Cheers to Cliff

Back in the fall of 2006 I began a full year course at the University of Calgary – cpsc550. This course is considered a privilege to take as the faculty exposes students in it to some special instructors who really are at the uni to do real work. My offering of the course had two instructors Darcy Grant and Cliff Marcellus. This post is about Cliff in particular. As the course progressed I came to deeply appreciate Cliff as he had a sense of humor I considered to be very unusual, he would say completely hilarious things that required you really be familiar with the topic at hand to really appreciate. Cliff and I exchanged a few emails containing some rather outrageous intellectual collaboration regarding physics and the workings of the universe as according to Star Trek. Towards the end of the course I showed Cliff some diagrams of a general purpose computer architecture I had thought up – he was highly enthusiastic about them and firmly encouraged me to continue designing.

Yesterday, which was one month after that fact, I learned that Cliff had passed away due to some kind of liver failure. I believe he was 48 at the time. While I can appreciate that a little blog post is really rather minor and insignificant, but I felt the need to say something somewhere.

I was deeply saddened to hear to news, especially since I’ve been trying to connect up with Cliff for the past month or so to discuss more bizarre physics from Star Trek. Cliff certainly was a massively outstanding person with a wonderfully crazy disposition. He’s a keen example of out of the box mentality and I will undoubtedly continue to miss him as I’m sure others will too.

So cheers to Cliff. I’m delighted to have had an opportunity to get to know him and can rightly say he made a real difference in my life.

3 comments to Cheers to Cliff

  • jroberts

    I appreciate this post greatly. I found it by searching for Cliff’s name after deciding I should get back in touch. It’s hard to read news like this, but I guess I’m glad to know.

    He really was an awesome person and a fantastic instructor. I was in the 2002-03 CPSC 550 session, and I consider it the high point of my undergraduate program. I’m happy to learn that other people enjoyed his friendship and instruction as much as I did.

    Cheers,
    JR

  • Yeah, he’s missed – which in a way is great, I mean if he wasn’t, then what would have been the point?

    550 was a particularly fun point for me as well, I’m thankful to have had a chance to enjoy it.

  • Simon Timms

    This is sad news, I was just trying to hunt down Cliff’s e-mail to take him out to lunch. I took CPSC 550 in 2004 or maybe 2005 and it was highly enjoyable. Thanks for posting this.