DOUGLAS OSHEROFF (b. 1945)
Douglas Osheroff (with David Lee and Robert Richardson) was honored with the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the transition of helium-3 into a superfluid state.
In 1987, he left to become a professor of physics at Stanford University, where he continues to work on superfluid and solid helium-3. Besides supervising his graduate students, he also teaches undergraduate physics, and has won Stanford’s Gores Award for excellence in teaching.
ROBERT MERTON (b. 1944)
His Caltech master’s degree served him well, however, for he appreciated Caltech’s “creed of placing students from the outset in a research framework . . . instead of merely passively learning the material.” As a doctoral student at MIT he studied under well-known economist Paul Samuelson.
After earning his PhD in 1970, he taught finance for 18 years at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he met Myron Scholes. Merton moved to Harvard Business School in 1988, where he is currently John and Natty McArthur University Professor.
He is also a principal and co-founder of Long-Term Capital Management.
AHMED H. ZEWAIL (b.1946)
He is internationally known as a pioneer in the field of femtochemistry, in which investigators use ultrafast lasers to probe chemical reactions in real time. Because reactions can take place in a millionth of a billionth of a second, Zewail's state-of-the-art lasers have made it possible to observe and study this motion for the first time, allowing scientists to understand at a fundamental level how chemical bonds form and break.
Femtochemistry has had wide-ranging impact on chemistry and photobiology all over the world.
LELAND HARTWELL (b.1939)
He has discovered that limitation or overexpression of many essential cell-cycle components leads to errors in chromosome transmission.
VERNON LOMAX SMITH (b. 1927)
In the years that followed, he also taught at Stanford, Brown, and the University of Massachusetts. In the early 1970s he began a long-standing collaboration with Caltech experimental economist Charles Plott, and spent 1973-74 at the Institute as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar.
He stayed on in California through 1974-75 with a joint appointment at Caltech and USC. In 1975 he moved to the University of Arizona, where he remained for 26 years. Smith is currently professor of economics and law at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, a research scholar in the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a fellow of the Mercatus Center.
HUGH DAVID POLITZER (b. 1949)
ROBERT H. GRUBBS (b. 1942)
Grubbs's work on olefin metathesis in particular has produced powerful new catalysts that have enabled the custom synthesis of valuable molecules, among them pharmaceuticals and polymers with novel materials properties.
He came to Caltech in 1978 as a full professor, and was named the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry in 1990.
California Institute of Technology