Peter G. Lykos, 86, professor of chemistry emeritus at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), died on July 16, 2013.
A Chicago native, Lykos served in the Navy V-5 training program during World War II. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he earned a B.S. in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1950 and a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1955.
Lykos then joined IIT’s chemistry department faculty.
An accomplished physical chemist, he had a strong interest in computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, and chemistry education.
A pioneer in the use of computers in the classroom, Lykos introduced computers to IIT classes in 1959. He also helped develop a Saturday program at IIT that taught computer science to thousands of high school students and their teachers in the 1960s.
Lykos took a two-year leave of absence from IIT beginning in 1971 to assist the National Science Foundation in creating a new section, Computer Impact on Society. In recent years, Lykos developed two courses on the science of climate change. He retired last year.
He joined ACS in 1962 and helped create its Division of Computers in Chemistry in 1974.
Lykos is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie; sons, George and Andrew; daughter, Kristina; and one granddaughter.