In Memory

Chris Payne

Former Collegiate Professor and Academic Director of Mathematics for UMGC Europe, Christopher W. (Chris) Payne, Ph.D., born May 5, 1942, passed away on September 25, 2021, in Lipa City, in the Philippine province of Batangas. Chris, who had contracted Covid, is survived by his wife Loydz, his daughter Alexandra and two granddaughters.

Chris brought to the Maryland program extensive academic preparation in both mathematics and computers. This included his B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the University of London, an M.Sc. in continuum mechanics/applied mathematics from the University of Newcastle and a Ph.D. in engineering and computing from the University of Liverpool.

His life was one of travel, quiet accomplishment and good friends. A popular colleague and teacher, Chris began his two decades with Maryland in 1986 as an adjunct faculty member in the United Kingdom, while also teaching at Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Wolverhampton. In 1994 he became a Collegiate Professor and transferred to the Maryland headquarters in Heidelberg to teach in the Master of Information Systems graduate program. He was promoted to Director of Mathematics in 2004.

After leaving the University of Maryland in 2006, Chris continued to live in Europe and pursue a life in higher education. He taught information technology for the Girne American University in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, Turkey as well as at the American University of Bulgaria. Between assignments, he and his wife alternated living between a chateau in Guingamp, France and a cottage in Lincoln, England.

Chris and Loydz moved to Lipa City, Batangas Philippines in 2012 where he spent another six years as an adjunct faculty member in the Institute of Technology and Humanities of Faith University, Tanauan City, Batangas. It was there that he started writing books about his experiences. To publish his books as well as those of many friends, Chris founded Lipa Publishing, which today is a leading self-publishing company with an international clientele. Several of Chris’s books are still available for ordering online

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

01/26/24 08:19 AM #1    

Valerie Mock

I am so very sorry to hear of his passing. His contributions to the MIS program, especially in the UK, were invaluable. I also appreciated his friendship, advice,and humor. He gave me the impression that he grew up in a rough and tumble world but because of his mathematical prowess and intelligence was able to rise above it and accomplish those things described in this announcement. Any time I spent with Chris was most pleasurable and enlightning. Rest well, friend.


01/27/24 12:35 PM #2    

Carol Dolan

I second Valerie's comments -- truly a bright and humorous man, always a delight to meet in the hallowed halls of heidleberg headquarters. And what a life he lived!!  Condolences to his family and friends around the world, may his memory be a blessing, and bring a smile.

01/31/24 10:01 AM #3    

Patrick Dua

Except for running into Chris by accident a few times at the Heidelberg Office, I didn’t know Chris much during his time in the European Division.

However, way back in the course of the second half of the 1990s, my dear friend and area director Jane McHan - whom I knew to be very interested in the study of native cultures, thought it necessary to plead with me to share whatever African folkloric stories I knew with her. I had told Jane at some point previously that my grandmother’s favorite pastime was narrating tales to me as a way of sending me off to sleep while I was a child. To prevent me from having to hide constantly from Jane’s ‘obsessive’ requests dealing with this issue whenever we met, I settled down during one term break with a view to satisfy Jane’s appetite for stories. I managed to recall from memory and compose a total of seven tales. Not only that.  Also, on account of Jane’s suggestion, I toyed with the idea of publishing my tales as far back as the late 1990s. But that objective failed to materialize when I realized that publishers were asking upfront for the partial payment of publication costs from authors. Those costs sometimes amounted to several thousands – no exaggeration intended on my part!

So, here is the juncture where Chris Payne entered the scene as my publisher, also through the mediation of Jane. This occurred sometime in the summer of 2019.

Jane’s contact with Chris in the Philippines proved to be a very fast and propitious arrangement on behalf of my project. Not long after I passed on my manuscript to Chris and was fully docked in with him through email exchanges, he revealed himself to me as a seasoned, new-age version of tinker, tailor, soldier, spy in yonder territory; a Jack of all trade, and – above all, master of all. Particularly amazed was I, when I read his proposals defining his work process, expectations, costs, and my obligations as the author regarding the publication of my book by LIPA, Chris’s own publishing company. At first I thought: is Chris serious? The initial impression I gained was that either Jane and himself had ‘connived’ to have Chris publish my material almost free of charge, or that Chris had deliberately developed his low-cost company model to function merely as a hobby or a Salvation Army outlet...

In any case, the outcome of my few weeks of collaboration with Chris was an impressive book in terms of cover design, layout, and of course content, which we all admired in the end.

