William (Bill) Moggridge, designer of the first laptop computer and a member of Stanford University's design faculty for nearly 30 years, died on September 8 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 69. He designed the first laptop, the GRiD Compass 1101, at the request of John Ellenby, an engineer at the GRiD Systems Corporation, in California. Released in 1982, the machine cost more than $8,000. Many of its features, including the low-profile keyboard and clamshell case, are still standard in laptops today. Mr. Moggridge joined Stanford around the time of that invention and left in 2010 to become director of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
Robert A. Wharton, president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, died suddenly on September 19. He was 60. The provost, Duane C. Hrncir, was named as acting president.