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  Readers Write
     
   

Holy Cross Magazine welcomes letters regarding the magazine's content. Letters intended for publication must be signed and may be edited for style, length and clarity. Opinions expressed in the letters section do not necessarily reflect the views of the administration or the editorial staff.

To the Editor:
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 Cross.

Michael P. Pollastri '95
Niantic, Conn.

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 Chemical Society.
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.

Paul Davidovits
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry
Boston College

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 have eyebrows!

Joseph M. Flynn '51
Putnam, Conn.

 

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