Dr. Gordon James Vanderbrug 1942-2018

Vanderbrug was an early graduate of the Ph.D. program in Computer Science
Descriptive image for Dr. Gordon James Vanderbrug 1942-2018

The Department of Computer Science is sad to report that Alumni Hall of Fame member Dr. Gordon James Vanderbrug passed away on Friday, November 9th 2018. 

After earning a B.S. in mathematics from Calvin College and a M.S. in mathematics from Wayne State University, Dr. Gordon enrolled in the Department of Computer Science here in 1969.  He was advised by Professor Azriel Rosenfeld and partially by Emeritus Professor Jack Minker.  Dr. Vanderbrug worked in areas including machine vision systems, robotics, and software tools. In 1996 he co-founded iBasis, a wholesale carrier that pioneered the use of the Internet to complete international phone calls. He led significant scientific breakthroughs, including the development of proprietary technology that managed the routing of its real-time voice traffic over the "unmanaged" public Internet. For his work with iBasis, Dr. Vanderbrug was named a VON Pioneer by Pulver.com (1999), a Co-Finalist (along with co-founder Ofer Gneezy) for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2001), and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Boston Business Journal (2001).

About Dr. Vanderbrug,  Emeritus Professor Jack Minker said, “ Gordon was an excellent computer scientist who was a pioneer in the field and had an outstanding career.” Professor Minker also mentioned that even though Dr. Vanderbrug was battling cancer, he and his wife Catherine participated in the Minker celebrations in September.

Dr. Vanderbrug is survived by his brothers Duane VanderBrug and Melvin VanderBrug, wife, Catherine VanderBrug, children: Jacquelyn VanderBrug (Bradford Johnson) of Somerville, MA; Michael VanderBrug (Abby VanderBrug) of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Renee Lewis (Tyler Lewis) of Sherbrooke, QC; and grandchildren: Zoe, Pieter, Schuyler, Anika, Benjamin, Finnegan, and Hadley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gordon's name may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Bing Center for Waldenstrom's Research M546, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215, or to the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation, Raybrooke Office Suite 201, Calvin College, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections.  Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.