students spent six-week rotations carrying out six different research projects in six different laboratories during their first year. Several courses were offered, but there were few requirements and examinations. It took several years for the inherent weaknesses of human beings to reveal themselves; then some examinations and requirements were reluctantly established. Still, the tradition of research-oriented department has been maintained successfully to the present.
In accomplishing all of this Nate Kaplan played a major role in establishing Brandeis as a high-level research-oriented university in the sciences. By action and example, he contributed in a major way to the buildup of the science faculty and facilities for all disciplines, so that the university is now recognized as one of the few leading universities that is both highly successful but small enough so that communication is easy and the bureaucracy is (relatively) small.
Nate's ability to lead, plan, negotiate, and raise money from many willing and generous sources made of all this possible. Most departmental business was conducted in the hall. It is hard to resist change or start theoretical-political arguments while standing in a hall, so that this worked very well. He demonstrated an uncanny ability to go in the right direction and to find out how to get there. Numerous crises arose as new research programs grew in a new university, but he found ways to deal with these successfully and build up an infrastructure that made productive research and teaching possible.
How did Nate make all this work so well? It would be hard to predict that it would. It rested on his ability to sense what needed to be done and how to do it, without ever seeming to plan or calculate. He built the support of