MOMOFUKU ANDO, 96 Inventor of instant noodles
Momofuku Ando, the Japanese inventor of instant noodles - a dish that has sustained American college students for decades - died of a heart attack Friday.
Born in Taiwan, he founded Nissin Food Products Co. in 1948 from a humble family operation. Faced with food shortages in post-World War II Japan, he thought a quality, convenient noodle product would help feed the masses. In 1958, his Chicken Ramen - the first instant noodle - was introduced after many trials. After its success, the company added other products, such as the Cup Noodle in 1971.
The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum opened in 1999 in Ikeda City in western Japan, commemorating his inventions. Mr. Ando gave a speech at the company's New Year ceremony and had Chicken Ramen for lunch with Nissin employees on Thursday before falling ill, Japan's largest daily, Yomiuri, reported.
MARTIN D. KRUSKAL, 81 Mathematician
Martin David Kruskal, a mathematician whose work on the properties of an unusual type of wave helped pave the way for fiber optic technology, died Dec. 26 in Princeton, N.J., after a series of strokes.
He spent 38 years on the faculty of Princeton University before moving to Rutgers University in 1989. His best-known advance came in the 1960s when he was able to explain mathematically a phenomenon first recorded in 1834 when Scottish scientist John Scott Russell noticed a bump of water traveling through a canal near Edinburgh. On his horse, Russell followed the bump for about two miles.
Usually, waves that collide deform each other. But this other kind, which Dr. Kruskal and collaborator Norman Zabusky came to call "solitans," do not; instead, they pass through one another. Light transmitted over fiber optic cables for communication purposes has the same properties.