Tell us a little about yourself:
I am in my 50th year as a physics professor at Michigan State University. I officially retired a few years ago, but I am still teaching as a “Distinguished Professor Emeritus”. My specialty was nuclear physics, and I led a group that discovered many new isotopes, particular ones of interest to astrophysics. Towards the end of my career I became interested in teaching and was one of the creators of a teaching web site which is now used by 120 different educational institutions around the world. I have also produced two programs which have been seen nationwide on public TV and was the main editor of the “Encyclopedia of Physics”.
What one thing are you most proud of in your 76 years?
I have what my wife calls a “shrine” in my home office. It is a wall covered with the many awards I have received for research, teaching and outreach. Although nobody but me ever sees them, I guess I must be pretty proud of them to have put them up. I am also proud of being a cancer and stroke survivor. However the things I am really most proud of involve the successful mentoring of students, postdocs, and fellow professors. I am also proud to have been happily married for 42 years, and I am very proud of both of my daughters.
What one thing do you want to do before you reach 100?
I do not want to live to be 100, but I do want to have wrapped all the details of my life and to have achieved personal inner piece before I pass on.
What one thing have you seen in your lifetime that you feel has changed the world the most significantly?
Last weekend I went to my first same-sex wedding, Although I am not gay, I was tremendously affected by this. I thought of the plight of the gays when I was a young man and how well accepted they are now, an amazing positive change in 60 years.
What one piece of advice would you give your ten year old self?
My grandson is now 10. I wouldn’t dream of giving him advice, and he wouldn’t listen anyway, so why should even think of giving I advice to myself at age 10?