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Howard S. Taylor


1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Howard S. Taylor Obituary
September 17, 1935 - May 17, 2015 In memory of Howard S. Taylor, beloved husband, Emeritus Research Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Southern California, who died at the age of 79 on May 17, 2015 at his family home in Hancock Park in Los Angeles. Born and raised in New York City, Taylor graduated in 1956 from Columbia College, Columbia University, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Highest Honors and with Distinction in Chemistry. In 1959, he received a PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of California at Berkeley. For the following two years, he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Chemistry in the Service of Chemical Physics, directed by I. Prigogine at the Free University of Brussels.  He spent his 46 year career at USC and several universities in Europe. Taylor was a Theoretical Chemist as well as a Theoretical Physicist. He formally retired in 2005. Early in his career, he made notable contributions to Quantum Chemistry and to the problem of quantum mechanically describing, understanding and computing the properties and reactions of short lived states of atomic and molecular negative ions, the 'Resonances'.  To achieve these goals, Taylor and his co-workers introduced a new method of carrying out Quantum scattering computations, the 'Stabilization Method', which found wide use in many fields of chemistry and physics. Prior and during his retirement, Taylor, using ideas similar to those used in "Stabilization", developed a signal processing method that when applied to FIDs of Lorentzian NMR systems yielded a spectrum with significantly greater sensitivity and resolution than the standard Fourier method of processing. This allowed the taking of 15N, 17O and13C (quaternary) NMR spectra without employing enrichment. Taylor and wife, Harriet, loved traveling. They traveled through Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Taylor had been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and since 1972 the American Physical Society. He received the USC Associates Award for Creative Scholarship and Research in 1974. He had been the recipient of awards from the Humboldt Society, the Fulbright Foundation, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, the Sloan Foundation, and the Dutch Government. In 1992, the German Ministry of Science, through the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, presented him with the Max Planck Research Award for Atomic and Molecular Physics. Taylor is survived by his wife of 56 years, Harriet; by his three daughters, Rachel Taylor, Leeza Taylor and Jacqueline Greene; and four grandchildren: Lucy, Emily, Vaughn and Danny.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 17, 2016
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