Having good mentors during the graduate student years and in the early-career professional experience provides a major stimulus to a productive life as a scholar and teacher. Our international university doctoral and postdoctoral programs are at their best when they fully integrate research, educational, and teaching opportunities so that intellectual development and scholarship go hand-in-hand with clear insight, exposition, and formal teaching.
In my own case I was blessed with three major mentors. The first was Prof. Henry Lipson, Chairman of the Physics Department in the Faculty of Technology of the University of Manchester [UMIST - University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, as it is now called]. I had been an undergraduate in Lipson’s department, graduating in 1955. Before I entered this program I had served for two years in the British Army in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, where I had the opportunity to learn as a technician about radar systems and predictors (i.e., early single-function electronic computers).
Immediately upon graduation with my bachelor’s degree, I entered the doctoral program at UMIST and continued to have Henry Lipson as a mentor and acquired my second mentor - Dr. Charles Taylor, who was my thesis advisor. My third mentor was Dr. EmilWolf, who came into my life in late 1955.
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