Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

National Medal of Science in 1977. Morris liked to tell how President Carter, after reading the citation, said, “We need more of that,” which Morris interpreted as a presidential endorsement of martensitic transformations. A thorough review of his accomplishments, Morris and G.B. Olson, Dislocation Theory of Martensitic Transformations (Dislocations in Solids, Vol. 7, edited by F.R.N. Nabarro, North-Holland, 1986) was published at the time of his retirement from research. Most people in the field recognize that Morris did more than any other individual to advance the understanding of the martensitic mechanism and kinetics.

Morris was president of the American Society of Metals (ASM) and was twice presented with the ASM Howe Medal (1945 and 1949). In addition, he was a leader in the new field of materials science and engineering; he was co-chair of the NRC Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering that published Materials and Man’s Needs, often called the Cohen report. This study has had a significant influence on national policy on materials education and research. In 1987, Morris was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology. He published more than 300 research papers and supervised more than 150 graduate and postdoctoral students during his long tenure at MIT.

A talented violinist in his youth, Morris had a lifelong interest in the arts. He had season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra from the time he was a freshman at MIT and frequently provided his staff and students with tickets to musical and theatrical performances. He was an ardent collector of American impressionist paintings, particularly the works of John Joseph Enneking and Joseph Eliot Enneking; his collection was bequeathed to the Cape Cod Museum of Art. He was also a founder and past president of Temple Sinai in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Morris Cohen is survived by his son Joel, two sisters, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. His scientific vision and dedication to the field of materials science and engineering, as well as his warm and gracious manner, are deeply missed.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement