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Albert Gustav Richards
Regent's Proceedings 230

Albert Gustav Richards, B.S.E., M.S., Marcus L. Ward Professor of Dentistry, began retirement furlough from the Department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology at the School of Dentistry on January 1, 1981 after a career at the University that spanned more than 40 years.

A creative, inventive researcher and outstanding teacher, Professor Richards is known as one of the world's foremost authorities in the field of dental radiology. Among his many accomplishments are the invention of the recessed cone X-ray head (now standard equipment in dental offices), using electron microscopy to view the internal structure of teeth, and a liquid mold technique for showing the topography of surfaces that has had diverse applications in other fields, for example, in determining fingerprints of burn victims. Other products of his inventive mind are dynamic tomography, a radiographic procedure that allows physicians and dentists to examine living tissue layer by layer, and the Buccal Object Rule, a method for determining the relative location of objects hidden in the oral region. He holds seven patents on inventions.

Born in Chicago in 1917, Professor Richards earned the B.S. degree in chemical engineering at the U-M in 1940, after which he joined the staff at the School as instructor. Already an advanced amateur photographer, making his own color prints in the 1930's when they were a rarity, he focused his interests on X-ray photography and its application to dentistry, teaching himself dental radiology.

In 1943 he received the M.S. degree in physics from the U-M. By 1959 he was made professor and in 1974 was named the Marcus L. Ward Professor of Dentistry, the first distinguished professorship at the School. He has won many honors for his teaching and research, including the establishment by the School of the Albert G. Richards Award for Excellence in Radiography to be given annually to a student.

He is the author of more than 100 publications and an active member of many professional organizations. Professor Richards is also well known for his beautiful floral radiographs, which have been exhibited in art and photography shows across the country.

The Regents now salute this distinguished health educator for his dedicated service by naming him Professor Emeritus of Dentistry.