Five members of the Faculty of Arts and Science who retired this year were honored at a reception on May 21 at the Hanover Inn. Some of the retirees wrote to Dartmouth News about their time at Dartmouth and their plans for the future.
Robert (Scot) Drysdale III
I arrived here 40 years ago to teach computer science in the math department. I was the third faculty member whose primary interest was computer science, and we scrambled to cover all the courses.
Things have changed! Computer science is now a separate department, with over 20 faculty members, where students and faculty use personal computers, work stations, parallel clusters, and cloud computing. We have many new sub-areas, including machine learning, digital arts, and computational biology. There are many new courses, and even established courses have seen large changes. For example, our intro course is now on its fifth programming language, and I have taught our second course in seven different computer languages. Teaching was never boring.
While my research in computational geometry and algorithms has been interesting, challenging, and rewarding, my main reason for going into academia was teaching. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to teach and work on research with bright and hard-working undergraduates and graduate students. I was also fortunate to have wonderful colleagues who cared about the department, the students, and each other. Coming to Dartmouth was one of the smartest decisions that I have made.
My life at Dartmouth the last 43 years has been a wonderful adventure. I’ve had the opportunity to develop my interests as an art historian and share with students my love for the art of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Whether in the classroom or at the Hood Museum or during our Art History FSP in Italy, teaching and being taught by my smart, lively students has always been an exciting experience. In the ideal environment of Dartmouth I have benefited enormously from the assistance of the staffs of the art history department, the Hood Museum, and the library, especially when I was organizing the nationwide traveling art exhibition “The Age of the Marvelous.” I shall always be grateful to them and to my interesting and talented colleagues on the faculty who have made my years at the college such a great privilege.
As conductor of Chambers Singers and Handel Society for many of my 39 years at the College, it has been a privilege to make music with amazing students, faculty, and community members. Each composition has its own demands and satisfactions, so the arc of learning was always new and immensely gratifying, especially so because we were individuals in sync, discovering it together. To get inside great repertoire such as Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, to grow, sing with orchestras and guest artists, collaborate, and go on tours—these are the life experiences I cherish. Likewise teaching conducting to talented, thoughtful students, one by one, and witnessing their near explosions of understanding. Add to these the opportunity to write Experiencing Berlioz: A Listener’s Companion (2018), which is informed by both our ensemble performances and the multiple Music Foreign Study Programs I led in London. Thank you, Dartmouth, it has been an honor.
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy James Moor and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry John Winn are also retiring this year from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Joseph Blumberg can be reached at email@example.com.