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Hoffmann, Roald


HOFFMANN, ROALD (1937– ), chemist, Nobel Prize winner. Born in Zolochev, Poland, Hoffmann immigrated to the United States in 1949. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1958, he attended Harvard University, where he was awarded an M.A. in 1960 and a doctorate in chemical physics in 1962. He has been associated with Cornell University since 1965: associate professor 1965–1968, professor of chemistry from 1968, and Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters from 1996. He is the recipient of many awards, among them the American Chemical Society's Pure Chemistry Award for fundamental research in pure chemistry in 1969, the Arthur C. Cope Award for outstanding achievements in organic chemistry in 1973, and the Pauling Award in 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1981. His research focused on molecular orbital calculations of electronic structures of molecules and theoretical studies of transition states of organic and inorganic reactions. Hoffmann is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and numerous other societies. He also writes poetry (four published collections), plays, and essays (including Old Wine,New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition, with Shira Leibowitz–Schmidt).

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