Russ Pitzer received his B.S. degree in chemistry with honor in 1959 from the California Institute of Technology where he also played football. In 1963 he received his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in the same year.
From 1963 to 1968 - Dr. Pitzer was a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology until he moved to the Ohio State University. He was promoted to professor in 1979. In 1986 Dr. Pitzer co-founded and served as Acting Associate Director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center. In 1988 he became a trustee of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, an institution which was founded by his father, Kenneth Pitzer, who was also a highly regarded chemist.
Dr. Pitzer served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at The Ohio State University from 1989 to 1994. He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Pitzer College in 2003.
He has held visiting faculty positions at Berkeley, Bielefeld (Germany), Cambridge (England) and the University of Georgia.
His doctoral thesis is considered one of the very few genuine landmarks in the history of theoretical chemistry.
The pioneering research Dr. Pitzer presented in his 1973 paper "Electron Repulsion Integrals and Symmetry Adapted Charge Distributions" enabled ab initio computations on larger molecular systems than previously possible.
2017 - J. Andrew McCammon
2016 - Emily Carter
2015 - William Goddard
2014 - Klaus Schulten
2013 - Michele Parrinello
2012 - Martin Head-Gordon
2011 - William H. Miller
2010 - Rodney Bartlett
2009 - Fritz Schaefer
2008 - Thom Dunning