|Dr. Renan Turkman|
|I wrote a few paragraphs about my experiences with these men. They both had a profound impact on my life as a student. I think that most people can think of at least one person outside of your family who helped shape them. I was lucky to have two. I was certainly not the smartest student these men ever had, but through their own ways, they motivated me to work hard and sweat the details..|
I had Doc for a M & P course in silver halide imaging that was a precursor to my following courses in photolithography.
His classes were in the evenings. My friends and I would go over to the original Dibella's for a sub and then head off to his class.
He was a great lecturer and had many stories that he used to illustrate his point. Everything he said in class was fair game on the test and his jokes were often test questions.
Doc always told us that everything in life related to pH, how you were feeling, whether the fish were biting, and possibly the taste of beer. He had a large cabinet in his lab full of various types of beer that his students had sent him from around the world. On the side of the cabinet was a listing of the beer and it's pH. We were not able to find any correlation but enjoyed reading all of the different brand names. One stood out in particular, Old Frothingslosh.
I think that's what you did if you were a grad student of Doc's, you measured the pH of beer. "Oh, my gosh, Its Frothingslosh" Doc was heard to say on more than a few occasions
Doc was also a stickler for research lab notebooks and good technical reports. As a young engineer, I learned the importance of good documentation. Doc drilled it into us. It is one of the few skills that I picked up in college that I have consistantly used throughout the years. Doc used to say that if you got hit by a bus, someone else should be able to replicate your work from your lab notebook.
I also had Doc for our first photoresist lithography course. Our lab consisted of Doc bringing in unknown samples of photoresist and having the groups fully characterize them. It was a hard assignment but very rewarding.
Doc died in the Fall of 1986.
Of the many classes I took at RIT, Doc's were amoung my favorites.
Renan was one of the smartest people I ever met. In class he would put an equation on the board for us to solve.. While we were furiously punching away on the calculators, he would do it in his head. The man could see the equations.
Renan knew that he was smart but he was always kind to us poor unfortunate students. To gauge how long it would take us to do the homework, we would ask him how long it took him and then multiple by at least three.
Renan had a great sense of humor. He was quiet so you had to listen. You were never sure when he was done talking because he would pause often to think about what he wanted to say.
I had Renan for four undergrad classes and two grad level courses. I always enjoyed his class and wanted very much to do well in his class. I remember trying to solve an overly large set of equations. Renan told me that I was thinking too much and I should make some assumptions to simplify the problem and then try to solve it. Renan probably thought that he was just giving a student some helpful advice but it turned out to be a defining point for me that changed how I approached a lot of problems.
We often studied for Renan's tests by taking the homework assignments and twisting them around and coming up with endless "what if" scenarios. We didn't often guess how he was going to test us but it really was a great way to study and learn the material. Some of our imagined questions would get fairly tortured in this process.
Renan suffered severe brain injuries after a choking accident in early 2001. I was deeply saddened to about his accident. It was just a few months before I came back to RIT in 2001, I was very much looking forward to working with him.
He remained in long term care until his death in June of 2008.
The story behind Frothingslosh