William K. Purves, Ph.D.

Title: Professor Emeritus
Company: Harvey Mudd College
Location: Costa Mesa, California, United States

William K. Purves, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Harvey Mudd College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the sciences and higher education.

Drawing upon 35 years of industry experience, Dr. Purves most recently served as the Stuart Mudd professor of biology at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, from 1977 until attaining emeritus status in 1996. During this time, he also acted as chairman of the department of biology from 1985 to 1995 and chairman of the department of computer science from 1985 to 1990. He also served as an adjunct professor of plant physiology at the University of California, Riverside, from 1979 to 1985.

Prior to these illustrious roles, Dr. Purves commenced his career at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he served in multiple capacities, including an assistant professor of botany, associate professor of biochemistry, professor of biology and chairman of the department of biological sciences between 1961 and 1973. Thereafter, he held the roles of professor and head of the Biological Science Group at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, from 1973 to 1977. Alongside his primary endeavors, he was vice president and science director of The Mona Group LLC from 1996 to 2004, a visiting scholar at Northwestern University in 1991, and a visiting fellow in computer science at Yale University from 1983 to 1984.

To prepare for his career, Dr. Purves pursued formal education at the California Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1956. Thereafter, he received a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University in 1957 and 1959, respectively. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the National Science Foundation and the University of Tübingen in Germany from 1959 to 1960, as well as an additional postdoctoral fellowship through the National Cancer Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1960 to 1961. Six years later, he completed a third senior postdoctoral fellowship through the National Science Foundation and the University of London in 1967.

Throughout his career, Dr. Purves authored one book, “Life: the Science of Biology” with its eighth edition in 2007. A member of Sigma Xi, he has also accrued numerous accolades in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the industry. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was also a research grantee of the National Science Foundation from 1962 to 1983 and again from 1997 to 2001. He has been highlighted in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the West.

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