UTSA College of Sciences professor William Winsborough dies Aug. 18

William Winsborough

William Winsborough

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(Aug. 22, 2011)--William Winsborough, UTSA professor of computer science, died Thursday, Aug. 18 at age 51. Originally from Chicago, Ill., he received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He was a member of the faculty in the UTSA Department of Computer Science since 2005.

Winsborough's research was in programming languages until the late 1990s, when he started working in computer and information security and privacy. His wide range of international collaborators contributed to a thriving research program at UTSA. His work had earned him a DARPA Award of Excellence in Industrial Research in 2003, and he was a runner-up for a PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies in 2007. Winsborough was a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, and his research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Dr. Winsborough was one of the reasons I was attracted to UTSA," said Ravi Sandhu, executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security and professor of computer science. "He had this tremendous ability of thinking through a complex English language statement of policy and expressing the essence in symbols. It was very enjoyable to collaborate with him."

"I had the privilege to be on the Department Faculty Review Advisory Committee when Will came up for tenure. Will's tenure materials just blew me away; he had a very impressive and wide-ranging research program," said Daniel Jimenez, chair of the Department of Computer Science.

The same passion that Winsborough had for his research, he had for his students. He was more than a resource for them -- he was devoted to them and felt personally responsible for their wellbeing and education.

"He was a conscientious and caring teacher," said friend and colleague Rajendra Boppana, professor of computer science. The doctoral students in his laboratory fondly recall late-night review sessions in his office to help them solve research problems and put their thoughts into formal writing.

"I rarely cry over things, but the loss of Dr. Winsborough brought me to tears," said one student. Another spoke of his kind smile and hardworking attitude. "It was an honor to have met him and he will be deeply missed," said one of his students.

"Will was kind, charming and passionate about his work, very intelligent. He seemed to make it a point to find something good about everyone," said Jimenez. "He worked very hard to make this department a better place." In fact, on the evening before his death, he presided over a meeting of department faculty seeking to improve the department's curriculum with respect to computer science theory.

"I am deeply saddened by Will's sudden death," said George Perry, dean of the College of Sciences. "Not only has UTSA lost an excellent researcher and mentor, but we have lost a man with a kind, sensitive soul, the essence of the best of us. My thoughts and prayers go out to Will's family."

Winsborough will be remembered for his love of photography and cooking. An enthusiastic amateur photographer, he often took pictures at department picnics. He particularly liked spicy food and often went to Indian restaurants with Boppana. He once even wanted to learn to make a mango pickle the way it is made in southern India.

Having failed at convincing Winsborough that it would be too difficult, Boppana gave him a small jar of homemade mango pickle. "It was very spicy, but Will was so excited, he immediately sampled a bit of it," said Boppana. "However, he remained very calm and said he would try more of it later."

Winsborough is survived by his wife, Maria de Fatima Winsborough, his parents and his brother.

>> There will be a visitation with the family, which is open to friends, colleagues and students, from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Aug. 23 at the Porter Loring Mortuary North. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Will Winsborough Memorial Scholarship Fund.