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Oral history interview with Ralph Landau

  • 1990-Dec-18

Ralph Landau begins the interview with a description of his childhood and high school years in West Philadelphia. He then describes his undergraduate education in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, emphasizing a strong background in chemistry. In recounting his graduate years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he focuses particularly on the indispensable benefits of the Practical School as well as on the extremely high caliber of the chemical engineering program and faculty there. After describing his initial work at Kellogg, Landau summarizes his role with Kellex on the Manhattan Project. Next, he reviews the history of Scientific Design and its development into an international business, eventually to become Halcon, recapitulating significant discoveries and innovations. Finally, Landau describes his new career in the Economics Department of Stanford University, inspired by his frustration with the effects of macroeconomic policies on technological development. He concludes the interview with a brief account of his personal life and leisure activities. Please note: This oral history is currently sealed.

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