Harden M. McConnell

National Medal of Science

Mathematics And Computer Science

For his original and insightful research that has had a profound impact on twentieth-century mathematics, and for his role as an inspiring teacher to generations of American mathematicians.

For his original and insightful research that has had a profound impact on twentieth-century mathematics, and for his role as an inspiring teacher to generations of American mathematicians.

VIEW STATISTICS +

Birth
July 18, 1927
Age Awarded
62
Awarded With
Donald C. Spencer
Country of Birth
USA
Key Contributions
Mcconnell Equation
Awarded by
George H. W. Bush
Education
George Washington University
California Institute of Technology
Areas of Impact
Theory & Foundations
Affiliations
Stanford University
Other Prizes
NAS Award in Chemical Sciences
A

At age 12, Harden McConnell found a box of copper sulfate crystals in the basement of his family home in Richmond, Virginia.

The compound, which is typically used in children’s chemistry sets, sparked his lifelong fascination with chemistry and laid the groundwork for McConnell’s future discoveries.

Most of McConnell’s research was dedicated to the study of the electronic structure of molecules and the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another. McConnell’s work was ahead of many others in his field and his ideas are still taught in college chemistry classes today.

While serving as professor emeritus at Stanford University, some of McConnell’s former students encouraged him to compile his years of research to create his own website.

The site will give future scientists the opportunity to connect with McConnell for years to come. Though the chemist passed away in 2004, his legacy lives on at www.hardenmcconnell.org.   

By Rachel Warren

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