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A True Inspiration

Professor John Choma, In Memoriam

August 22, 2014 —

The USC Viterbi community mourns the loss of John Choma, professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering. He passed away the morning of August 10, 2014.

John Choma
Professor John Choma

Choma earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1963, 1965, and 1969, respectively. An internationally recognized expert in circuit analysis and design, Choma authored nearly 200 publications and was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He authored the 1985 Wiley-Interscience text on electrical network theory, and was the co-author of a 2007 World Scientific Press text on feedback networks, as well as a forthcoming Cambridge University Press undergraduate level text on integrated circuit analysis and design. He contributed several chapters to five edited electronic circuit texts, and was an area editor of the IEEE/CRC Press Handbook of Circuits and Filters.

Choma joined the USC faculty in 1980 and was promoted to Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1991. He was well known for his outstanding teaching. He received the school’s teaching award in 1984. He was also recognized by other organizations on campus with the Tau Beta Pi teaching award in 1983, the Mortar Board teaching award in 1984, and the Eta Kappa Nu teaching award in 1987. He was a teaching fellow at the USC Center of Excellence in Teaching in 1991 and was named Outstanding Professor in 1998 and 1999 by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

“John Choma loved teaching. Not only did he have natural talent in teaching, but he also spent so much time and effort to prepare lectures, make homework solutions that often included alternative solutions, and answer students’ questions,” said Eun Sok Kim, co-chair of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering. “He came to school before 6 a.m. and stayed until 7 p.m. four days a week.”

“Words cannot describe what Professor Choma has done for me,” said Choma’s Ph.D student Viviane Ghaderi. “He inspired me because he believed in me. He had the ability to bring out the intrinsic talents of students by raising their interest in the subject matter and also their self-esteem, which I have learned is critical in challenging fields such as electrical engineering and circuit design.”

For the many students and colleagues who had the pleasure of working with him, Choma was a positive force who brought out the best in those around him. He took immense pride in his students and helped them to achieve their educational aspirations. “His main goal in life was to see us learn and grow within our professional and personal lives,” said Ghaderi. And he will always be remembered for it.

Choma's funeral mass will be held on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church
1700 E. Covina Blvd.
Covina, CA 91724
(626) 915-7873

The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics for a scholarship fund to be set up in Professor Choma’s name. For any questions about making a contribution, please contact Jane Ong, associate director of annual giving, at jane.ong@usc.edu or (213) 821-2921.