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In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Dertouzos' passing, please share your cherished memories, recollections and musings on this legendary leader.

Everything I know about leadership I learned from Michael.
He stressed to me the importance of "people," the real assets of any organization.  He treated every member of LCS as a member of a large family.  We don't just work together; we are always having fun together.  Over the years, I have come to appreciate the many trips that he took Pis to around the world were not boondoggles at all; they were opportunities for lab members to bond in different settings.  Above all, the annual meetings at the Cape is the epitome of this familial attitude.  We spent time working together, but we also mingled with our family members during down times.  Michael would always attend to the children of LCS members, inquiring about their well being and doing magic tricks to make them laugh.  He has a way of dealing with people with compassion and delicateness.  I remember once hearing a colleague coming out of his office saying, "It's good to talk to Michael, since he always is so positive about everything.  I think he just said 'no' to my request.  But I'm not sure and I don't care."

Shortly after I joined LCS in 1989, Michael took me to Munich as part of a delegation to Siemens.  During one of the evening drinking sessions, Michael lamented on the fact that the Lab did not work with too many companies in Asia.  He proposed "Project Orient" and anointed me to be the person to make this happen.  I hope he is pleased with what we have done in Asia in the last decade.


Victor Zue, CSAIL

August 26 2011