On Tuesday May 30, a dear member of our Language Sciences community, Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, passed away from complications of lymphoma. Eric was Professor of Linguistics and the former Director of the Cognitive Systems Program; he had been at UBC since 2003. The BC and UBC flags will be lowered tomorrow (June 2) in his honour; the notice from the Ceremonies Office says this about him:
“Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson’s research used cutting-edge and innovative signal processing techniques to examine the organization and structure of communication systems, particularly spoken language and music. In recent years he focused on the dynamics of coordination within an individual and across individuals in spoken language interaction and musical performances. His work on the visual dynamics of spoken language and speech articulation were landmarks in the field.”
A celebration of life will be held in the future; we’ll pass on the details when they’re settled.
Eric was truly one of a kind; as the Linguistics department has said, the field has lost a giant, and we have lost a dear friend.
Our thoughts are with Laurie Fais, Eric’s wife and herself a treasured member of our LangSci community; their daughters Indiana, Malia and Caitlin; their grandchildren; and Eric’s family, friends, colleagues and students around the world. He will be missed, and he will be remembered.