Professor Beck began working on recrystallization, grain growth, and textures in metals in the 1930s and continued to work on them at the University of Notre Dame and University of Illinois until about 1970. During that time, he made significant contributions to the concepts of “oriented growth” and “oriented nucleation” of grains. Paul found that the predominant grains in recrystallized samples differed greatly in orientation from the rolled (deformation) texture, often being related to the deformation texture by rotations of 25 to 35 degrees about a common  crystallographic direction. In samples with low initial strains (5 to 15 percent), however, the nucleation of new strain-free grains was markedly different; no new orientations nucleated and grew. Instead, existing high-angle grain boundaries moved into their strained neighbors leaving behind strain-free recrystallized regions. This new mechanism of nucleation in recrystallization was called strain-induced grain-boundary migration.
Early in the 1950s, Paul began working on phase diagrams of transition-metal alloys, especially the intermediate phases. Those studies required the fabrication and examination of many samples, which meant enormous labor on the part of his students. Paul worked himself and his students very hard. He was known to phone his laboratory at 8:00 a.m. each morning and ask to speak, in sequence, to each of his students. At 5:00 p.m., he would walk through the laboratory asking each student what he or she had accomplished that day and making suggestions for the next stage of their research. Students often had to work late into the night to produce results by the next morning. He often remarked to a student, “This research will not win you the Nobel Prize, but it will be a good contribution to science.” The cumulative work of his research group resulted in an immense gain in the understanding of properties of alloy phases.
Although Paul required that his students perform at a very high level, he was a compassionate person. After the ill-fated 1956 Hungarian revolution, the University of Illinois offered a three-month English course for a dozen Hungarian college-bound refugees. Upon completion of the course, Professor Beck