School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of History
BioI am a historian of the twentieth century United States working at the intersection of intellectual, political, and cultural history, with a particular interest in ideas about the state, markets, and capitalism and how these play out in policy and politics.
My first book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009), was an intellectual biography of the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand. For more on this book, watch my interviews with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, or check out my website. I am currently writing a book about the economist Milton Friedman.
At Stanford, I’ve been involved in a number of new initiatives, including serving as a faculty advisor to the Approaches to Capitalism Workshop at the Stanford Humanities Center, co-founding the Bay Area Consortium for the History of Ideas in America (BACHIA), and convening the Hoover Institution Library and Archives Workshop on Political Economy.
I teach courses on modern U.S. history, religious history, and the intellectual history of capitalism.
My writing on the history of conservatism, libertarianism, and liberalism has appeared in a number of academic and popular journals, including Reviews in American History, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Cultural Economy, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Dissent.
Prospective graduate students: please consult my history department webpage for more information on graduate study.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in our group explores the boundaries of modern organic synthesis to enable the more rapid creation of the highest molecular complexity in a predictable and controllable fashion. We are particularly inspired by natural products not only because of their importance as synthetic targets but also due to their ability to serve as invaluable identifiers of unanswered scientific questions.
One major focus of our research is selective halogenation of organic molecules. Dihalogenation and halofunctionalization encompass some of the most fundamental transformations in our field, yet methods capable of accessing relevant halogenated motifs in a chemo-, regio-, and enantioselective fashion are lacking.
We are also interested in the practical total synthesis of natural products for which there is true impetus for their construction due to unanswered chemical, medicinal, biological, or biophysical questions. We are specifically engaged in the construction of unusual lipids with unanswered questions regarding their physical properties and for which synthesis offers a unique opportunity for study.
Robert L. Byer
The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Professor of Photon Science
BioRobert L. Byer has served as President of The American Physical Society, of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE LEOS. He has served as Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Stanford. He has been Chair of the Department of Applied Physics, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory and Director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. He is a founding member of the California Council on Science and Technology and served as Chair from 1995-1999. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2002-2006 and has been a member of the National Ignition Facility since 2000.
Robert L. Byer has conducted research and taught classes in lasers and nonlinear optics at Stanford University since 1969. He has made extraordinary contributions to laser science and technology including the demonstration of the first tunable visible parametric oscillator, the development of the Q-switched unstable resonator Nd:YAG laser, remote sensing using tunable infrared sources and precision spectroscopy using Coherent Anti Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS). Current research includes precision laser measurements in support of the detection of gravitational waves and laser “Accelerator on a chip”.
Entrepreneurship Professor in the School of Engineering
BioAt Stanford University since 1995, Professor Tom Byers focuses on education regarding high-growth entrepreneurship and technology innovation. He is the first holder of the Entrepreneurship Professorship endowed chair in the School of Engineering, and is also a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He has been a faculty director since the inception of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which serves as the entrepreneurship center for the engineering school. STVP includes the Mayfield Fellows work/study program for undergraduates and the Entrepreneurship Corner (eCorner) collection of thought leader videos. He was the director and lead principal investigator of the Epicenter, which was funded by the National Science Foundation to stimulate entrepreneurship education at all US engineering and science colleges. He is the co-author of a textbook called Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise that is published by McGraw-Hill.
He is a past recipient of the prestigious Gordon Prize by the National Academy of Engineering in the USA and Stanford University's Gores Award, which is its highest honor for excellence in teaching. He is a member of the board of trustees at Menlo College. He has been a member of advisory boards at Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley, World Economic Forum, and Conservation International. Tom was executive vice president and general manager of Symantec Corporation during its formation, and started his career at Accenture. Tom holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He also earned a PhD in Business Administration (Management Science) at UC Berkeley.