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My name is Rishi Raj.
I hope that these pages will give you a summary of my professional career as well as a sense of the person that I think that I am, at this point and time in my life.
Briefly, I left India at the age of eighteen after having completed a two year program in physics, chemistry and mathematics at Allahabad University. After receiving the B.Ss. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Durham, England, I came to Harvard in 1965 and completed the Ph.D. in Applied Sciences in 1970. After a year in Cleveland working for Chase Brass and Copper Company, I joined the University of Colorado as as assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, and then moved to the Materials Science Department at Cornell in 1976. The highly intellectual environment underpinned with a long tradition of the interdidsciplinary Materials Science Center inspired and provided support for an active career of research. But, looking back it was the interactions with the graduate students that I now remember the most, and find the most gratifying.
I do not quite understand why I left Cornell to return to Colorado, in 1996. There was a exodus of faculty from that department with Professors Balluffi, Mayer, Kohlstedt, Carter, Kramer, and then myself, almost one half of the department, leaving at the peak of their careers. (Perahps Bob Balluffi's departure was the watershed event.) I had interviewed heavily in 1985, and had even accepted an offer, but a family illness led me to abort that move. Once this sort of thing enters the mind, it eventually transpires.
The second career in Colorado was more difficult that I had expected it to be. The atmosphere was coarser that at Cornell, and I missed the small town free wheeling atmosphere in Boulder that I remembered from the early seventies. Still, after several missteps life is now again on an even keel.
An important unifying inspiration, gained through an intimate relationship to Harvard, Cornell and Colorado, has been my ever ascending admiration for the American Universities. They are the greatest of the great instiutions in our country, and indeed the whole world. They aspire the American dream of excellence with openness to all, no matter where they come from. If you would look carefully nearly all scientific and political thought, and practice, has had its origins on the soil of the American campus, at least since the second world war. Preservation of these high ideals, in small ways, has become, for me, a pleasant duty.
Again, welcome to these pages, and thank you so much for visiting.
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