JASON MASAO DAIDA
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE Jason Masao Daida June 21, 1959 – January 9, 2013 Jason M. Daida, age 53, of Ann Arbor, Mich., but born and raised in Kahului passed away Jan. 9, 2013. He was the precious husband of Sandy and daddy of Kaily, Jeannie and Matt; loving son of Masao and Adeline. He also leaves brother Edric and was son-in-law to Hank and Mary Jo Obayashi. He was an associate research scientist and lecturer in the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. He was also a frequent visiting faculty member at the UM-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute in Shanghai. He served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan for more than 20 years. Jason was well known as an “innovative, friendly and compelling teacher” who taught introductory classes for first-year engineering students. He applied his research to improve curriculum and instruction in areas of complex problem-solving, team learning and team teaching, and in the integration of teamwork, technical communications, environmental concerns and ethics. In recognition of his work, Jason earned the college’s Teaching Excellence Award. Jason’s research was in the theory and application of computational intelligence supporting open-ended problem solving, discovery and innovation. His work had applications across disciplines, including earth and space sciences and genetic programming. He was a founding editorial board member of the journal Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines. At a memorial service for Jason on Jan. 18, 2013, his students shared the common sentiment that Jason not only expanded their technical knowledge but also impacted their personal lives. He was remembered for the firm yet affectionate way of “setting (his students) straight.” He also allowed students from abroad to spend time with his own family during Thanksgiving and winter breaks if they didn’t have the means to return home for the holidays. In a piece published in The Michigan Daily, engineering senior Carrine Yarina said though his courses were introductory, Jason showed his students that life lessons were important. “He believed that all of us had great potential, that our ideas weren’t just class projects and that they were lessons for life and potential opportunities.” Jason was a 1977 graduate of Maui High School. He earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982, master of science in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1985 and his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1992. Services were held Jan. 19, 2013, at Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor.