A Quick-and-Dirty Biography

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I came to Macalester College in August 2000. I've been teaching classes in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, and physical chemistry. My current research interests involve using computational chemistry to unravel the mechanisms of reactions in the atmosphere, as well as processes involving transition metal atoms. My wife, Alexa, earned her nursing degree from the College of Saint Catherine in December 2002, and has been working as a RN at HealthEast St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown Saint Paul.

I'm a third-generation Japanese American who's spent most of my life in Southern California. I earned a B.S. in chemistry at Harvey Mudd College in 1991. While at Mudd, I picked up a minor reading Spanish literature at Harvey Mudd's sister school, Pomona College. I then earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Caltech. For my degree, I used time-of-flight mass spectrometry and infrared laser spectroscopy to probe the structure of ionic clusters. These charged clusters mimic polar statrosopheric clouds, which play a critical role in ozone depletion over the Antarctic.

In one very eventful month, I defended my Ph.D. thesis, married Alexa, and started a post-doc at UCLA. Alexa and I were very comfortable living in Pasadena (where Caltech is located), so I decided to carpool some 50 miles each day to work. In my post-doc, I learned to use quantum chemistry to describe organic reactions. Also, during the 1999-2000 school year, I also served as a lecturer for general chemistry, teaching classes of up to 350 people (when everyone showed up.)

After three eventful years of teaching, the College has decided to give me a break during the 2003-04 school year. I'm visiting the lab of Prof. Donald G. Truhlar in the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities' Chemistry Department.  Besides continuing my lab's research in atmospheric chemistry, I am learning new techniques for predicting the rate constants of reactions.

When my wife and I are not working, we read subversive literature and worship at a local Catholic parish, Nativity of Our Lord.  (We converted from the Episcopal Church during the Easter Vigil in 2003.)  We enjoy life in the Twin Cities and hope circumstances (e.g. tenure decisions) allow us to stay here for decades to come!

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Last modified 31 July 2012