Nicholas J. Turro
NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2002 Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Research Contributions: Dr. Turro's research has focused on spectroscopic photochemical systems. He has received many awards for his contributions to the fields of spectroscopy and photochemistry, including the Porter Medal Award from the Japan, Europe and Inter-American Photochemical Societies, and the Colloids and Surfaces Award from the American Chemical Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1981.

Educational Contributions: Dr. Turro’s textbooks, Modern Molecular Photochemistry and Molecular Photochemistry, have served as standard texts for teaching organic photochemistry to undergraduates and graduate students for over three decades. He has developed a number of web-based tools and software for teaching chemistry, including the widely used IR Tutor for teaching infrared spectroscopy. He has served as Chair of the National Academy of Science committee on the Use of Information Technology for Undergraduate Science Education.

Director's Award Project: Dr. Turro uses spectroscopy and photochemistry as a conceptual basis for developing chemistry lectures and chemistry laboratories in upper level undergraduate courses. These courses are the logical extension of the materials presented in the lower level courses. The integrated approach aims to provide students with a clearer connection between the concepts presented at different stages in their undergraduate education in chemistry. The project is also producing "Spectroscopy Tutors" which are software modules that aim to facilitate the learning of spectroscopy (IR, UV-VIS, NMR) and assist in the integration of spectroscopy and photochemistry in undergraduate curriculum and research. Partnerships with faculty at three geographically and educationally diverse undergraduate institutions will broaden the impact of the project.

from NSF Event, 2002 Program