From the Dean

Jeffrey Roberts


The College of Science had a tremendous end to its Spring 2013 semester when faculty members announced huge honors within a week of one another.

Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, earned the 2013 Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences for his renowned work in mass spectrometry and chemical instrumentation in the field of analytical chemistry.

Joe Francisco, William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. This honor for a scientist is the equivalent of a baseball player getting into the hall of fame.

Soon after, Physics Prof. Chris Greene received the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics for his theory of an unusual binding mechanism in ultra cold quantum gases and the existence of huge Rydberg molecules, electronically excited molecules that behave in unique ways and can exhibit exaggerated sizes.

The research accomplishments of Cooks, Francisco, Greene and hundreds of other College of Science faculty members are well-documented, well-honored. But they would not be where they are today without students.

Education of our students is top priority and thanks to technological advancements as well as creative ideas from faculty and staff, our students have many different and unique ways to learn. In this issue of Insights, we explore just some of the many educational opportunities students have in the College of Science.

We start off with the traditional classroom setting taught by Dr. Cooks, who still maintains undergraduate teaching along with his internationally famous research. Dr. Cooks has taught at Purdue since 1975, which equals to thousands of young scientists he has helped mold. Today, he teaches seniors in intimate classrooms and labs to help guide them on the next step in their science careers.

Online education is becoming increasingly prevalent today but many science classes must be experienced live and hands-on. Statistics instructor Ellen Gundlach, who has taught online courses since 2007, is on the forefront of hybrid classes that have online lectures but still meet in-class once a week for activities and discussions.

Then there are the numerous off-campus opportunities for students: a Maymester trip that took Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences students to Sweden and Italy and the study abroad, volunteerism and internship chances from the Learning Beyond the Classroom program.

The College of Science is proud of the accomplishments our students and faculty make –– whether they are in class or outside of it. Education is ever-evolving, and we must make sure our college offers the best learning environment available. Our world-acclaimed research will follow suit.

Jeffrey T. Roberts
Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science