Oliver Drummond, 1928-2016

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In memoriam Oliver Drummond, 1928-2016

Figure 1: Oliver Drummond

Oliver Drummond was a dear friend and colleague to all in the tracking and data fusion community. He had a long career of outstanding accomplishment in industry and in the development of theoretical methods. He received a PhD from University of California in Los Angeles and went on to have a long distinguished career in industry, where he worked for The Aerospace Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, and General Dynamics. He later became a valued consultant for numerous government agencies.

His papers and lectures helped us all to better understand basic concepts and to develop practical solutions to difficult problems. He published over 50 papers and lectured throughout the world and the US. His tireless efforts as chairman of the SPIE conference “Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets" from 1989 through 2015 provided a great service as it brought together researchers and practitioners from all over the world to exchange ideas and methods. He was well known for his humor and insight.

Oliver's sense of humor really blossomed in conference sessions when a few of his peers were present. Developing a technology does involve friendly discussions and he was right at home in that environment. A lot of useful discussion went on even with the humorous portions. He was both humble in his comments to presenters and generous with his compliments. Many people attended the conference sessions to learn, but many wanted to hear his take on a particular algorithm and/or concept.

Oliver left a legacy that included the conference that he chaired for 27 years, the technology that he developed and wrote about, and the insight that he provided to help us all to develop better solutions to practical problems. He will be sorely missed but his work will live on.