Throughout our exchanges, Chris, in spite of his advancing age, appeared to me to be doing very well health-wise. Sure, he complained occasionally about his fading eyesight, to which I reacted by using bold and large typeface in my emails to facilitate his reading capacity. He was also very outspoken regarding his sentiments on politics, global events as well as against members of the political class he deemed to be villains. As the ravages of the corona virus and other rather mundane scandals of society crowded the global headlines, he received the news of Brexit in particular with outrage, and wrote a lengthy response at the beginning of 2020 addressing that episode. His viewpoints here were directed to the far-flung circles on his address list including myself.

Based probably on his expertise in data processing and information management, Chris staunchly believed that technological invention and its social consequences have outstripped our powers of prediction. That email he wrote marked the last time I heard from Chris. It carried the title “How Big Data Swung The Election For Trump and Helped the British Exit Vote”. This was his own response to an article sent to him earlier by another UMUC ED colleague.

 (I have chosen to post an abridged excerpt of that mail below for your reading pleasure).


[[….A happy new year! Many thanks for sending me the link to Cambridge Analytics. I enjoyed reading it.

With more data, then political predictions are more focused and specific but, overall, some of the examples described are things which we have known for a while…………… I wonder if the system described is just a more precise way of getting better predictions.

In the UK, one could have guessed that Farage and UKIP would do well in the Brexit vote. Older, uneducated people are more likely to be racist. But it is those same people who have suffered most from job losses because of automation of their jobs. Farage had only to show a picture of a crowd of obvious immigrants to win the thousands of votes. Much of the referendum advertising was pure lies but the psycho-spin doctors who work for the politicos know well that a person's beliefs have little to do with rationality - people will believe what they have been told to believe……………

What I looked for in the article and it didn't answer my questions was why people's personal attitudes have changed so much in the last decade? It seems to me that people have become harder and nastier these last few years. I have been following the Brexit blogs. The language used there is often violent and abusive. Immigrants in the UK, especially Poles, all report that they have been attacked, mostly verbally but sometimes physically, in public. Is this bitterness, which now exists in all modern electorate, because people are somehow being subliminally manipulated by the likes of Cambridge Analytics and Facebook? Or is it a natural consequence of frustration caused by the freedom of big business to use those same algorithmic techniques to force down wages, foreclose on houses, privatize health care and increase inequalities generally etc. at a time when world GDP has increased by 20% in the last 20 years?

Actually I voted to Remain in the EU referendum. But the people were pissed off by the Cameron government and they had subconsciously all decided that someone needed a good kicking. Cameron was out by next morning. Same with Hillary - she gets half a million for making a speech; her friends are all billionaires and yet she pretends to be a champion of the dispossessed. If we are going to be ruled by a corrupt, wealthy war-mongering plutocrat, the US voters may have decided, why not go for the real thing?

We live in interesting times and I am sure the new right-wing world order - UKIP, Trump, Duterte, Le Pen, AfD and the rest will eventually come unstuck. We may be living through the birth pangs of a whole new phase of human history. The worry is what the new baby will look like.  

I am hoping that the sans-culottes have now got all their bitternesses and resentments out of their systems and they will come around to realizing that the Brexit result was turkeys voting for Thanksgiving. Dream on, I hear you say?

Good article if a little disjointed. Maybe that was the translation. I don't have enough German to read the original.

Very best wishes. Stay in touch.



When I heard on January 6 of this year from Jane that several emails addressed to Chris were bouncing back, I became curious and worried at the same time. But my initial observation conveyed to Jane assumed that Chris’s eyesight might have deteriorated to such a degree that he might no longer be engaged in reading and writing as before. This, indeed, was based on the fact that he had not responded to a few queries of mine since his email input quoted above. Unfortunately my assumption, to say the least, was overly optimistic. The pandemic, we are now well aware alas - did wreak a heavy toll on too many of the best of this world. And Chris fell, sadly, as another casualty.

May the kind and gentle soul of Chris Payne rest in peace!


PS. -- on a different matter:

Has anybody reading this been in contact with Jiri Brezina lately? Jiri is someone I used to visit quite often, whenever I was on my way in his vicinity of Waldhilsbach near Heidelberg. But some years ago he moved permanently back to his native Prague and continued to send me mails every now and then. The last time I saw Jiri was during our Heidelberg get-together of October 2019. In the interim, our exchanges have ceased, since he has not corresponded with me anymore for more than three years..

go to top 
  Post Comment