Elizabeth (Frazier) Karplus

Elizabeth (Frazier) Karplus - Obituary

Elizabeth "Betty" (Frazier) Karplus passed away at home in Orinda, California, on September 22, 2021, aged 96.

Just a few of her many achievements are listed below:

She obtained her bachelor's degree in physics from Oberlin, continuing to Wellesley for a physics master's degree.

She worked with many notable people, included, her husband Robert "Bob" Karplus, Grace Hopper, and John von Neumann.

She helped Bob with research on how children reason and with developing the Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS).

With colleagues she published in math education and was a pioneer in protecting rights of students with disabilities.

She also served on the Orinda School Board, and was honored as Orinda's 1982 Citizen of the Year.

She lead a program at Mills College to train scientists and engineers as teachers, serving the Peace Corps in Jamaica, teaching English in China, becoming an Americorps leader, bringing weekly hands-on science lessons to local elementary schools.

For her exceptional contributions to science education, Betty was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2019.

Donations in her memory can be sent to the 'Robert and Elizabeth Karplus Outdoor Nature Lab' under construction at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley (https://capitalstrategies.berkeley.edu/karplus-outdoor-nature-lab).

Excerpts shown here are from an obituary published by New York Times from Sep. 30 to Oct. 1, 2021.

Full obituary can be found at: (https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/nytimes/name/elizabeth-karplus-obituary?pid=200269892).


David Wolfe

Director of Communications

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