Congratulations, Dr. George R. Rossman!

Congratulations, Dr. George R. Rossman!  It is quite an honor to be selected as one of six lecturers on mineralogy for the Mineral Collecting Symposium 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  Dr. Rossman has been head of the mineralogy division at the California Institute of Technology for many years, and received The Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2004.  He continues a life-long interest in minerals through his research, which includes studies of the color and spectroscopic properties of minerals, poorly crystalline minerals and the effects of high level ionizing radiation on minerals.  Dr. Rossman has written or co-authored more than 100 articles in the field of mineralogy.  He has served as associate editor of the journal American Mineralogist and is on the editorial review board of Gems and Gemology.  A rare form of pink tourmaline was named for him(rossmanite) in honor of his many contributions to spectroscopy.  He has a special web site devoted to mineral spectroscopy:http://www.minerals.gps.caltech.edu

I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Rossman about twenty years ago for my book The Magicians of Form.  As an amateur mineral collector, I was excited to learn about specific minerals and their often surprising properties.  Many of the crystal forms  that Dr. Rossman described were portrayed in dramatic fashion by Southern Oregon artist, Dodie Hamilton, who, although in her nineties, is still painting, and giving art classes in her Medford studio.  Dr. Rossman’s interview is published in full without drawings by Axis, the on line journal of The Mineralogical Record.

Dr. Rossman’s lecture is on a DVD 2 disc collection, which also contains a lecture by Dr. Barbara Dutrow of Louisiana State University.  Dr. Dutrow is the co-author of a popular mineralogy textbook.  This wonderful set of six lectures may be obtained through Blue Cap Productions, which has produced many films highlighting various aspects of mineralogy.

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

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