It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Elise (Hill) Turner,
Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science and
co-Director of the Maine Software Agents and Artificial Intelligence
Elise passed away Thursday, August 14, 2008, in Bangor, Maine, after a
7-year battle with biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). Elise's friends
will remember her intelligence, humor, absolute integrity, beautiful singing
voice, love of the theater, and kindness and love for her friends and family.
Elise was born May 3, 1959, in Portsmouth, Virginia, the daughter of George C.
and Anita C. Hill. Elise graduated from I.C. Norcomb High School in
Portsmouth, Virginia, and she received her B.A. in computer science from
Barnard College of Columbia University. She received her masters in computer
science from Columbia. She received her Ph.D. in computer science from
Georgia Tech in 1989.
Elise enjoyed an accomplished career as a computer scientist. After an
initial appointment as an assistant professor at the University of New
Hampshire, she began her appointment in the Computer Science Department at the
University of Maine, a school and department she loved, in 1995. She became
Chair of the Department in 2004. Elise touched the lives of many students
over the years. She cared about them deeply and was committed to their
education and welfare.
Elise's research was in artificial intelligence, in particular natural
language processing (the subject of her dissertation under the guidance of
Rich Cullingford). Her research interests included natural language
processing, discourse processing, multiagent systems, communication in
multiagent systems, constraint satisfaction, planning in real-world systems,
the interaction between planning and communication, cognitive science, and
computer science education. Her close collaborator on much of her research
was her husband and fellow professor, Roy Turner. She was a member of the ACM
and IEEE computer science professional societies and the Association for the
Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
Elise was an active member of All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, where
she was a member of the choir and taught Sunday school. She was a past member
of Athena Consort and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Hancock County.
She is survived by her husband, Roy Turner; their daughter, Kathrina; and her
sister, Anita Robinson and family of Opelika, Alabama.
She is and will continue to be greatly missed.