Henry Russell Richardson III

July 24, 1938 - December 25, 2022
Henry Russell Richardson III

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Henry Russell Richardson III passed away peacefully at home, with his family in Williamsburg, VA on December 25, 2022. He was the son of Henry R. Richardson Jr., D.D.S., and Dorothy Dalton. He was born on July 24, 1938. Tony, as he was known, grew up with an older sister, Betty Richardson Dunlap (James Dunlap) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a younger brother, Douglas Wood Richardson (Lianne Cook) of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The family lived in West View, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Tony graduated from West View High School in 1956. In 1960, he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Honors included the Culver Award in Mathematics, election to Phi Beta Kappa, and being the recipient of a National Defense Fellowship to Brown University. At Brown, Tony earned a master’s degree in mathematics in 1962 and was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1965. While attending graduate school, his summers were spent working at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
In 1964, Tony joined the mathematical consulting firm, Daniel H. Wagner, Associates, in Paoli Pennsylvania, and began a distinguished career using mathematics to plan and conduct searches at sea for the United States Navy and Coast Guard. He was a leader in the formulation of fundamental concepts in search theory; as well as in the development of practical means for their implementation.
Tony pioneered the use of Bayesian analysis in search problems for the United States Navy. He was the civilian on-scene analyst during the successful 1996 Mediterranean H-bomb search off the coast of Palomares, Spain. The H-Bomb went missing after an Air Force bomber collided with a refueling tanker aircraft. He developed the concept of Search Effectiveness Probability (SEP) and calculated results in real-time to support Commander Task Force-65.
During the 1968 search in the Atlantic Ocean for the sunken US nuclear submarine, USS SCORPION (SSN 589), Tony led a stateside and on-scene search team in developing probability maps of search areas which helped to locate the missing submarine on the ocean bottom at a depth of 11,000 feet. In this search, he pioneered the use of Monte Carlo simulations to produce probability maps for lost objects.
Starting in 1969, Tony led the project to develop a Computer Assisted Search planning (CASP) system for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). For CASP, Tony extended the simulation techniques he developed for the SCORPION search to be used in planning searches for moving objects, specifically boats and people missing at sea. CASP became operational in 1975 at all USCG Rescue Coordination Centers. It remained in use until 2007 when replaced by its successor program, SAROPS, which takes advantage of modern computer processing and displays along with access to real-time weather data.
Tony extended the CASP technology, in 1972, to incorporate a Monte Carlo based system for detecting and tracking submarines in the Atlantic. This is the first known application of a now common and powerful method called particle filtering. Because of the classified nature of the work, it was never published.
In 1974, Tony directed the on-scene operations analysis effort for the clearance of unexploded ordnance in the Suez Canal following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
While on assignment to the United States Nacy at Commander Submarine Groupe Eight and Commander Task Force-69 in Naples, Italy, Tony developed a computer-assisted system (MEDSEARCH) for use in real-time anti-submarine warfare operations in the Mediterranean.
After twenty years at Wagner, Associates, Tony joined the Center for Naval Analyses in 1985 as Senior Scientist and later as Vice President and Director Naval Warfare Operations Division. In 1987, Tony accepted a position at the United States Naval Academy as Chair of Operation Analysis where he supervised the research of midshipmen.
In 1988, Tony joined former colleagues from Wagner, Associates at Metron, Inc. Reston, Virginia as President and head of the Advanced Mathematics division, a role very similar to the one he had for many years at Wagner, Associates. As well as running this division, he developed physical and mathematical models for laser detection of mines in shallow water.
Later, a manual was written for use in Operation Desert Storm (1991).
Tony was also interested in mathematical finance and published several technical papers in that area. He convinced Metron to conduct research in technical trading and to eventually develop a commodities futures trading system, Metron Trading System. This system formed the basis of the commodities futures fund run by Metron Management Systems, a subsidiary created in 1997 and managed by Tony. This fund provided excellent returns for investors and was eventually sold in April 2008 to a large hedge fund, Ramsey Quantitative Systems. In 1998, Tony retired from Metron.
Tony’s contributions to Metron were as numerous and varied as his many technical interests. He was a mentor and role model for many analysts at Metron as he had been at Wagner, Associates. He had an impressive ability to understand a client’s problem and translate it into a mathematical model that could provide effective solutions. His intuition allowed him to formulate models that were simple enough to be solved but detailed enough to provide useful solutions. His ability to gain the confidence of clients and understand their problems meant that his solutions were implemented, useful, and often critical to the client’s success.
Tony found joy and happiness in all facets of life. He loved his chosen field of mathematics, but also found great satisfaction in sailing, travel, the study of languages, and music. The trumpet was his instrument of choice. The role that best defines him was fatherhood and his love and devotion to his family.
He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years- Judith Noone Richardson. They met in junior high school and shared a wonderful life together. They had a son, John E. Richardson (Rebecca Browning) of Blue Hill, Maine, and a daughter, Julie Richardson Agnew (James Agnew) of Williamsburg, Virginia. Also, surviving are five grandchildren and his brother and sister.

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