Oktay Sinanoglu, Yale’s youngest professor in modern history passes away

Posted in : Biology Chemistry

Turkey is mourning the passing of one of its most well-known scientists, Oktay Sinanoglu, dubbed the “Turkish Einstein.”

Sinanoglu, professor emeritus of chemistry and molecular biophysics and biochemistry, died late on Sunday at the age of 80 in Miami in the United States.

Sinanoglu was just 28 when he became a full professor at Yale University in 1963 – the youngest person to achieve such a position.


NY Times news read:


The appointment of the youngest man in the modern history of Yale University to the rank of full professor was announced here today by Kingman Brewster Jr., provost.

Effective July 1, Oktay Sinanog;u, a 28-year-old scientist of Turkish nationality, who once was a short-stroy writer, will become a professor of chemistry. Dr. Sinanoglu is the youngest professor at Yale in the last 100 years and is believed to be the third-youngest since the school was founded 262 years ago.

He is a specialist in theoretical chemistry. He was 28 years old on Feb. 25. His rapid rise in academic ranks betters by about six weeks the 20th-century Yale record of Robert M. Hutchins, who became a professor of law and acting dean of the Yale Law School in 1927 at the age of 28.”

According to Yale, Professor Sinanoglu moved on from his early work on the “Many-Electron Theory of Atoms and Molecules” to develop in 1988 a method for chemists to solve difficult problems by using a simplified system of images and periodic tables.

Sinanoğlu joined the Yale faculty in 1960 and was appointed professor of chemistry in 1963, becoming, at the age of 28, the youngest full professor in Yale’s 20th-century history. He is also believed to be the third-youngest full professor in Yale’s 300-plus year history

Sinanoğlu founded Yale’s theoretical chemistry division in 1964. While at the university, he proposed the Many Electron Theory of Atoms and Molecules (1961); Solvophobic Theory (1964); Network Theory (1974); Microthermodynamics (1981); and Valency Interaction Formula Theory (1983).

Read Yale’s statement here.




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