Accomplished scholar, researcher, and professor Donald Frederick Nelson received his bachelor of science, master of science, and doctorate in physics from the University of Michigan. His dissertation was entitled â€œMeasurement of the Mott Asymmetry in Double Scattering of Electrons.â€ As a student and postgraduate student, Nelson belonged to several scholastic honor societies, including Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma.
Nelson taught introductory physics at the University of Michigan as both a teaching fellow and postdoctoral fellow. He also taught physics at the University of Southern California and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was a visiting lecturer for the electrical engineering department at Princeton University and a visiting professor for the mathematics department of Cairo University. In addition to university teaching, he was a continuing-education-program instructor at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, teaching the physics of dielectric phenomena at a graduate level.
A fellow of the American Physical Society, Nelson is also a member of the Optical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of America. He received the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Board of Trusteesâ€™ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship and was invited by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to lecture in Beijing, Jinan, and Shanghai in 1985.
Nelsonâ€™s academic research has covered both experimental and theoretical topics. He serves as the associate editor for the International Journal of Engineering Science and has written five books on the topic of dielectrics. Nelson has received patents for six of his acoustic and optical inventions. He and his wife, Margaret, live in Worcester, Massachusetts. They have two grown daughters.