The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

A Scholar Teacher

H. Richard Crane
The Michigan Alumnus 32

Chairman of one of the University's
 largest departments, in terms
 both of undergraduate and graduate 
enrollments. Internationally recog
nized research scientist. A popular 
teacher who devotes a considerable 
part of his time to improvement of
 the teaching of his chosen field of sci
ence to those not majoring in the sub
ject as well as to those who are.

Put those qualities together and you 
have H. R. Crane, professor of phys
ics and chairman of the department 
of physics at The University of Mich
igan, who was elected in April to the
 National Academy of Science. He was 
one of 42 new members chosen for this
 distinguished body, which was estab
lished by Congress in 1863 to further 
science in the United States and to
 advise the government on matters of
 science and technology.

Typical of Professor Crane is the
 "scholar-rater" he developed a few 
years ago as part of his continuing 
effort to improve teaching. This was a 
"push button" gadget which enabled
 students to give "yes or no" answers 
immediately to a professor's questions
—and to have all the answers immediately available to the class to indi
cate the trend of their understanding 
of the topic under discussion. Asked
 why he bothered, Professor Crane re
plied: "We run these courses for the
 students, not the faculty. If the students find that some scheme like this 
helps, we'll use it. If not, we'll throw 
it away and find something else to 

His election to the National Acad
emy of Science was based on his sci
entific achievements, beginning with 
his work at Michigan during World
 War II on the proximity fuse. Professor Crane has designed much of the
 particle accelerator equipment now 
in use in U-M physics research labo
ratories. He also designed most of that 
used in the radiocarbon dating labo
ratory, which determines the age of
 ancient objects through analysis of 
the amount of carbon-14 they con
tain. His most recent scientific
 achievement has been the accurate
 measurement of the gyro magnetic ratio, or "g factor," of the electron and
 the positron.

Professor Crane is the seventh
 member of the U-M faculty currently 
holding membership in the National
 Academy of Science. The others are
 David M. Dennison, also of the physics department; Robert C. Elderfield,
 chemistry; Thomas Francis, Jr., epi
demiology; Berwin P. Kaufmann, zo
ology; James V. Neel, human genet
ics; J. Lawrence Oncley, biological chemistry; and Raymond J. Wilder,

The University of Michigan faculty
 adheres to the ideal of the scholar-
teacher, who is equally devoted to re
search and to good teaching. Profes
sor Crane is an outstanding example
 of this combination.