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1960-1984

In The Realm of Art and The Individual in the New World, philosopher John M. Anderson established himself as one of "the most original and distinguished of contemporary philosophers." His books have been called vivid, forceful, fresh and novel, ambitious, intricate, provocative, "a monumental task of great significance," and "a memorable image."

An expert on the politics of the Soviet Union, Vernon Aspaturian predicted in 1973 the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. upon the ending of Cold War hostilities. Recognizing that the Soviet Union and the United States were both multinational states, qualitatively different from European states, he noted that "the identity of each was to some degree a function of the other."

John Aston's Cryogenic Lab, one of the first labs in the country to make both liquid hydrogen and liquid helium, and the second to experiment in nuclear cooling, became the first to produce temperatures below 0.001 degrees K. In 1966, they reached one-millionth of a degree above absolute zero.

When he arrived at Penn State in 1965, Eugenio Battisti was known as the most aggiornato (informed, up-to-date) young art historian and critic in Italy. Seeing art in its social context, Battisti was an expert on the works of the Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca, whom he proved to have been an architect and city planner as well as a painter.

Gerard J. Brault, professor of French, released his two-volume analytical edition and translation of The Song of Roland, the 12th-century poem. The Penn State Press published the book to coincide with the 1200th anniversary of the battle of Roncesvaux, which inspired the poem. Brault's edition was the first to give a systematic analysis of the text, while reviewing all previous scholarship on the subject. His later work has focused on the medievel art of heraldry.

Penn State Heart
The Penn State Heart.

The Penn State Heart grew out of research begun by mechanical engineers John Brighton (now provost at Penn State), Winfred Phillips, and graduate student Gerson Rosenberg to test seam-free sacs as a means of reducing the danger of blood clotting in artificial hearts. In 1985, the first recipient of the Penn State Heart was sustained for 10 days at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. William Pierce, the director of the artificial heart program, is the second U.S. surgeon to be granted FDA permission to implant such a device.

L. Eric Cross , professor of electrical engineering and associate director of the Intercollege Materials Research Laboratory, led Penn State in research on ferroelectric and related materials critical to modern technologies, including high-speed computers, underwater acoustic detection and signal services, and acoustic-based medical scanners. Cross was a driving force in the development of the first industrially practical electrostrictive devices.

Peter R. Gould
Peter R. Gould, professor of geography in the late 1970's.

Peter R. Gould , professor of geography, furthered the use of mathematical and statistical techniques in geographical research through his work on "mental maps," the study of the sociospacial environment, and on international the flow of information through mass media in the late 1970's.

For more than 30 years, psychologist Herschel Leibowitz studied human error, its causes and how to mitigate it, especially as it is influenced by vision, since, as he said, "The greater part of our information comes to us through vision." His work has explained why teenagers like to speed and why astronauts get motion sickness, and he developed a laser system to measure a person's "dark focus," the point at which the eye focuses at night.

The flight of ragweed pollen and the drag on torpedoes were both projects investigated in John Lumley's laboratory, named in 1970 as "one of the world's most significant centers of turbulence research."

Cognition and Behavior Modification , written by Michael Mahoney , professor of psychology, studies the role of consciousness in behavior changes. Mahoney an internationally known researcher on behavior modification and self-control, reached scholars and non-academic audiences alike with an earlier book entitled Permanent Weight Control and other writings. He has also examined the psychology of sport and was appointed by the 1978 U.S. Olympic Committee to study psychological factors in American sports.

Experiments with computer-assisted instruction began at Penn State in the early 1960s. Psychologist Harold Mitzel and colleagues developed and tested computerized lessons for students in technical and vocational programs, such as tool-and-die making, surveying, electronics, and medical technology. Other researchers developed computer-assisted programs to help school teachers learn new techniques and curricula. At one point, the University operated three mobile facilities to provide in-service training to teachers in 5 states.

An expert on the physiology of the heart, Howard Morgan and his assistants at the Hershey Medical Center learned how the working heart uses sugar, the function of insulin in the heart cell, and the effect of the heart's mechanical performance on metabolism, including the link between protein metabolism and damage to the heart muscle during a heart attack, and how an injured heart grows.

An expert on disease resistance in plants, plant epidemics, genetics, and the evolution of plant pathogens, Richard Nelson's work contributed both to science and to agriculture. In 1980, he and David MacKenzie attempted to introduce certain wild-rice genes into a cultivated variety to breed in resistance to the rice blast fungus and make possible the growing of rice on dry land.

The Noll Physiological Research Center, established in 1963, was the nation's first academic research center dedicated to studying human tolerance to heat, cold, and other environmental stresses.

The discovery in the late 1970's that massive sulfide deposits--which are the source of much of the world's copper, silver, and other metals--form near the sea floor as a result of submarine volcanism, supports a theory by Hiroshi Ohmoto , professor of geochemistry. Ohmoto proposed the theory in 1977; it has encouraged exploration for economically important ores in deposits of rock up to 3 billion years old.

Biophysicist Ernest G. Pollard studied the effects of radiation on bacterial cells in the 1960s and early 70s. He discovered that a healthy cell's coping mechanism can turn into a threat: Prone to making mistakes, it can lead to the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer.

With the world's largest absorption tubes, spectroscoper David Rank in 1964 determined that Jupiter is clouded by a sea of hydrogen gas at least 160 miles thick, 10 times thicker than previously thought. He calculated the greatest possible number of hydrogen molecules between Earth and Sun. He posed a theory of how liquids form. He discovered that argon and krypton gases were not really "inert." And he determined the speed of light more precisely than ever before. His refinements to Raman and infrared spectroscopy greatly expanded the use of those techniques for identifying materials.

Rustum Roy
Rustum Roy, created one of the first interdisciplinary materials research laboratories in the early 1960s.

In the early 1960s, Penn State established the nation's first interdisciplinary curriculum in solid state technology and, under the direction of Rustum Roy, created one of the first interdisciplinary materials research laboratories, with strengths in ceramics and cements. The current Intercollege Materials Research Laboratory is an important component of the University's Materials Research Institute. Della Roy, Rustum's wife, has been responsible for developing and patenting several varieties of high-strength cements and ceramics.

William Sanders was one of the first archaeologists to apply ecological theory to New World cultures. In the Basin of Mexico in the 1960s and more recently at Copan, Honduras, he has studied ancient population patterns and land use.

More than 50 percent of the mushrooms raised in the U.S. and Canada come from cultures developed at Penn State. Many of them are fertilized by a delayed-release mushroom nutrient patented in the 1960s by plant pathologist Lee Schisler and former graduate student David Carroll Jr., and licensed to Spawn Mate, a California firm.

William R. Schmalsteig , professor of Slavic languages, has been referred to by his peers as "an extremely original thinker" and "the leading specialist in comparative and historical philosophy and linguistics of the Baltic branch of the Indo-European languages." From the early 1960's to the mid 1980's, he published 117 articles and reviews, and ten books, each evincing his "creative boldness," and "penetrating insight."

The widely adopted "R-Value" standard of heat resistance, used to measure the insulating properties of such materials as fiberglas and window glass, was developed by Everett Schuman, who in the 1960s headed Penn State's Building Research Institute.

Philip S. Skell, sometimes called "the father of carbene chemistry," is widely known for the "Skell Rule," which was first applied to carbenes, the "fleeting species" of carbon. The rule, which predicts the most probable pathway through which certain chemical compounds will be formed, found use throughout the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Research on hormonal therapy for patients with advanced breast cancer ws pioneered by Richard J. Santen , professor of medicine and chief of endocrinology at the Hershey Medical Center. His "medical adrenalectomy" is a chemical non-toxic alternative to surgery; it has proven to be as effective as the current corresponding surgical treatment, improving the quality of life in more than 50 percent of patients treated.

John A. Waldhausen , professor and chairman of the department of surgery at the Hershey Medical Center, created a new therapy for the treatment of congenital coarctation of the aorta in infants in the early 1980's. The therapy, which is both medical and surgical, reduced mortality from 60 percent to 3 percent, and recurrence of the disease from 30 to zero percent, and has been universally accepted.

Eugene White
Eugene White, Penn State in the 1970s.

According to a colleague, Philip L. Walker "transformed the state of knowledge of solid carbon and created a scientific base for the carbon industry." He determined the structures of different forms of carbon solids and characterized their surfaces. He was first to measure the chemical and electronic activity of the surfaces, proving that a carbon surface "is comprised of sites of varying reactivity."

In the early 1970s, Jon Weber and Eugene White discovered that some coral had the same porous, interconnected microstructure as human bone. They patented the process of machining a piece of coral to the desired shape, then impregnating it with wax and dissolving away the coral to yield a wax negative. The negative is then infused with ceramic material and fired, producing artificial bone. The process has since been modified to produce artificial lung and aorta tissue, as well as electronic devices.