Copyright © 2014-2019,2021 by Thomas E. Dickey

Richard D. Swope

Swope shared an office with my second undergraduate advisor, and was, among other things, the faculty sponsor for the engineering honor society.

I worked with him to set up a calculation of bubble formation. My side did not go as well as I liked (see here), but he was able to correct things and make a better solution.

I do not find much in the publication record. Here are the papers which he published in that era:

I and two others were accepted into the honor society midway through our junior year. In our first meeting, we were directed to choose officers. Because it was a small class (we were the top ten percent), each of us became an officer of the chapter: president, vice president and treasurer. I suggested that one who was a minority be the president, to avoid controversy; the others agreed. I ended up as the treasurer.

At that point, we were uncertain what our duties were. Our sponsor was not at the meeting, and it was several months before we found the answer. In the meantime, we decided to work in the same lab/project team, having had little luck with randomly chosen partners.

That was (mostly) an improvement over the previous team, where I had done most of the work. I was taking extra courses (a long story in itself), and had little time for anything else. Once I noticed one of my partners heading off to the engineering building (perhaps to do calculations), and asked if he would drop off my lab report. About a week later, the professor who had assigned the lab hinted that my partner may have reused the material in his own report. He may have been teasing, but did not want to clarify his remarks. Incidentally, at that time, he was the head of the scholarship and awards committee in the school of engineering.

That fall, we three decided to work together on the senior project. Though it counted as one course of four, it actually took more time than an average course, while I had four additional courses. One of those was a required course for a second major in mathematics. As an alternative to that course, I could take an examination and get credit for it. I registered for the exam (and the course).

By chance, the examination fell on the date when the honor society's national convention took place. It was understood by that point, that the chapter president should go:

Swope complained that we were being immoral (his term).

Around the same time, I found that the chapter president was to receive an award for the outstanding student in the engineering class. He ranked second in the class behind me. Later, I received a lesser award (one tenth as much) recognizing me as the student with the highest marks.

As treasurer, I completed the tax form (which was not easy, since my predecessors had left no guidance: my successor had my notes on how to do this).

Of the three, only I continued in engineering: