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Memoir

Mathew Alpern
Regents' Proceedings 10

Mathew Alpern, professor of physiological optics in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology in the Medical School, and professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on June 30, 1991.

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Professor Alpern earned his O.D. degree in 1941 from Northern Illinois College of Optometry. After spending a brief period of time in private optometry practice, he joined the U.S. Army, serving from 1942-46. He received his B.M.E. degree from the University of Florida in 1944, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological optics from The Ohio State University in 1948 and 1950, respectively.

Having worked prodigiously for nearly 50 years in the field of visual science, Professor Alpern began his academic career in 1951 as an assistant professor of optometry at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1955 as an instructor in ophthalmology and research associate in the Vision Research Laboratory. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1956 and associate professor in 1958. He received additional appointments as associate professor of psychology in 1959 and associate professor of physiology in 1960. In 1963, he was promoted to his present positions as professor of physiological optics in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology and professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology. A gifted scientist and educator, Professor Alpern is one of the world's foremost experts on color vision. He has made significant contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of vision and his work has had, and will continue to have, a major impact on vision research.

Over the years, Professor Alpern has received numerous awards, including the Jonas Stein Friedenwald Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Edgar D. Tillyer Medal of the Optical Society of America, the Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award, the Charles F. Prentice Medal, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York, College of Optometry, Manhattan. In 1991, Professor Alpern was elected to the ational Academy of Sciences. He has just completed his retirement furlough at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar, educator, and researcher for his dedicated service by naming Mathew Alpern Professor Emeritus of Physiological Optics and Professor Emeritus of Psychology.