KIHEI, HI, October 10, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Meera Blattner-Kamegai, PhD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Meera McCuaig Blattner-Kamegai, PhD, has enjoyed a thriving career as a computer scientist and an educator. She was born in Chicago on Aug. 14, 1930. The marriage of her parents, William Duncan McCuaig and Nina McCuaig (née) Spertus, ended two years after her birth and her mother married William Klevs in 1939. At a young age, she demonstrated a passion for art and she attended the Art Institute of Chicago art school classes for children throughout her early years.
Dr. Blattner-Kamegai attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor of Philosophy in 1952. During her undergraduate years, she developed an interest in mathematics. In 1950, while still a student, she married George Backus, who was studying astrophysics. The marriage was brief and after graduation she entered the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which she left to study with artist Rudolph Weisenborn. Despite her focus on art, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai realized that mathematics was actually her primary interest and she returned to the University of Chicago to work on her Master of Science in mathematics. To pay for her expenses, she worked as a part-time lab assistant for Professor Enrico Fermi, the Noble Prize-winning physicist, and co-authored a paper in physics with J. Lord and M. Schein.
In 1956, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai married Robert James Blattner, who was completing his doctorate in mathematics and had just accepted a faculty position at the University of California Los Angeles. While living in Los Angeles, she took a job writing a chrystallographic program for Professor K.N. Trueblood at UCLA in order to stay home with her young children, Douglas, Robert, and William. While working with Dr. Trueblood, she co-authored a paper on chrystallographic computer programs. She decided to continue her education and earned her Master of Science in mathematics from the University of Southern California in 1966. Then she entered the new computer science program at the University of California Los Angeles, and working under the direction of Professor Sheila Greibach, completed her Doctor of Philosophy in 1973.
From 1973 to 1974, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai was a research fellow at Harvard University, and went on to become an assistant professor at Rice University in 1974. Her research work in those early years was in the area of theoretical computer science with her publications in the area of formal languages and automata. In 1979 to 1980, she served a year at the National Science Foundation as the program director of theoretical computer science. Dr. Blattner-Kamegai then accepted an offer as an associate professor in the department of applied science in the University of California Davis, at that time based in Livermore. Notably, she was the first tenured woman in the Davis College of Engineering, becoming a full professor in 1991.
After Dr. Blattner-Kamegai joined the Davis faculty, she changed her area of research to multimedia user interfaces. She and her students became known for their work in the area of audio in the computer interface, developing "earcons," the sound equivalent of icons. There were many uses for audio in the interface for those with disabilities and sound as another source of communication in scientific applications. Much of Dr. Blattner-Kamegai's research at this time was done with E. P. Glinert. In 1992, she and Roger Dannenberg co-edited a book, "Multimedia Computer Interfaces," which was translated into Chinese and published in China in 1994.
Dr. Blattner-Kamegai was the chair of the computer science program in Livermore from 1989 to 1994. She started the distance learning computer science program in her department, and she developed and started new courses in multimedia, including artificial intelligence. Dr. Blattner Kamegai chaired committees of many graduate students, both doctoral and masters. Well-regarded for her expertise, she has been a frequent contributor to professional journals and in demand as a speaker.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai has received many honors and awards. She received funding from the National Science Foundation and has visited various universities and research centers, including the University of Paris in 1980 and Tsukuba Science City in Japan in 1988, where she and her husband were foreign researchers. Dr. Blattner Kamegai was an adjunct associate professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1977 to 2000. She chaired a number of international conferences for the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society, as well as other conferences, and served on the editorial boards of multiple journals. Furthermore, she was active in the Society of Women Engineers, both as a vice-president and a faculty advisor.
Dr. Blattner-Kamegai and Professor Blattner were divorced in 1978 and she married Dr. Minao Kamegai, a senior research physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in 1985 in a Shinto wedding and became a stepmother to his daughters, Stephanie and Sharon. When she retired in 2000 as a professor emerita, she and her husband moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to be near her oldest son, Douglas Blattner, and his family. Upon moving, she started several companies, Color Wheel Creations and Digital Touch Media, to continue her interest in multimedia user interfaces.
During this time, she also became interested in renewing her Jewish faith and became president of Temple Beth Am in 2006. One of her most satisfying achievements was to facilitate the transformation of the foundering Temple Beth Am into the new Temple Sinai in 2007. Dr. Blattner-Kamegai was a bat mitzvah shortly thereafter and continued her Jewish studies throughout the time she remained in Las Vegas.
Dr. Blattner-Kamegai then turned her attention to the Brandeis National Committee, an organization committed to providing philanthropic support to Brandeis University because of their commitment to academic excellence, social justice, social diversity and service to the community. She was president of the Las Vegas chapter for three years and then served on the national committee for two years. In 2015, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai received the Outstanding Service Award from Brandeis National Committee. She was active in other organizations as well. She is committed to animal welfare and contributes to numerous animal welfare organizations.
After almost 20 years of retirement in Las Vegas, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai and Dr. Minao Kamegai desired to make a change of lifestyle. In 2018, they moved to Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. They have 10 grandchildren and three step-grandchildren, who have now grown up and lead busy lives of their own.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Dr. Blattner-Kamegai has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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