Dr. Polly Geraldine Pathikulangara (a.k.a Paul G. Joseph) Joseph
Dr. Polly Geraldine Pathikulangara Joseph (a.k.a Paul G. Joseph), resident of Boxborough, MA, born in Chennai, India on December 10, 1960, passed away on June 23, 2018.
Polly (Paul) leaves behind a loving family: Roshini Joseph, daughters Sonia Joseph and Mira Joseph, and goldendoodle Rocky. Polly is survived by her mother and her mother’s husband, brother and sister and their spouses, and her nieces and nephews.
This is how Polly described her own life:
“Looking back on my journey in soil mechanics, it seems nothing but the same old story–The Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit–that Nietzsche powerfully described in his classic Thus Spake Zarathustra. Thus during my undergraduate with Prof. Ramaswamy, at the University of Madras, Guindy, India, and then in graduate school at Purdue and MIT, I was like a camel, loading myself with knowledge. After MIT I wandered in the desert until at GEI, thanks to the nurturing kindness of Gonzalo Castro and Steve Poulos, I turned into a lion. For the next ten years I fought with the great dragon: “‘Thou-shalt,’ is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, ‘I will’.” And then, in the course of this struggle, I became like a child in soil mechanics: “Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.”” - Dynamical Systems-Based Soil Mechanics, 2017.
Polly was a prolific researcher in the fields of soil mechanics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. She received a Masters in Applied Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell) in 2010, and in Fall 2013, obtained her Ph.D in Artificial Intelligence. More about Polly’s work can be found on her blog: https://soilmechanics.wordpress.com/. She worked in software as a systems architect. In her free time she enjoyed motorcycle racing, music, and walking her dog Rocky in the woods. She was also interested in World War II and abnormal psychology.
Polly’s friends and family are creating a website to celebrate Polly’s life at https://pollyjoseph.wordpress.com/. Please share your memories of Polly there.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made in the name of Polly Joseph to the American Civil Liberties Union in support of their fight against systematic injustice and inequality. Gifts can be made at https://action.aclu.org/give/make-gift-aclu-someones-memory. For mailing, please send to ACLU, Attn Memorial Gifts, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Envelopes will also be provided at the wake on Friday, June 29th from 3:00 to 6:00pm at Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue (Rte 111) Acton. Funeral Mass on Saturday, June 30th at 9:00am in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 89 Arlington Street, Acton. Burial is private.