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I applaud your excellent article about the chemistry department at Holy Cross.
As a chemistry major who subsequently went to graduate school, I am acutely aware
of the advantage that being
taught by "Discovery Chemistry" has given me, both from the formal instruction
in lectures and labs and as a researcher under the direction of Professor Tim
Curran. The ways in which I approached chemical problems in graduate school,
and how I do so now in an industrial research lab are a sharp reflection of the
ways I was taught to learn in the halls of Haberlin.
The lab sessions in Discovery Chemistry are not merely
an experience in mindless data collection, but introduce
a thought process that helps students understand how scientists
think. In addition, the learning process is organized to
provide a team environment, much like that which an industrial
chemist will encounter in most companies.
The hands-on experience with sophisticated equipment, such as the NMR you discussed
in the article or the Atomic Force Microscope that Professor Campbell was showcasing,
is something that is generally not experienced until a student undertakes graduate
work or enters the work force. An amazing part of the Discovery program is
that this equipment is tied completely into the laboratory learning environment
for a real-world experience as a scientist.
All in all, the Discovery curriculum, along with the individual
attention from the faculty, has truly helped me develop into
the researcher that I am today. It is, by far, one of the
most formative experiences I brought from my time at The
Michael P. Pollastri '95
To the Editor:
The latest issue of your impressively redesigned alumni magazine
had a most interesting cover story featuring the Holy Cross
chemistry department. Two chemistry alumni were singled
out for having "achieved national prominence in the field
and are noted for their creativity . . . T. Ross Kelly '64,
a professor at Boston University, has been widely recognized
for his work as an organic chemist."
Professor Kelly is one of the leaders in organic chemistry
and has most recently made break-through progress in the
synthesis of molecular devices. For his accomplishments he
received the 1996 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the America
Now to the central point; Professor Kelly is actually on the faculty at Boston
College, not Boston University. We have enough trouble handling BU in the Beanpot.
Please don't give away our faculty's home ice.
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry
To the Editor:
Too bad you couldn't identify the back cover (photo) of the January/February
edition of the Holy Cross Magazine as you did the front cover. The equipment
is from my era (1951). I recall that in my freshman year we were generating
hydrogen and someone down the bench from me decided to check for leaks with
a Bunsen burner and found one!
I suppose that happens in all freshmen labs. The students in the back cover
photo are probably in the inorganic lab and are sophomores. They can't be freshmen - they
Joseph M. Flynn '51