MILDRED S. DRESSELHAUS:
Standing in a well-worn hallway of Building 13 of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mildred S. Dresselhaus is quietly but firmly directing the show. She answers questions from a member of her lab group and, in the next sentence, asks another if he is free to pick up a visitor at the airport that afternoon.
Next, she moves on to me and says, correctly, "You look like you're looking for me." We find an empty conference room "away from the phone," and immediately I have her full attention. It is, I learn later from her friends and colleagues, "typical Millie." "She has these fantastic personal skills and inexhaustible energy," says M.I.T. colleague physicist Daniel Kleppner. "She manages to do two or three things at once and do them well. She's never sitting idle."
This article was originally published with the title Aspirations in Science and Civics.