The man who started it all

I recently received word that the man who is largely responsible for my success in the Wireless Networking industry passed away.  

You see, Dr. Jon Barber taught my Physics class at Mounds View High School in Arden Hills, Minnesota.  To say that Dr. Barber brought Physics to life is an understatement.  I remember one particular demonstration where he used a fire extinguisher to propel himself clear across the classroom and another where he collapsed a 55 gallon drum in the blink of an eye.

His passion for the material was contagious, which was a major factor in my decision to major in Physics in college.  While I received an excellent education at the university level, none of my professors were as knowledgeable, caring, and passionate as Dr. Barber. 

Upon graduation from college, I was commissioned into the United States Air Force.  Again, I was able to leverage my Physics background as I spent a good deal of time studying radar-based and infrared-based threats to aircraft.  When trying to work out radio frequency principles, I couldn't help but think of the large metallic "Slinky" that was suspended along the entire length of Dr. Barber's classroom, which he used to demonstrate properties of waves.    

The culmination of these experiences led me to where I am today - a career in wireless networking and security.  The love of Physics instilled in me by Dr. Barber has been instrumental in my capacity working for a Wi-Fi manufacturer, for a reseller/integrator, and as an IT auditor.   It is the cornerstone that I have built my entire professional life upon. 

Thanks for everything Dr. Barber.  You will be missed.  

Douglas J. Haider is a Wireless Consulting Engineer with Xirrus. He hosts a personal blog at, and micro-blogs on Twitter @wifijedi

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