In this tribute, Professor Scott Mohr remembers his colleague and friend, Norman Lichtin
Norman N. Lichtin, longtime member of the faculty of Boston University’s Department of Chemistry and its fifth chairman, passed away on April 30, 2012, aged 89. Norman played a major role in building the department and had a distinguished research career spanning 51 years that resulted in more than 80 publications in top-tier journals. He mentored 27 PhD graduates, 15 master’s students, and 28 post-doctoral research associates. His teaching spanned the range from undergraduate courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry, and a seminar on “Man and Energy,” to graduate courses in advanced organic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, photo- and radiation chemistry and chemical kinetics. More
Election as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. In this inaugural year, 162 members were elevated to this rank because of their contributions to the chemical enterprise coupled with distinctive service to the society or to the broader world of chemistry. The fellows will be recognized at a ceremony Aug. 17, during the society’s fall national meeting in Washington, D.C.
This fellowship is another milestone marking the distinguished career of Professor Hoffman, who retired in 2005. As Professor Emeritus and recipient of Boston University’s highest teaching honor, the Metcalf Cup (1994), his retirement marked the beginning of a new phase of activity dedicated to improvements in chemistry education. Other recent awards recognizing his contributions include the Visiting Scientist Award, Western Connecticut Section, ACS, 2007; Volunteer Service Award, ACS, 2007; and the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry, Northeastern Section, ACS, 2005. Professor Hoffman was also U.S. National Representative on the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education from 2004-2006.
Professor Emeritus Lowell Coulter, passed away on May 2 at the age of 95. Dr. Coulter, a physical chemist by training (PhD, University of California, Berkeley), was Professor of Chemistry at Boston University for over 35 years (1942 and 1977). In an energy related topic that resonates today as much as it did when he worked on it over fifty years ago, his research focused on the thermodynamic properties of clathrates (inclusion compounds). He explored the variation of their heat capacities from cryogenic to ambient temperatures, building impressive calorimetric equipment with which to do comprehensive and accurate measurements to derive detailed thermodynamic properties. Professor Coulter’s research qualified him for election in 1963 as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific talent also connected him to a momentous historical event: early in his career he was a group leader on the Manhattan Project.
Prof. Coulter was a dedicated teacher and devoted member of the Boston University community, which he served in many ways, most notably as Chair of Chemistry between 1961 and 1973. During his tenure as Chair, he recruited 21 teaching and research faculty. Of those still here or recently retired (in order of recruitment) are: Al Prock, Mort Hoffman, Rich Laursen, Stan Hartman, Scott Mohr, Bob Umans, Richard Clarke, Warren Giering, Gil Jones, Dan Dill, and Georgia Weinstein. The legacy of talent he left our department is truly impressive, and one for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.
For the Boston Globe article that reviewed the contributions and career of Professor Coulter, please click here.
For the BU Today article about Professor Coulter, please click here.
Hoffman, a graduate in the class of June 1955 as a chemistry major, will receive the award on May 6. The Hall of Fame recognizes Hunter graduates who have made significant achievements and contributions to society.
A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science (Jan. 1952) before attending Hunter College, Professor Hoffman received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Michigan, spent a postdoctoral year at Sheffield University, England, and joined the faculty at Boston University in 1961. He is the author of almost 200 papers in the chemical literature with his undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, and visiting scholars in the area of the photochemistry and photophysics of transition metal coordination compounds. Professor Hoffman was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1992. He received the 1994 Metcalf Cup and Prize for excellence in teaching from Boston University, the 1999 Henry A. Hill Award for outstanding service to the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society, the 2002 Responsible Care® Catalyst Award from the American Chemistry Council, the 2003 John A. Timm Award for encouraging young people to study chemistry from the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers, and the 2005 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Teaching from the Northeastern Section. He was chair of the Northeastern Section in 2002 and of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society in 2005. He currently serves as a Councilor for the Northeastern Section, a member of the American Chemical Society Committee on Education, a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Region of the American Chemical Society, Inc., and the U.S. National Representative to the Committee on Chemistry Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. He is also a past-president and a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston University Hillel Foundation.
Professor Emeritus Morton Z. Hoffman receives 2005 James Flack Norris Award from the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society
The Chemistry Department is pleased to congratulate Professor Emeritus Morton Z. Hoffman on his receipt of the 2005 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry from the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society.
The Award, the first national award for outstanding achievement in the teaching of chemistry, was established in 1950 by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society to honor the memory of James Flack Norris, Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a teacher of great repute.
Professor Morton Hoffman Elected Chair of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society
Professor Morton Hoffman has been elected Chair of the Division of Chemical Education (CHED) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for 2005; he will serve as Chair Elect in 2004. The 6,000-member CHED is one of the largest and most active ACS divisions and includes chemistry educators from all levels, as well as individuals from industry and government who have a particular interest in chemical education. Prof. Hoffman has been an active member of CHED for nearly four decades and sees his position as an opportunity to advance an organization that has been important to his career as a chemical educator through greater outreach to high school teachers and improved web presence