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Karl T. Hecht
Regents' Proceedings 341

Karl T. Hecht, professor of physics, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 1997.

Professor Hecht received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree in 1948, 1949, and 1955, respectively, all from the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty as an instructor in 1955. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1957, associate professor in 1961, and professor in 1965.

Early in his career, Professor Hecht worked on the study of infrared spectroscopy and molecular structure, achieving national recognition as one of a handful of theorists who had brought the theory of molecular structure to a nearly final, rigorous, and self-consistent form. He then turned his attention to nuclear physics and quickly achieved international recognition for the comprehensiveness of his understanding of nuclear physics and for the precision and elegance of his theoretical formulations. Professor Hecht is now among the leading nuclear theorists in the world and is widely considered the leader in the application of group theoretical methods to problems of nuclear structure. His work often stands as the final word on complex theoretical problems.

Professor Hecht has made many contributions to experimental work as well. While the experimental program in nuclear physics was developing at Michigan - with M. Wiedenbeck's charged particles- Professor Hecht's theoretical insight consistently played important roles in the success of these programs. He has been a member of every dissertation committee in experimental nuclear physics since the 1960s.

Widely considered one of the best teachers the physics department has ever had, Professor Hecht has mentored several younger scientists who have themselves become well known in nuclear physics. He has chaired 13 Ph.D. committees and supervised 11 postdoctoral physicists. In addition to having held a number of distinguished fellowships, Professor Hecht has served twice as Alexander von Humboldt senior fellow at the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg, and is a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He has published over 100 articles, edited nearly two-dozen conference proceedings, and has given scores of invited talks throughout the world. In 1991, the Karl T. Hecht Symposium was held in Ann Arbor, bringing together the leading nuclear physicists in his honor.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming Karl T. Hecht professor emeritus of physics.