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Memoir

Nancy Houk
Regents' Proceedings 320

Nancy M. Houk, Ph.D., research scientist in the Department of
Astronomy, retired from active faculty status on March 31, 2001.

Dr. Houk received her B.S. degree from the University of Michigan in
1962, her M.S. degree from Case Institute of Technology in 1964, and her
Ph.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1967. From 1967-
70, she held postgraduate positions at Case Western Reserve University and
at the Kapteyn Laboratory in Groningen, The Netherlands. Following a brief
tour as acting director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket,
Massachusetts, she joined the astronomy department at Michigan as a
research associate in December of 1970. She was promoted to assistant
research scientist in 1973, associate research scientist in 1977, and research
scientist in 1985.

Dr. Houk conceived and carried out the monumental task of
classifying some two hundred thousand stars from the Henry Draper
Catalogue. These classifications were made on the modern two-dimensional
system, which provides a measure of both the surface temperature of a star
and its intrinsic luminosity. This work enjoyed international acclaim and
received more than two million dollars in funding from the National Science
Foundation for more than three decades. Well over one hundred graduate
and undergraduate students received an introduction to research as part of
Dr. Houk's team, and several have gone on to professional careers in
astronomy. Her work has been published in professional journals and
presented at national and international meetings. Dr. Houk will continue to
work on the project after her retirement.

In addition to astronomical societies, Dr. Houk is a member of the
American Association for the Advancement of Religion in an Age of
Science. She has also been active in the University of Michigan Choral
Union and in the Chancel Choir of the First Presbyterian Church of Ann
Arbor. She remains a keen supporter of the University of Michigan and
Detroit sports teams. As an opera fan she travels regularly to Chicago,
Detroit, and New York.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming Nancy M.
Houk research scientist emerita.