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Class Notes

Robert Lebovitz (BS '59, MS '60)

Retired from academia in 1998, but still in Texas, I'm keeping busy with photography (eye2eyeGallery.com) and writing. My first novel, "To Be," holds up a pretty grim mirror to the current and future state of the State (ToBetheNovel.com). Since it includes a bit of physics and some undergraduate memories, Techies might enjoy reading (and critiquing) it. My second book, "We Never Do Wednesday's," available later this year (and, yes, the apostrophe's placement is correct), is a much shorter and more accessible consideration of the impositions of aging but as derived from biological rather than political decline.
Hope to see some of you at a reunion.
Lebo

Joseph Colucci (MS '59)

In April 2017, I will receive the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Arnold W. Siegel Humanitarian Award. The Award honors those whose mobility industry contributions have created positive, lasting social benefits for mankind.

The Award recognizes the numerous contributions from all of the members of the Fuels and Lubricants department whose efforts pioneered the adoption of catalytic converters, unleaded gasoline and reformulated gasoline among other things. They also led efforts to improve fuels and lubricants quality on a worldwide basis.

I was fortunate enough to have led the department for 20 years, being involved with the R&D, and helping implement the adoption of these and many other environment improving technologies, which have cleaned the air and improved public health worldwide and resulted in vehicles requiring less maintenance and attention.

I will receive the award along with five other individuals involved with management of the department.

Phil Harriman (BS '59)

Since I retired from the NSF in 2001 I've been active in Sonoma State University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, first as a student then as a teacher. Now I'm running a science club there. Next week (January 19, 2017) I'll be giving a talk on the detection of gravity waves by LIGO. which brings up memories of Caltech since it is the lead institution of the activity.

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Lee Schmidt (BS '58, MS '59)

My software development career began by accident when Caltech got its Datatron computer. I still do software stuff, but for the last few years it took a backseat to my wife's Alzheimer's. She died in August 2016 after a grueling 4 months of the worst phases of the disease. We were married for 54 years and we have 4 sons. I hope that I will be able to attend the next reunion of the class of "1598".

Attached photo is from 2006, a happier time.
 

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Phil Harriman (BS '59)

I retired from the NSF in 2001, but have been taking classes (and occasionally teaching) at nearby Sonoma State University (CA). Next month I'll be teaching a course on "Outstanding Women Scientists of the 20th Century". One of the women I will be talking about is Margaret Burbidge. As an undergraduate physics major (1955-1959) at Caltech I waited tables at the Atheneum for my meals. My attention was drawn to a group of four who often ate lunch together there. I noticed that one of them was a woman. Since there were no female faculty (or undergraduate students) at Caltech at the time she stood out. It turned out the foursome were visiting scientists Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge and Fred Hoyle, with Caltech professor William Fowler. I later figured out that at the period that they were working on their famous paper nicknamed "B(squared)FH". This paper was the first to show the steps occuring in the interiors of stars that make of all of the atomic nuclei found on earth (the origin of the phrase "We are made of stardust!"). Fowler later received a Nobel Prize for his contributions to this area.

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John Asmus (BS '58, MS '59, PhD '65)

Leonardo da Vinci painted two versions of his most celebrated artworks. These are his Virgin of the Rocks, Virgin and Child, and The Virgin and Child with St. Anne. For centuries there has been speculation concerning the possible existence of a second Mona Lisa, as well. Countless Mona Lisa copies have surfaced and several have been advanced as the long-lost "Second Mona Lisa," only to be dismissed after failing scientific or historical scrutiny. Twenty-seven years ago the heirs of the late Joseph Pulitzer asked me to examine a painting known as the "Isleworth Mona Lisa" in the family collection of fine art. This invitation was extended in response to my ten-year study (instigated by Walter Munk, '48) of the varnishes and pentimenti of the Louvre Mona Lisa. Subsequently, the Isleworth painting has passed every available scientific test from radiocarbon dating to digital-image age regression. I determined that Leonardo painted the Isleworth piece around 1503 and the Louvre portrait around 1513. This discovery settled a protracted debate among art historians as to whether Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1513. Both dates are correct, but for two different paintings.
 

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Lanny Lewyn (BS '59, MS '60)

Lanny Lewyn (BS '59, MS '60) is the Principal Consultant at Lewyn Consulting, Inc., holds 29 US patents in CMOS and bipolar circuits, and is a Life Senior Member of the IEEE. He is "happy to say that [his] last ADC was used in 2009 to fix the one that broke on the Hubble ACS Telescope. It is used on the ESO-VLT Paranal (Atacama) Chile and will also be used on the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) due to fly in 2018."

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