Frederick Ward Phelps

Published 9:31 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Frederick Ward Phelps died peacefully at his home in Smithfield on Oct. 15, 2020, at the age of 83.

Fred retired to Smithfield in 2009. A graduate of Colgate University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Johns Hopkins University, he was emeritus professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Syracuse University, where he spent the last 20 years of his career after teaching at Case Western Reserve University and Harvey Mudd College. He was an innovative educator who pioneered the use of technology in teaching (video and animation) and collaborative, problem-based learning, both in his own field and as director of an interdisciplinary program.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Louise; sons, Alexander, Christopher and Lon; and three grandchildren. There will be no services. The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions in his memory be sent to the MPN Research Foundation (

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