Dr. Edwin D. Reilly, Jr., former Supervisor of the Town of Niskayuna, was born on April 27, 1932, in Troy, New York. He graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1946 of St. Paul's School, valedictorian of the class of 1950 of Catholic Central High School, and magna cum laude and distinguished Air Force ROTC graduate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, all in that City. He and his wife Jean, who met as high school freshmen, were married a week after the RPI graduation in 1954 and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2014. After a brief period at the R&D Center in Niskayuna while on the G.E. test program, he was called to active duty and spent the next two years in Washington with the National Security Agency where he held top secret cryptographic clearance.
Returning to the Capital District in 1956 as Captain Reilly, USAF Reserve, he worked for nine years at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, first as a mathematical analyst and then successively as manager of Reactor Physics Computations and manager of Digital Analysis and Computations. He joined the State University of New York at Albany in 1965 as founder and Director of its Computing Center and then in 1967 became the first chairman of its newly founded Computer Science department, one of the first five of the now several hundred in the United States.
When he announced his candidacy for Town Supervisor in early 1969, his friends told him that a Democrat would be elected in Niskayuna when a man landed on the moon and the Mets won a World Series. All three happened that year, Dr. Reilly becoming the first member of his Party elected to the Town Board in the 160 year history of the Town. He served five consecutive two-year terms in the 1970s, but did not run for re-election in 1979. He returned to office in 1989 by appointment and was then elected to four additional 2-year terms.
During Dr. Reilly's 18.5 year tenure as Supervisor (1970-1979 and 1989-1997), the longest in Niskayuna history, the town built the hike & bike path along the Mohawk River, tennis courts at Blatnick Park, an extension of Nott Street East which made possible a new entrance to Niskayuna High School, the new Town Hall on that street, River Road Park, a pavilion at Avon Crest Town Park, a memorial park at Balltown and Van Antwerp Roads, a new soccer commons off Zenner Road, and four new baseball fields on River Road. The 1990s also saw the construction of the Town's branch post office on Nott Street East and the new Elizabeth Harriman Bean branch library across from Town Hall on land donated to the County by the Town, a rebuilt Troy Road, and sidewalks on Balltown Road.
Dr. Reilly is emeritus professor of computer science at SUNYA, having retired in 1991 in order to devote full time to his duties as Supervisor. He holds the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics from RPI. He is co-author of six books on computing and co-editor of the Wiley (UK) Encyclopedia of Computer Science, now in its fourth edition. He was also a consultant to the Merriam Webster company with regard to preparation of a one-volume edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Locally, he is past president of Freedom Forum, Friends of the Schenectady County Library, and the Schenectady Torch Club and was one of the founding members of the Human Services Planning Council. He served as President of the Schenectady County Historical Society from April 2006 through April of 2012 and is currently a Trustee of that organization and also of the Schenectady County Public Library and the Edison Tech Center of Schenectady.. Professionally, he is a member of the American Physical Society, the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Sigma Xi scientific honor society, and the Mathematical Association of America. Beginning in January, 1998, he reassumed the position of President and CEO of Cybernetic Information Systems (CIS), an information processing company that he incorporated in 1980. CIS specializes in web page design, technical editing, and engineering and scientific computation. CIS created or updated Web pages for the Niskayuna Town government, the Schenectady County Historical Society, the Friends of the Library's Whitney Book Corner, the Schenectady Torch Club, and the Edison Tech Center.
and his wife Jean have lived at 870 Cunningham Court in Niskayuna since
1962. Their six married children are all graduates of St. Helen's
and Niskayuna High School. Collectively, they have provided their proud
parents with 14 grandchildren: Katie, Ben, Matt, Patrick, Ryan, Meghan,
Phoebe, Jack, Laura, Andy,
Henry, Zachary, Hannah, and Samantha.
Portrait, June 19, 1994
Back row: Michael, Daniel, David, Peter. Front row: Ellen Reilly Holtz, Jean, Ed, Diane Reilly Percy
While Town Supervisor, Dr. Reilly wrote 225 columns for the Niskayuna Journal. Those available on-line are listed below. Just click on the title to read the column.
Digital Computer Programming, (co-author) Holden-Day, Inc.
"Resonant Scattering from Inhomogeneous Nonspherical Targets," Journal of Computational Physics, 11,4,463-492 (April 1973) (article)
"Consciousness, Morality, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" (co-author) SUNYA Computer Science Department Lab Report, 1976
Baudot and other problems for you and your computer (co-author)
Computer Science (one of 11 nationally selected co-authors) AFIPS
(co-author), Houghton-Mifflin Co.,
Language Programming (co-author),
Computer Science, 3rd Edition (co-editor and author of
Computer Science, 4th Edition (co-editor and author of
articles) Macmillan (UK) /
write to him at 870 Cunningham Court, Niskayuna, NY 12309-6302.
Ed's favorite classical piece: