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Eighth dean of the PSD and innovative chemist who received the National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize 

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Physical chemist Stuart Rice was born January 6, 1932, in New York City. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. 


Rice joined the University of Chicago in 1957 and served as Dean of the Physical Sciences Division from 1981-1995. He has mentored more than 100 doctoral students. Noted for his creativity and innovation, Rice has made theoretical and experimental contributions to a wide range of areas of physical chemistry: transport in liquids, excited electronic states of molecular crystals, influence of dynamical chaos on chemical reactions, selective collision induced energy transfer and radiationless transitions in molecules, structure of the liquid metal-vapor interface, structure and dynamics of Langmuir monolayers and of confined colloid suspensions, and optical control of quantum dynamics.


In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science in recognition of the crucial role he played in the development of modern physical chemistry and the inspiration he has provided to a new generation of scientists. He also shared the 2011 Wolf Prize for his contributions to chemical sciences, specifically his groundbreaking work in developing active optical control of quantum dynamics and chemical reactions.  

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Photo Source: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf7-00544], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

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