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Wendell Hill

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Information about Wendell Hill

Profile image of Wendell Hill

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Los Angeles Dodgers Blue
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food, Spicy Food, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
Have fun and be safe.

Birthplace

Born:
9/21/1952
Birth Location:
Berkeley, California

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Los Angeles Dodgers Blue
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food, Spicy Food, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
Have fun and be safe.

Birthplace

Born:
9/21/1952
Birth Location:
Berkeley
See how Wendell Hill is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Physicist and Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California to Wendell Hill, Jr. and Marcella Washington Hill, who met at Drake University in the 1940s. In the 1960s his father was the Chief Pharmacist at in the Orange County Medical Center, now the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and finished his career as the dean of Howard University’s College of Pharmacy in the 1990s. Hill III’s mother was a mathematics teacher who finished her career at the University of the District of Columbia. Hill III graduated from Villa Park High School in Orange, CA in 1970. He earned physics degrees from the University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1974) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1980), where he was an IBM pre-doctoral fellow.

Hill was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) from 1980 to 1982, after which he joined the faculty of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) at the University of Maryland. In 1985 Hill was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, now known as a Presidential Early Career Award. Holding appointments in Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Hill became a full professor in 1996 and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute in 2006. Hill has guest-worker status at NIST and Lawrence Livermore National Lab and has held visiting positions at the Université de Paris, Orsay in France, the Instituto Venezalano de Investigaciones (Venezuela) and JILA (University of Colorado). He directed the Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular & Optical Science, and Engineering at the University of Maryland between 1999 and 2002 and was the Program Director of the Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics program at NSF from 2010 to 2012.

Hill’s research focus is laser-matter interaction under extreme conditions – ultra-fast, ultra-intense and ultra-cold. Hill has written numerous scientific articles within AMO physics, co-authored the textbook entitled Light-Matter Interaction that explains the underlying principals of AMO research and penned the opening chapter entitled “Electromagnetic Radiation,” for the Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy.

Hill is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as well as an active member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has served on numerous society committees including the APS Council and Executive Board, the APS Division of Laser Science executive committee, and the OSA Technical Council; he has chaired the National Academy of Science’s Committee on AMO Science along with several program and award committees. His interest in improving the diversity in physics has him serving on the National Advisory Board of the APS Minority Bridge Program; the goal of the program is to increase significantly the number of “underrepresented minorities” earning a physics Ph.D. over the next decade.

Professor Hill and Patricia, his wife, live in Maryland and have three children, Nayo, Eshe and Safiya.

Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2012.

See how Wendell Hill is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wendell Hill's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his mother's educational background and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his father's growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about how his parents met and his father's education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his earliest memory of Southern California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his brother and childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his childhood church, friends and social activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his nursery and elementary schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' involvement in his schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill compares the demographics of Los Angeles with that of Orange County
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' move to Orange County, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about the racial tensions in Orange County
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his early academic struggles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his high school experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his science preparation during his early education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about Disneyland and Knott Berry Farm during his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in rockets, space exploration, and solar eclipses
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his favorite high school teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in baseball
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about Martin Luther King's assassination, the demographics of his high school and his grades
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his attempt to connect with the Black community through music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community and his religious development
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his involvement with the black community at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about reconciling science and religion
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his studies at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his professors at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill reflects on his experience at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his advisors at Stanford University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his dissertation in the area of laser physics and how he met his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his religious identity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill discusses the varying religious affiliations of scientists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his decision to join the faculty at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries- part 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries, part 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his visiting appointments in Maryland and Paris
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his transition into teaching
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his work with cold atoms at the University of Colorado
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about the Joint Quantum Institute and his textbook, "Light-Matter Interaction"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his students and the reception of his book
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about the need for more African Americans in STEM
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill reflects on his life choices
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill reflects on his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his photos