Prof Keller’s dry humor was always a fun treat at late night grading sessions. He seemed to have night-owl tendencies that astounded me. Prof Keller was an incredible teacher that I’m so grateful to have been taught by and worked with. I will never forget the incredible music he shared with us throughout my time at Mudd.
Stephen Jones '07
When I was a first year in college Prof. Bob Keller reached out to me to play bass in his jazz improv class—this was my introduction to playing jazz. I ended up taking that course again and again every year of college, which was pretty important since I graduated with barely enough credits to get my diploma.
He also gave me my first job writing software on his Impro-Visor project. I was in charge of teaching the computer to play bass and comp on piano when given a chord chart. He was a mentor musically and professionally. He was the kind of guy that just wanted to play music with as many people as he could, and you learned so much from him even though it never felt like he was teaching—he just wanted someone to jam with. Everyday I wish I had more people like that in my life.
I remember one time asking him what he thought of a bass solo I played. His response: “Well… it was a bass solo…” 😂😂😂
I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, students, and colleagues.
I first met Bob across a table in a Department Chairs Committee meeting, where he was a new CS chair and I was the new Freshman Division Director. The exchange was unremarkable at the time, but over the years our relationship grew through chance meetings at Condit School (4H for the Kellers and AYSO soccer for me) and increasingly frequent chats about jazz music in which my children shared a common interest. Bob was a quiet and dedicated advocate for computer science, his students, and his love of music. He was the type of individual who led by doing and not by talking. A gentle soul, Bob will be greatly missed by all of us at Harvey Mudd.