Dr. Morgan G. Deters, PhD, 35, formerly of Bowling Green and more recently of Brooklyn, NY, died Saturday, January 17, 2015 in Tobago, Trinidad.
Morgan was in Tobago for a friend's wedding.
On Saturday morning the day after the wedding, several of the guests, mostly from the New York City area, were snorkeling in Buccoo Bay, a popular tourist location. About noon, Morgan was observed to be motionless in the water. He was pulled from the sea unconscious and despite CPR, he could not be revived.
He died at Scarborough General Hospital about an hour later. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was by drowning.
Morgan was born in Austin, TX, April 16, 1979, the son of Dr. Donald and Lynn (Wyatt) Deters. The family moved in 1985 to Bowling Green, OH.
Morgan attended South Main School, and Bowling Green Junior and Senior High Schools, graduating from Senior High in 1997. He attended Bowling Green State University, and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science.
Morgan then left Ohio and went to Graduate School in Computer Science at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where he earned both his Masters and PhD Degrees (2007). He continued his academic research at the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, until 2009, when he moved to New York. At the time of his death he was a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University
Morgan, who was well known locally, leaves behind friends in Bowling Green and all over the world. Many local residents will remember Morgan as the author of "The Rise of Bowling Green," a short comprehensive history of BG, that started as a high school writing assignment (published in 1996). In high school and college, Morgan worked regularly at the Corner Grill on Main Street, first as a waiter and then as a grill cook. He often joked later that he met nearly all of Bowling Green's residents there. This cooking experience contributed to his continuing interest in food and "gourmet" cooking.
As a student at BGSU Morgan worked for Computer Services installing computer programs and troubleshooting computer problems.
Morgan made many lasting personal friends in St. Louis and Europe, maintaining connections with many of them.
He was part of a network of professional collaborators in computer science in this country and around the world. He was in demand at many international computer science meetings and conferences, recently returning from conferences and speaking engagements in Switzer-land, Germany, and Paris, France.
Dr. Deters was scheduled to return to Paris and Oxford, England in early February, and to Barcelona in August.
His main interests and accomplishments were in a research area known as formal methods, which consists of techniques for applying mathematical reasoning to make computer systems more reliable and secure. For those knowledgeable in the field, Morgan's expertise was in an emerging area called satisfiability modulo theories (SMT), a set of methods for automating the application of mathematical reasoning to computer systems.
Morgan was a designer and lead developer of an award-winning SMT system called CVC4 which is currently used by academic research groups around the world and which has been incorporated into industrial tools at top technology companies.
He and his close collaborators' research was supported by the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, Intel Corpora-tion, and Google.
Morgan had many outside interests. He enjoyed cooking and arranging social gatherings around homemade breads, pizzas, tapas, desserts, and gourmet meals, often inspired by his mother or Julia Child. New York City was a great playground to indulge these interests, and friends began to refer to his apartment as "Pad 80," mimicking names often associated with trendy dining spots in Brooklyn. He believed in good health and was an advocate of physical fitness. He took up running a few years back and made several 5 to 10 mile runs along the length of Manhattan's west side.
Morgan is survived by his parents in Bowling Green, OH; his paternal grandfather Marcellus (Marce) of Quincy, IL; aunts and uncles, Dr. David and wife Lynn (Tenhouse) Deters, Margaret (Margie) Thompson, Jeanne (Phil) Soebbing, all of Quincy, IL; Dianne (Dr. Jim) Wyllie of Monte Sereno, CA and Joan (Chris) Hunt of Champaign, IL, David Wyatt of Crownpoint, NM, Cindy (Tony) Kordecki of Bristol, WI; and eight cousins, Dr. Brian (Chelsea) Soebbing of Baton Rouge, LA, Dr. Steven Soebbing of Cumberland, MD, Kevin Wyllie of Portland, OR, Sara Deters of Columbia, MO, Lauren Hunt of Champaign, IL, Cassandra Kordecki, Christopher Kordecki and Annie Kordecki, all of the Bristol, WI area. There are many more members of Morgan's extended family in and around Quincy, Illinois and elsewhere.
Morgan was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother Marcella (Freiburg) Deters, a cousin, Christina Kordecki of Bristol, WI, and a great-aunt, Rachel Kitzman, of Gurnee, IL
There will be no funeral service, but there will be public and private receptions arranged in Bowling Green, in New York City, and in Quincy, Illinois in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, instead of flowers, please send condolences to Don and Lynn in Bowling Green (regular mail or use firstname.lastname@example.org ). Facebook friends can leave comments on Facebook (mdeters).
A website, mainly intended for professional associates, has been set up by colleagues at New York University, but the site can be viewed by others. The site address is: http://cvc4.cs.nyu.edu/web/in-memoriam-morgan-deters/
Donations will be accepted via that site to support travel to conferences for computer science students (Morgan Deters Travel Award). Other memorials on Morgan's behalf will be announced and made available at a later date.