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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service
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University community remembers contributions of Floyd Horowitz

Fri, 08/15/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of Floyd Horowitz, retired professor of English. Horowitz, 84, died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease Aug. 9 in New York City.

Horowitz joined the university as an English instructor in 1961. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1963, to associate professor in 1967, then to professor in 1973. In the mid-1960s he began exploring uses of computing technology in the humanities. For a year he held a joint appointment with the then-named KU Computing Center and later in the Department of Computer Science.

He was a founding editor of Computer Studies, the first scholarly journal dedicated to computer use in the humanities. He was acting chairman of the Department of Computer Science from 1972 to 1975. He retired in 1993.

“I join the KU community in offering my sympathies to Floyd Horowitz’s family and friends,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. “We remember him as a scholar who adeptly straddled the humanities and the sciences, and as a friend to the university.”

For more than 20 years, he and his wife, Frances Degen Horowitz, have had a Hall Center for the Humanities annual lecture named in their honor —  the Frances and Floyd Horowitz Lecture Series, devoted to issues related to our multicultural society. Frances Horowitz is a former KU vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at KU.

Both individually and as a couple, the Horowitzes gifted items to the university’s Spencer Research Library.

“Floyd Horowitz was a good-humored and versatile colleague who taught a variety of American literature courses,” said James Carothers, professor of English. “He was among the first of the university’s humanists to see the vast potential for computer applications to our society as a whole and to the university, the humanities in particular. He took leadership in the founding of the Department of Computer Science and in the application of its work throughout the academy. Although he left KU in 1993, his influence remains.”

Funeral services were Aug. 13 in New York City. 



When looking to tackle the issue of obesity in rural America, where should we start? The answer is not what you might think. Empathy, says Christie Befort, an associate professor at KU who has just won a $10 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to investigate solutions to rural obesity. Many physicians are embarrassed talking about weight—especially in a small town where everybody knows each other, Befort says. By providing obesity treatment options in rural primary care, she plans to start a conversation, and maybe a revolution, in rural health care. For more details on Befort's efforts, check out the 2015 Chancellor's Report: http://bit.ly/1D5A5MO and her video: http://bit.ly/1C5xYZa Tags: #KUcommunities #Obesity #Health #Rural #Midwest Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - PCORI

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Explore KU: Experience a KU Men's Basketball tradition It’s explosive. It’s dramatic. It’s intimidating. It’s a KU tradition (see more at http://bit.ly/KUtraditions) simply known as the Confetti Toss. But it creates a primal eruption of fan enthusiasm at the opening of every KU men’s basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. It starts as the visiting team is introduced on court. The KU student section is visibly bored and unimpressed. The entire section under the north basket holds up University Daily Kansans — making the point they’d rather read the newspaper than even look at the other team. They shake and rustle the student newspapers. Then the moment they were waiting for arrives — the Jayhawks enter the court. All Rock Chalk breaks loose. Newspapers, confetti and thousands of thundering voices soar into already charged atmosphere of KU’s hallowed basketball arena. The confetti hits its high point, near the banner on the north wall reading “Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog.” And the confetti rains back into the stands, onto the court and into the memories of all at hand. It’s time to play.


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