Benjamin Llewellyn Ball died in Troy, N.Y., on Aug. 11, 2014. Ben was born in Wilmington, Del., on June 6, 1990 to Cynthia Lanners and Dr. J. Eugene Ball, and lived most of his life in Woodinville, Wash. He was 24 years old.
Although his time on earth was cut far too short, Ben had an incredible impact and an impressive number of accomplishments. Ben attended Woodinville Montessori School, and graduated from The Overlake School in 2008 and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2012, with degrees in physics and computer science. During his time as an undergraduate, he won multiple computer programming contests and spent a co-op semester at Amazon.
Ben returned to RPI in the fall of 2012, and was on track to complete a Ph.D. in computer science under Dr. Mark Shephard. His research focused on improving the simulation of plasma behavior in tokamak nuclear fusion reactors.
We will never understand why Ben, who loved life, chose to take his own life last Monday. Ben will be fondly remembered as a focused student, an avid gamer, and above all, a conscientious, astute and sensitive young man with deep insights and a unique sense of humor.
In addition to his parents, Ben is survived by his older siblings, Dr. K. Aurelia “Lia” and Erick Ball, his closest friends Charlie Evans and Ryan Breseman and a multitude of family, friends and co-workers.
A memorial was held Sunday, Aug. 17 at Woodinville Montessori School, Bothell campus.
Memorial donations may be made to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Gifts may be made at securelb.imodules.com/s/1225/index.aspx?sid=1225&gid=1&pgid=1947&cid=4524. Select “Make my gift in honor/memory of someone special” and enter Benjamin’s name.
Gifts may also be sent to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Gifts Processing Center, P.O. Box 3164, Boston, MA 02241-3164.