Spanning the Sciences
Driven to Discover
University of Minnesota
A Unique Collaboration
Alone among the nation's major research institutions, the University of Minnesota is home to a single college that spans engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences.
Designed to promote interdisciplinary collaborations, the consolidation of the College of Engineering and Architecture, the School of Mines and Metallurgy, and the School of Chemistry drew top faculty and students from around the world.
The college expanded dramatically in 1962, when the departments of geology, astronomy, physics, and mathematics joined the collaboration.
Changes in technology throughout the 1960s and '70s led to the creation of the departments of computer science and aerospace engineering and mechanics, as well as the revamping of other departments.
The Spirit of Innovation
The spirit of innovation fostered at the college has generated seven Nobel laureates and thousands of distinguished scholars.
During the 1930s, aeronautical engineering professor John Akerman designed, built, and flew the first tailless airplane, the "Flying Wing," now on display in the Smithsonian Institution.
Professor Izaak Kolthoff transformed analytical chemistry into a fundamental branch of modern chemistry. During World War II, he pioneered the development of synthetic rubber, critical to Allied forces.
In 1946, Professor E. W. Davis developed the first of many processes for converting taconite rock into commercial iron ore, an innovation credited with extending the economic resources of Minnesota's Iron Range. Serving as the Mines Experiment Station director (1938–52), Davis was known as "Mr. Taconite."
University of Minnesota researchers continue to discover ways to solve some of the world's greatest problems by developing new forms of environment-friendly energy, designing new medical devices, improving digital and electronic technologies, and maintaining a strong national infrastructure.
1. Chemistry laboratory, 1932
2. Chemistry students
3. Olive Foerster in the forge laboratory, 1936
4. Chemist Izaak Kolthoff, 1950
5. Physicist Alfred Nier, 1965
6. James "Crash" Ryan, inventor of the retractable seat belt
7. Professor E.W. Davis, "Mr. Taconite." at the Silver Bay taconite plant
8. Left to right: James Lewis Morrill, Marcell Rand, William G. Shepherd, and Kenneth P. Herman at the dedication of the Remington Rand computer, 1958
9. Astronomy professor Roberta Humphreys, who demonstrated an upper limit to the masses of stars that can evolve to become red supergiants
Erected 2009 by Regents of the University of Minnesota.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Industry & Commerce • Science & Medicine.
Location. 44° 58.496′ N, 93° 14.146′ W. Marker is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Hennepin County. Marker can be reached from Scholars Walk east of Pleasant Street SE, on the left when traveling east. The marker is on Northrup Mall on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. It is at the southeast corner of the College of Science and Engineering building along Scholars Walk. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 Pleasant St SE, Minneapolis MN 55455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Opening Doors (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Liberal Arts (about 400 feet away); Campus Design (about 400 feet away); Coffman Memorial Union (about 700 feet away); Old Portage Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Continuing Education (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spanish-American War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Academic Health Center (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Minneapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2020, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 20, 2020, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.