Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

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Dave Yaron receives Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

The Department is delighted to announce that Professor David Yaron has received a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. Like other Dreyfus Foundation awards, this award is given to faculty relatively early in their careers who excel in both academic research and teaching. The award indicates an expectation of continuing leadership in chemistry and chemistry education. The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award particularly emphasizes the nominee's accomplishments in research, teaching and mentorship, particularly with undergraduates.

Dave Yaron's models for the photophysical and electronic properties of conjugated polymers are designed to establish structure-property relationships in these materials with applications in, for example, flat screen displays, organic transistors, and photocells. The unique aspects of his model are the inclusion of dielectric interactions between chains in the solid state, and the use of an effective particle approach, adapted from solid-state physics, to make calculations on long polymer chains computationally feasible. Professor Yaron also leads a group (The IrYdium Project) developing innovative educational software for introductory chemistry courses. This project has produced a highly flexible Virtual Laboratory and is now producing authoring tools and components to make it possible for instructors with minimal programming skill to create their own on-line learning activities. In addition, Dave Yaron has been a leader in developing the department's curriculum, including creating a hands-on computational chemistry course, substantially revamping Modern Chemistry II with extensive opportunities for active student involvement, and securing both computational resources and fellowships to support computational chemistry students.

The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award was awarded to five individuals this year. Dave Yaron is the only one of those at a research university.