Michael Hawley, whose talents soared as an MIT professor and a pianist, dies at 58

By Bryan Marquard

Michael Hawley was so good at so many things that job titles and even a lifetime of accolades could at times feel superfluous for someone whose real role was being Michael Hawley.

“I’m in the illumination business,” he told the Globe in 2002. “Exploring, understanding, inventing, and teaching. The pattern in my career has been using computer technologies to probe and understand really interesting things — what makes music tick, how plants grow, how your body works, how movies are made, what makes a great toy.”

Dr. Hawley was only 58 when he died in his East Cambridge home of colon cancer on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

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