|Alexander Michael Harner|
Alex Harner died on October 16, 2019 at his home in Morgantown. He was 46. He is survived by his: wife, Audrey, and son, Lloyd; father, Jim, and step-mother, Molly; mother, Ann; bother, Soren Sylvia and their children, Sophia and Anna; sister, Reneka Sakashita Dai; aunt, Barbara Suhay Jim and their children, Liz Suhay Rich, and Amy Saranecki Brad; cousins, Sherry Tuegel and Cynthia Fraula-Hahn.
Alex was born in Morgantown, WV on Dec. 16, 1972 and moved in 1983 to Orange, Texas where he graduated from high school as a scholar and a participant in team swimming. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1995 in physics with a concentration in mathematics. He was one of only a few physics students to get a scholarship each summer to study geophysics with a particular focus on developing models of glacier evolution melting for ice sheets in Antartica. This project led to his life-long concern for the consequences of climate change. Alex received a PhD in 2004 in cognitive science at Boston University. He developed computer-based, neural-network models of the human vision system in his dissertation. During his postdoctorate in Japan near Kyoto, he developed computer-brain interface models for Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute. His recent work with his bother's start-up in Silicon Valley returned to computer vision in the development of deep-learning models for object detection . His untimely death cut short his potential contributions to artificial intelligence by his very creative mind.
Alex enjoyed photography, particularly while hiking in Coopers Rock and Chestnut Ridge with his son and father. It is there that his ashes will be released. A memorial service will be held at the Dering-Henson Funeral Home on 156 Foundry St.adjacent to Sheetz in Morgantown at 1 PM on Saturday, Oct. 26. Visitation will begin at 11:30 AM at Dering-Hensen, which will include light refreshments. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Serenity Place through the WVU Foundation account connected to the WVU Collegiate Recovery Program for student scholarships in honor of Steve Hall, the brother of Cathy Yura, the founder and Director of Serenity Place and the healer of untold numbers of WVU students over many years.