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Truhlar elected Fellow of American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Regents Professor Donald G. Truhlar was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Saturday, October 10, 2015.

Professor Donald G. Truhlar has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Truhlar is the first Department of Chemistry faculty member to receive this honor. The Academy of Arts and Sciences honors remarkable men and women who have made preeminent contributions to their fields and the world. Members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs. Truhlar was inducted in the Academy, Saturday, October 10, at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, MA.

Truhlar earned a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Saint Mary's College (now St. Mary’s University of Minnesota) in 1965, and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1970. He joined the Department of Chemistry faculty in 1969. He received a Doctor honoris causa from Technical University of Lodz, Poland.

He is one of the Department of Chemistry's most distinguished professors. In 2006, he was named a Regents Professor, the university’s highest faculty honor. In 1998, he received the George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service, recognized for his outstanding service to the university and voluntary public service to governmental or other public groups.

Truhlar's teaching and advising record also is unparalleled. He has taught numerous graduate and undergraduate courses, and has mentored 144 graduate students and postdoctoral associates and 70 undergraduate research students. He was honored for his roles as a mentor and adviser with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Outstanding Adviser Award in 2013. In 2015, he received the Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Faculty Award, honored for going above and beyond in his work with graduate students.

Truhlar is one of the top physical chemists in the world. He has received many prestigious awards and honors for his research and his seminal contributions that have advanced and transformed chemistry and chemical physics, which includes publishing more than 1,100 papers and book chapters. According to Google Scholar Citations, his publications received their 100,000th citation on September 27, 2015. Truhlar has an h index of 140, denoting 140 publications with 140 or more citations; this is believed to be the second highest h-index of any theoretical chemist in the entire history of the field, trailing only the h-index of Nobel Laureate Martin Karplus.

Some of Professor Truhlar's awards include the 2016 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, American Chemical Society Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, American Chemical Society Peter Debye Award for Physical Chemistry, Schrödinger Medal of The World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, Dudley R. Herschbach Award for Excellence in Research in Collision Dynamics, Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Dynamics Award, National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing, Distinguished Alumnus Award of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Award of the Minnesota Section of the ACS. In the spring of 2015, the American Chemical Society honored his research contributions with a symposium for his contributions to and advancement of theory and computation in the understanding of the structure, energetics, and dynamics of molecules in gas phase, macromolecular, and condensed-phase systems.

His contributions to the scientific community include serving as an associate editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society and editor of Computer Physics Communications. He is also past editor of Theoretical Chemistry Accounts and currently serves as chief advisory editor of that journal as well as on several other editorial boards. He was recently honored by the American Physical Society as an Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, recognized for his help in assessing manuscripts for publication, and for providing invaluable reports and advice to authors, researchers, students, and readers.

Truhlar is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

He is one of only four Department of Chemistry faculty members to receive this honor. Other Fellows include the late Bryce Crawford Jr., Paul Gassman, and Izaak Kolthoff.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 “to cultivate every art and science, which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” The AASA carries on this tradition through studies, publications, and formal and informal meetings. Its studies help set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology policy, global security, social policy, and the humanities.