. I will miss him dearly.
- leo van wissen posted some personal thoughts about frank:
- as a guest researher I stayed at UCI in the academic season 1988-9. During that period, Frank arrived in Irive. He taught some statistics courses and used most of his time in the office running his journals. I was amazed to see how simple he could handle this editorship of, I think, three journals at that time. Some telephone calls, some keystrokes that activated macro's with bird names to compose letters to authors, and after a few days work he could be off for another period of weeks to do a lot of travelling. He must have been very efficient in what he did, which left him sufficient time to do the things he really liked in life. Indeed, he was one of those people who knew how to live life. He reached a respectable age, but of course it is always too early. I am happy for him, his family and his friends that he had a mild departure.
- Mohammad M. Hamed posted My dear friend:
- We will miss you Frank. You have been a very unique person. Your research, leadership and the way you managed a number of prestigious journals are outstanding. I very much enjoyed corresponding with you over the Internet for the past 13 years. Your messages although short they still have a distinct taste of professionalism. The scientific community has lost a remarkable and unique scientist. However, Frank's contributions will last forever.
- Matthijs J. Koornstra posted cooperative research work:
- Frank and I met for the first time in 1970, when Frank visited SWOV -the Institute for Road Safety Research in The Netherlands- during a sebatical leave. At that time I was a young advisor for research design and analysis at SWOV. We discussed many scientific matters of road safety; one topic concerned risk and exposure. Frank suggested that it would be possible to estimate risk levels from accident data itself only by some method, where he referred to some improvements of initial work by Thorpe on induced risk. It resulted in a special issue of AAP in 1971, wherein Frank and others as well as I wrote articles on the subject of induced risk. My article concerned a model for the simulataneous estimation of exposure and risk parameters from triangular tables of fatalities in crashes between road user categories, which article orginated from the the discussions we had at SWOV. Later Frank referred to it as the Koornstra model for one the multivaiate estimations of induced risk and expure in a an evaluative research report on induced risk. It is just an example of the influence Frank had on young researchers.
Frank always continued to maintain his social relations with those institutes and researchers that contributed to to the sciences of transport and road safety. A typical memory is the occasion that Frank unexpectedly visited SWOV at the time that I had become director of SWOV. While I was concentrated on my work he entered unannouced my office by saying in hardly understandable American slang something like "I brought you some bottles of wine from a village called Saint Emillion". I looked up and was surprised to see Frank and Babara and said that I was pleased to see them, but that I had not understood what he just said. He simlpy repeated the sentence, handed over a box, and said that they returned from a holiday in France where they had visited the wine village of Saint Emillion. Then I began to understand that he has given me bottles of exellent French wine, which Frank knew that I would very much appreciate.
It is difficult to realise that we never more will meet, but Frank's contributions to road safety as a scienctific discipline will last.
- James Nolan posted memories of Prof. Haight:
- Simply put, Frank Haight was one of the primary reasons that I decided to attend UC Irvine and do transportation research.
My strongest memory of Frank is his attending our Social ScienceTransportation lunches - I recall he was very animated telling us about the transformations in urban transport going on in Chile and how he thought there were lessons there for North America.
That was terrific, and certainly what the lunches were all about.
Unlike many of us, his is a significant legacy that will extend well beyond his mortal life.
I am honored to have known him.
- Julian posted Father:
- When I was young, I always knew my father was older than the other kids'. This made me think about his and my own mortality. I thought about how old I might be when I would lose my parents. Compared to those early guesses, I am lucky to have had him in my life for this long.
The last time I spoke with him, he talked about his age relative to mine - that he didn't have very good timing. We had been talking about me marrying and having children. He seemed to know he would not be with me for these important events.
I am glad for the way he died. A quick transition from relative health and happiness.
I will always remember his odd sayings. As a child, I didn't realize what a unique character he was. I have only come to appreciate it later in life. He taught me the scientific method. He taught me to drive a car at an early age. He taught me to appreciate a job well done and a clean desk. He taught me to be spontaneous. To challenge conventional wisdom.
I didn't see him as often as I could have in his later years, but I will miss him and remember him as he was when I was young.