Chuck Bures




Charles Bures is no longer here.


At a time and place where success is measured in units of dollars and politically manipulatable awards, true giants may come and go unnoticed by the scientific lot.


I first met Professor Bures in ’65 when I attended his Psychology classes; I am still a student of his, still learning from his example.


When I first enrolled in his class, it was out of a desire to maintain my sanity and humanity in a small world of largely on unidimensional pseudoscientists who composed the “mutual admiration society of Pasadena.”  It became immediately apparent that I had met a Master, in the true Oriental sense.


Professor Bures had a more analytic mind than most of the self‑proclaimed analytic types who thrived there.  More than that, he had realized that the linear one‑at‑a‑time approach of conventional science was a self‑imposed blindfold; real‑life problems don’t behave in a linear one‑at‑a‑time fashion, and it takes a unique ability to perceive them in their complexity.  Professor Bures had that ability.


He understood life and what makes it worthwhile.  He was quick‑witted, and careful at the same time to be compassionate.  Given the usual choice between prolific publications for their own sake and teaching Caltech’s youth, he chose the latter.  And I am forever thankful to him for that.



(BS ‘67, MS ‘68, PhD ‘72)



No Glee




I am writing to you about a feature that appeared in the May 1974 issue of Engineering and Science magazine, namely “An Outburst of Music.”  As the official student representative of the Men’s Glee Club I have a few complaints about this feature.


First, it is supposedly a “smorgasbord of musical activities.”  However, I think it could have been more representative and inclusive.  No pictures of the Madrigal Singers, Varsity Quartet, or Men’s Glee Club appeared, although these groups are as active as any others on campus and form a “main course” of the smorgasbord.  The Men’s Glee Club is mentioned and the reader is referred back to a. previous issue.  However, the article referred to (E&S—October 1973) was about vocal instruction, not the Men’s Glee Club, Madrigals, or Quartet.  True, it gave us coverage, but the issue here is representation not coverage.  I am wondering what sort of impression readers, specifically alumni, will get when they see “An Outburst of Music.”  Will they think we have ceased being a vital force while we still in actuality have the largest student involvement of any club on campus?


Secondly, I take issue with the statement that the Women’s Glee Club and the Chamber Singers are “moving in” on the Men’s organizations.  This is somewhat illogical, since the men in the Chamber Singers are from the Men’s Glee Club.  Also, it is simply not true.  Our groups work in cooperation, not in competition.  I would like to know just what prompted that statement to be written.


Finally, the pictures seem to imply a larger numerical contribution by women.  While this may be true on a percentage basis, it is certainly not accurate as far as actual figures go, and not to the extent presented in the article.


It seems obvious that no attempt was made to present a reasonable representation of musical activities with regard to effort, time, or numbers involved.  If there was a reason for this I would like to know why.  But I believe it presents an inaccurate picture to your readers and this is unfortunate.





Men’s Glee Club


P. S. By the way, the reference was wrong—it was November 1973!


Right: We were wrong.  The three‑page picture story on the Glee Club ran in our November—December 1973 issue.