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Millie's Carbon Family

Mario Hofmann describes Millie's collaboration family tree in carbon.

Published onMar 20, 2018
Millie's Carbon Family

Mario Hofmann
Millie’s Research in Carbon Session, MIT Memorial

Photo Credit: Geof Cooper

Thank you, very much. When the committee asked me to help arrange a carbon panel, I was very honored because of the importance of carbon to Millie's legacy. Also, it seemed like an easy thing to do — I just had to find a couple of people who could speak about this truly exciting topic, and there are a lot of candidates.

So, at first, I set out to just look at the papers that Millie wrote. And, at the beginning, that was pretty easy. All the co-authors of those papers were basically just authors from Millie's group. But, as time progressed, more and more collaborators came and joined.  I found that, overall, Millie had about 900 collaborators and co-authors just on papers related to carbon. And, it turned out, many of those collaborators were very close collaborators, with more than two publications. 30 collaborators had more than 20 joint collaborations.

And, as time progressed, you could see that these connections not only became more numerous, but the network also became more complex. Instead of just looking like a solar system, where everybody is rotating around Millie, strong connections formed between other authors and collaborators. So it began to take on a more organic form.

So I like to think of this as the family tree of carbon researchers. I think that, possibly, the most lasting legacy of Millie's work is making connections between researchers from very diverse backgrounds and cultures — researchers who all share that passion for science.

And so, just like a tree, you can identify main branches.  You can identify nodes that give this network a shape and a structure. So I set out to identify who these nodes are.

We're very lucky to have seven of them with us today, each of whom represents different areas and different teams and also different periods of collaboration in different periods of Millie's adventures in carbon.

It's my pleasure to show these collaborators here and explain the reason why we chose them. You can see that Millie's work was not one long extended adventure in carbon —  it happened in phases, or in waves.

Each of the collaborators who is speaking, today, represents a different one of these carbon waves in Millie’s carbon adventures. Each of them will tell us their unique perspective on Millie and on the field.

And so, with that very short introduction, I'm going to hand the microphone over to Ado Jorio, who, if you look carefully, is on this slide. He will give us all a more in-depth introduction into what Millie's adventures in carbon were.

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