Paul L. Houston

Brief Biography

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Brief Biography

Curriculum Vitae


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Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics Textbook

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PLH Photo Paul L. Houston, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was until July, 2013 Dean of the College of Sciences at The Georgia Institute of Technology. He started his professorial career at Cornell University in 1975 following undergraduate study at Yale, doctoral work at MIT, and postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley. He is concurrently Peter J. W. Debye Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Cornell University.

At Cornell, he was formerly Chair of the Cornell Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (1997-2001), Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2002-2005), and the Peter J. W. Debye Professor of Chemistry. He was a member of the Cornell Center for Materials Research, the Kavli Institute at Cornell University for Nanoscale Science, and the Graduate Field of Applied Physics. Houston has been an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1979-81), a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar (1980), and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1986-87). He served as a Senior Editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry (1991-97), as Chair of the American Physical Society Division of Laser Chemistry (1997-98), and as a member of the Science and Technology Steering Committee of Brookhaven National Laboratories (1998-2005).

His research centers on the interaction of light with matter, particularly how light causes or can be used to study chemical reactions in such environments as the upper atmosphere and in combustion flames. He is also interested in using light to study materials, both inorganic, such as light-emitting devices, and organic, such as biofilms. He has authored or co-authored approximately 170 publications in the field of physical chemistry and a textbook on chemical kinetics. In 2001 he shared with David W. Chandler the Herbert P. Broida Prize of the American Physical Society for work on product imaging in chemical dynamics. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Professor Houston retired from teaching and administrative duties in 2014 and now resides in Ithaca, NY. He continues research, collaborating primarily with Professor Joel Bowman (Emory University) on a variety of theoretical and computational projects.

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Paul L. Houston