Professor Emeritus Jerome (Jerry) Durlak, a mentor to many generations of York students in numerous programs, died on Friday, May 21, in Toronto.
For more than 50 years, Prof. Durlak worked on applied research and development projects internationally. He introduced innovations ranging from hybrid corn in Costa Rica to agricultural television programs in Guatemala and connected intelligence in education in Maderia to symmetrical broadband networks in Canada.
Right: Jerry Durlak
He also created and taught more than 20 courses at York University in the faculties of education and environmental studies, including courses in urban studies, communications studies and for the Graduate Program in Communications & Culture. Prof. Durlak was a faculty member in the Interactive Art & Entertainment Group in the Canadian Film Centre’s media lab and director of York’s Digital Media Lab.
From 1987 to 1990, he was the editor of Minds in Motion, a collaborative publication between York University and Apple Canada that explored leading edge software developments in Canada. Throughout his career, Prof. Durlak wrote extensively on interactive media, communication networks, new communication technologies, machine mediated learning, computer gaming and simulation, distance learning and urban design.
Prof. Durlak leaves his wife Reccia Mandelcorn and children Alex, Caitlin and Meagan Durlak and step-daughter Rachel Rosen.
A service of meditation and remembrance will take place tomorrow at 11am at The Simple Alternative, 275 Lesmill Road, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, Prof. Durlak’s family requests that memorial donations be made to One Laptop per Child.