Paul Benton Fisher-York '22, a Computer Science major, died suddenly of a previously undiagnosed cardiac condition on December 25, 2019 while at home with his family. The CS Department joins the wider Cornell community in remembering Paul.

Many gathered for a Community Support Meeting on January 22 in the CIS Undergraduate Learning Center in Rhodes Hall. On January 25 at 1 pm in Sage Hall, a Memorial Gathering will convene. A reception follows from 2-4 pm in the Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall (first floor). The Memorial is open to all at Cornell and in the local community who wish to remember Paul and show their support to his family and friends. More information is available.  

Of his memories of Paul, CS Professor Dexter Kozen, and Joseph Newton Pew, Jr. Professor in Engineering, wrote:

Paul took CS 2112 with me in F18. He was one of the very top students. The first programming assignment was called Krzmrgystan General Hospital. It was a single-player game in which the user is a doctor who has to go from room to room in a hospital administering medicine to flu patients. The objective is to save as many patients as possible with limited time and medicine. We always have a contest to see who can save the most patients. Paul won the contest, saving all the patients with 18 units of medicine left over, which was later proven to be optimal!

Other notes arrived from Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student and Campus Life (December 29, 2019):

Paul, a major in Computer Science in the College of Engineering, developed a passion for robotics while participating on the Ithaca High School Code Red Robotics team. He was active on several student project teams, including Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team, of which he was a member of the software sub-team. He also held an internship at Vector Magnetics in Ithaca and had previously been part of Cornell University Chorale. Paul was from Ithaca and touched many people at Cornell and in the surrounding community. 

On behalf of Cornell, I extend my sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and teachers. Please keep them in your thoughts as we all struggle to process this profound loss. I encourage anyone who may be in need or support to use the resources listed below. Community support meetings will be scheduled when campus reopens in January.

Sincerely,

Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Lance R. Collins (J. Silbert Dean of Engineering) and Jon Kleinberg (Interim Dean of Computing and Information Science) wrote, also on December 29, 2019:

Paul joined the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team in fall 2018 and was a member of the software sub-team. Prior to joining Cornell, he developed a passion for robotics while participating on the Ithaca High School Code Red Robotics team.  Most recently, Paul had an internship at Vector Magnetics in Ithaca. He believed that by studying computers and computer science, he would be part of the world’s future development, and so he set out to harness that. He had previously been part of Cornell University Chorale.

We want to extend our deepest condolences to Paul’s family, including his mother Betta Fisher-York (MAE faculty), father Thomas Fisher-York (Boyce Thompson Institute), sister Minsun, teachers and fellow students. Paul touched many people at Cornell and in the local community. Please join us in taking a moment to remember him and acknowledge this profound loss within our community.

Please take care of yourselves and one another during this difficult time. We encourage anyone who may need support to use the resources listed below. There will be community support meetings set up after the first of the year, so that we may allow all who knew him to attend.

Sincerely,

Lance R. Collins and Jon Kleinberg 

Obituaries in The Cornell Daily Sun and The Ithaca Voice.

Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. 

Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. An Ithaca-based crisis line is available at 607-272-1616. For additional resources, visit caringcommunity.cornell.edu.