Title and Description Page
Family and Early Education 1
Family background. Suffers severe illness in sixth grade. Develops interest in inventors and scientists. Becomes assistant to junior high school science teacher. Frequents high-voltage laboratory at Caltech. Admires teachers who challenge.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 6
Finds first semester easy despite working long hours. Second semester more difficult. Facilities rather primitive. School focuses on undergraduates. Builds bubbler and becomes excellent glass blower. Takes summer job with Professor Crowell; becomes research and teaching assistant as undergraduate. Begins work with Grignard reagents under Young and shares lab with McMillan.
Pennsylvania State University 15
Impressed by laboratory facilities. Work with Whitmore. Despite short stay, gains important knowledge and experience.
Return to UCLA 17
Ph.D. program newly established. Works on war project with Geissman. Returns to work with Grignard reagents. Friendship with Winstein. Interest in and work with dipole moments and small-ring compounds begins. Completes thesis. Offered teaching position. Synthesizes cyclopropanol.
Harvard University 23
Receives National Research Council Fellowship. Continues cyclopropane project. Friendship with Bartlett. Exciting atmosphere, chemists at Harvard. Explores areas not covered at UCLA. Teaches physical chemistry.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 25
Position at Berkeley. Conflict with Morton. Coryell and Young influence decision to take position at MIT. Poor facilities except for nuclear science, so begins work with carbon-14. Laboratories renovated/facilities improve. Admires Cope. Socializing with the Copes and Sheehans. Sheehan's synthesis of penicillin and patenting of intermediate. Enjoys working with Swain. Teaches physical organic, elementary organic courses. Graduate students and work with seniors on theses. Works with Mazur on small-ring compounds. Discovers rapid rearrangement in Bartlett-Condon-Schneider experiment. First exposure to molecular orbital theory. Interacts periodically with Winstein. Much work with norbornene compounds. Benzyne research creates controversy. Receives ACS Award in Pure Chemistry. Consults for DuPont and Oak Ridge. Receives Priestley Medal. Disappointed by administrative problems, especially with library. Tempted by Columbia offer because of high esteem for Hammett.
California Institute of Technology 58
Arrives on Guggenheim Fellowship. Impressed by facilities. Asserts independence from Cope. Feels guilty about leaving MIT but loves the different atmosphere at Caltech.