Over dinner the other night, my uncle and I started comparing and contrasting our academic experiences. He’s a fascinating person who earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in the late 1970’s.
After discussing the finer points of Moore’s Law, and how he agonized over purchasing a 20 MB hard drive in the 1980’s for $400, the substance of the conversation switched. “Have you ever researched your Ph.D. lineage,” he asked.
“I’ve gone as far back as Breslow,” I replied, completely forgetting that he probably didn’t know this “Breslow” character.
It turns out that several of his doctoral computer buddies had recently taken on this task, many of them somehow descending (academically) from Charles Babbage.
Our discussion prompted me to further examine my background. I soon discovered that there are several University websites that provide chemistry academic lineage for their faculty members. Being an organic chemist, I was interested to learn that E.J. Corey worked for John Sheehan (I admit it…I’m nerdly). In any case, here are some websites I found interesting:
- UT Austin is a really good site to start exploring. Here, I was able to learn that my roots (through Eric Anslyn) purportedly go through Breslow and Ira Remsen (1870), all the way back to Torbern Bergman (1758).
- My personal favorite website is the lineage posted by North Dakota State University. Apart from deriving academic lineage all the way back to Nicolo da Lonigo (1453), they’ve complied all of the data/information into a colorful map that would no doubt look good on a faculty member’s wall.
- Some other sites: UMass Amherst, Illinois, UConn, Kentucky, and Michigan State.