My education at Baron Byng High School was excellent, with dedicated masters (boys and girls were separate).
I have always loved going to school.
My interest in the sciences started with mathematics in the very beginning, and later with chemistry in early high school and the proverbial home chemistry set.
Being exposed to theory, stimulated by a basic love of concepts and mathematics, was a marvelous experience.
Growing up, mostly in Montreal, I was an only child of loving parents.
My mother used to wheel me about the campus when we lived in that neighborhood and, as she recounted years later, she would tell me that I would go to McGill.
Nevertheless, the realization that breaking a pencil point would have far less disastrous consequences played little or no role, I believe, in this decision to explore theory!
About 1960, it became clear that it was best for me to bring the experimental part of my research program to a close - there was too much to do on the theoretical aspects - and I began the process of winding down the experiments.
Life would be indeed easier if the experimentalists would only pause for a little while!
After a subsequent interview at Brooklyn Poly, I was hired, and life as a fully independent researcher began.
During my McGill years, I took a number of math courses, more than other students in chemistry.
After some minor pieces of theoretical study that I worked on, a student in my statistical mechanics class brought to my attention a problem in polyelectrolytes.
My life as a working theorist began three months after this preliminary study and background reading, when Oscar gently nudged me toward working on a particular problem.
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