Physics in Perspective

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 206–233 | Cite as

In Appreciation¶Remembering Max Dresden (1918 - 1997)

  • Peter B. Kahn
Original article


Max Dresden (1918-1997) was born in Amsterdam and received his higher education at the Universities of Amsterdam, Leiden, and Michigan, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1946. He spent his professional career at the University of Kansas (1946-1957), Northwestern University (1957-1960), the University of Iowa (1960-1964), and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook (1964-1989), and in his retirement he was a visiting scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and a consulting professor in history of physics at Stanford University. His broad interests and oratorical skills made him a leader at each of the institutions he served. He was an extraordinary teacher. He supervised the theses of 62 Ph.D. students, displaying to them his personal warmth, intellectual generosity, and profound understanding of physics. At Stony Brook he won a distinguished teaching award not once but four times. He lectured tirelessly to a broad range of audiences and traveled widely, spreading Stony Brook's name and attracting graduate students to the university. I knew him both as a student and colleague for thirty years, and I will recount some of my memories of him. I also will quote from letters I received from a number of his other students and colleagues to convey a sense of his life and work.

Key words. Max Dresden; University of Kansas; Northwestern University; University of Iowa; State University of New York at Stony Brook; Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; physics education. 


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Copyright information

© Birkhauser Verlag Basel, 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter B. Kahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794 USA, e-mail:

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