Je viens de recevoir cette triste nouvelle concernant Jim Kaput, à peine quelques jours avant sa retraite… Si vous avez déjà regardé ce qui se fait quant à l’utilisation des technologies en enseignement des mathématiques, vous avez alors immanquablement dû prendre connaissance de ses travaux directement ou non (ex. SimCalc). Sa contribution au domaine est énorme. Quoi dire d’autre en réaction à cette nouvelle, sinon MERCI pour l’héritage intellectuel qu’il nous a laissé.
Message en provenance de Gary Davis (collègue de Jim Kaput) :
I’m sorry to have to bring you this news, but around noon yesterday (July 30) Jim Kaput was run over by a pickup truck while jogging up Chase Road,Dartmouth,Massachusetts and was killed instantly. The report from today’s local newspaper is appended below. I know that many of you knew, worked with, and loved Jim Kaput. This is a tragic loss for us, and we are terribly saddened.
Acclaimed UMass professor dead at 63 James Kaput hit, killed by car while jogging on Chase Road
By DUNSTAN PRIAL, Standard-Times staff writer
DARTMOUTH — An internationally acclaimed UMass Dartmouth mathematics professor was killed yesterday when he was struck by a pickup truck while jogging near his home on Chase Road. James J. Kaput, 63, was recognized around the world as an authority on innovative methods of teaching complicated mathematical concepts to school-age children, according to colleagues who were interviewed yesterday evening.
« He was very patient and incredibly intelligent, » said Stephen Hegedus, a longtime colleague at UMass Dartmouth. « Even though he was internationally known, he worked very hard with the local school districts, » Mr. Hegedus added. Mr. Kaput had ended his teaching career in May and was scheduled to formally retire from the school in August, according to Mr. Hegedus. Dartmouth Police reported that Mr. Kaput was jogging north on the right side of Chase Road at about 11:35 a.m. when he was hit from behind by a 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck was driven by Kenneth P. Demoranville, 38, of New Bedford, according to a statement issued by the police. The statement said a preliminary investigation had ruled out excessive speed or alcohol as factors. The accident remained under investigation, and the driver had not been issued any citations late yesterday. A witness told police that the pickup truck drifted to the right just before striking Mr. Kaput. He was thrown between 40 and 50 feet on impact, and suffered severe head injuries. Mr. Kaput was pronounced dead a short time later at St. Luke’s Hospital. A family member said yesterday that Mr. Kaput often jogged on Chase Road.
For decades, Mr. Kaput has focused his attention on creating innovative and affordable methods of teaching math to middle and high school-aged students. In recent years, he had put particular emphasis on bringing state-of-the-art technology to economically disadvantaged students in an effort to « democratize » sophisticated methods of math instruction, according to colleagues. In addition, Mr. Kaput served on the board of numerous mathematics education journals. According to his biography on the UMass Dartmouth Web site, Mr. Kaput received his undergraduate degree in math from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1964, his master’s degree from Clark University in 1966, and his doctorate two years later, also from Clark University. He joined the staff of UMass Dartmouth around 1970 and has lived in the area since then.
This story appeared on Page A1 of The Standard-Times (www.southcoasttoday.com) on July 31, 2005.