UNDOUPTEDLY, HIS STUDIES AND IDEAS WILL GO ON LIGHTING OUR WAyS…MAY GOD REST HIS SOUL IN PEACE…
Oktay Sinanoğlu (born in 1934) was an internationally renowned expert in quantum, theoretical chemistry and molecular biology.
He was born in Bari, Italy where his father Nüzhet Haşim Sinanoğlu was a Consul General. After the II World War he returned to Turkey with his family in 1939.
He went to Ankara Yenişehir High School (renamed as Ted College later) as a scholarship student and finished the school with a first degree. In order to study chemical engineering with the same school’s scholarship, he went to the USA. He also finished the University of California, Berkeley Chemistry Engineering ranking first.
Only eight months after he started his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957, not surprisingly with the first degree again, he earned his master’s degree and was awarded “Sloan fellowship”. He earned his PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1959. He joined the Yale University in 1960 as an assistant professor.
With “Many Electron Theory of Atoms and Molecules” in 1961, he became an associate professor. At the age of 28, solving a mathematics theory which had been unsolved for 50 years led him to be a full professor in 1963. Thus, he was marked as the youngest “full professor” of the 20th century at Yale University.
The Middle East Technical University board of trustees dignified Oktay Sinanoğlu with the title “Consulting Professor” for the first time and unique only for him in 1962. He was also appointed as a professor to the second lectern at Yale University. He received the “Alexander von Humboldt Research Award” in chemistry in 1973, and the “International Outstanding Scientist Award of Japan” in 1975. And again in 1975, he was granted the title of the Professor of Turkish Republic (only professor to hold this title) with a special law. He was a special ambassador to Japan in 1976, and worked for the development cultural, educational and scientific relations. He is the first and only member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was also rewarded High Science Award “Elena Moshinsky” by the Mexican government.
He was one of the first professors of molecular biology explaining the behaviour of DNA spiral in solvents. In 1980s, he focused on theoretical frame of teaching chemistry in a simple way. He retired from his studies of Yale University at a young age in 1993; and started his studies and lessons at Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul until 2002. During his academic life in Turkey, he dedicated himself to spread his nationalistic ideas on Turkish language and national identity. He stated education language to be formal language, foreign language to be taught additionally. He claimed that Turkish is the best science language because of its mathematical structure.
Oktay Sinanoğlu was an author and/or co-author of many scientific books and/or articles; the famous actress and singer Esin Afşar is Sinanoğlu’s sister.
The most significant theories of Sinanoğlu are: Many Electron Theory of Atoms and Molecules (1961) Solvophobic Theory (1964) Network Theory (1974) Microthermodynomics (1981) Valency Interaction Formula Theory (1983)