Terence H. Murdock ’62,’66, Missile Tracking Mathematician

Terence served as a merchant seaman after World War II, as well as an aircraft and engine mechanic at Kimpo Air Force Base, Korea, until 1952. In 1966, Terence earned a master of science degree in applied mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology. As a graduate student, he developed and taught courses in linear algebra, matrices, and mathematics for managers.

From 1956 to 1970, Terence was a systems analyst in the Mathematical Services Department of RCA in Cape Canaveral, Florida. In this role he collected, processed, and analyzed ballistic missile tracking data to produce the best estimate of missiles’ inertial guidance trajectories for missile contractors. From 1971 to 1991, he also served as a manager in the network-provisioning department of Bell South Corporation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Not ready for retirement, Terence developed and taught undergraduate courses in developmental mathematics, finite mathematics, statistics, and algebra as an adjunct professor at Tampa-area colleges. At the age of 85, he wrote and published Topics in Arithmetic and Topics in Algebra to help students, parents, and teachers overcome difficulties of mathematics he identified through his experience as a teacher. Terence credits Florida Tech for providing the foundation necessary to maintain an active career and the ability to keep contributing in retirement.

Murdock was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.

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