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Brief Biography of R. A. "Doc G" Greiner

For those who might be interested, this biography contains the highlights of Doc G's education, employment, hobbies and other interests.

R. A. Greiner is currently retired (12 years now) from his profession of Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison Wisconsin. He was Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 36 years. (from age 26 through 62).

"Doc" or "Prof" were the names used for him by members of an Electrical Engineering Fraternity (Kappa Eta Kappa) for which he was advisor (for 25 years) starting in the early 1960's. (that was to his face of course) "R A" was the common "name" used by friends and colleagues in the department. (this use of the first two initials among some of the faculty was a gesture of friendship)

Many of R. A. Greiner's lifelong interests were formulated in the 1940s as expressed in high school interests. These included a significant interest in photography, a love of mathematics and a great interest in chemistry and physics. The high school programs, in a suburb of Milwaukee, in these areas, were excellent and extensive. (most students went on to the university. RA did much of the photography for the high school yearbook and was a photographer for the local weekly newspaper as well. Large format photography, color photography and three color separation photography were done in the days of Kodacolor with a speed of ASA 8 and printing with the dye transfer method. RA went on to the university to study chemistry, physics, mathematics and astronomy. RA's interest in music and sound reproduction resulted in the design and construction of a three way tri-amplified loudspeaker system while he was still a junior in high school. This interest carries over to today with music and sound reproduction among his major hobbies.

R. A. Greiner received his bachelors degree in Physics in 1954 with minors in mathematics and astronomy. (with honors) The masters degree, received in 1955, was in Physics with graduate work concentrating on molecular spectroscopy, nuclear spectroscopy and solid state physics. Electronic instrumentation was a major part of all of these studies. Optical instrument design including interferometer and precision mechanical design was a part of this research.

He switched to studies in the Department of Electrical Engineering which resulted in a PhD in 1957. The doctoral work as in photoconductivity and electrical conductivity in solids which were related directly to the behavior of semiconductor devices. Dr. Greiner was appointed Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1957 (age 26). He taught graduate courses in electronics, including vacuum tube design, design of transistors and application of solid state devices in the Department. He started a solid state device fabrication laboratory in 1960 and wrote a book on solid state devices and applications. (McGraw Hill 1961) The book was about the physics of discrete transistor operation and applications of a variety of solid state devices to analog and digital circuits. A lifelong interest in high fidelity sound reproduction included numerous articles about power amplifiers and loudspeakers and led to his election as a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society in 1984.

In 1961 Dr. Greiner was appointed full Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department (age 30). His research continued in solid state devices and applications with a graduate program that produced 46 advanced degrees in the next 10 years. In 1972 he joined the central administration of the University of Wisconsin System where he served as a Senior Academic Advisor to the President's Office in the area of the Physical Sciences. By 1979 the "same old administrative problems" came around for the third time and he decided to return to teaching in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professing turns out to be one of the finest of occupations. (in his opinion)

It was time to pursue new interests and a fresh research program. This turned out to be acoustics, electro-acoustics, instrumentation, digital signal processing and control. A new graduate program was started and produced another 47 advanced graduate degrees in the period 1979 through 1992. An extensive laboratory was established for research in acoustics and signal processing which formed the core of work supported by industrial grants. Work in signal processing and adaptive digital control generated many degree thesis projects and resulted in the formation of a new company in the area. Some of the signal processing research led to publication in areas of statistics of musical signals and digital processing of audio signals in the early years of development of such work (1982). Many graduate students went into digital signal processing, computer control, adaptive control and similar areas.

Over all these years Dr. Greiner consulted in noise and vibration control in industrial settings. This included advanced design of balancing machines for a major manufacturer of equipment for the automotive industry. Since retirement, Dr. Greiner has continued to consult in acoustics, noise control and vibration control for industrial applications. Of course, the usual array of papers in technical journals, patents and the like resulted from all the above activity. High speed flash photography, lens testing, macro and micro photography are ancillary interests still engaged in from time to time.

Dr. Greiner is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Kappa Eta Kappa, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and the Audio Engineering Society. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin.

In retirement "Doc G" remains active in consulting (just a little), gardening (a small but nice perennial garden), photography (mainly 35 mm film but with a new interest in digital), fiddling with computers and of course astronomy (LX200s and CCDs). Doc's astronomy interests are mainly in refinement of amateur equipment, viewing of extended objects and imaging of deep space objects. Astronomy has turned out to be a very challenging hobby. The pointing accuracy required is totally unreasonable, the stability of the platform required astonishing and the imaging of faint, zero contrast objects incredibly difficult. This is a nice new challenge. "Doc G" is currently very active in the Madison Astronomical Society and edits the bi-monthly newsletter "Capitol Skies."

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