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James Demas

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James Demas

Chemistry (retired)

Jim Demas is an emeritus professor of chemistry. He came to UVA in 1971 by way of New Mexico, Washington State, and California. He is active in both research and education. His interests span analytical, physical, inorganic, and polymer chemistry, and he specializes in things that luminesce. He has over two hundred publications with a number in chemical education. He works extensively with undergraduates and about a third of his papers have undergraduate coauthors, a number as first author. He published books on luminescence and computer interfacing, and has 6 patents on luminescence. He ran the Chemistry Department’s Research Experience for Undergraduates for a number of years and has been a fellow at Brown College for about twenty years where he entertains students by showing and commenting on a number of classic and not so classic films. He enjoys movies and has over 2000 of his movie reviews on his webpage ( He gives a talk on science fact in science fiction films. He is one of the co-directors of the College Science Scholar Program. He enjoys biking, hiking, and grandchildren. He is an enthusiastic photographer and even sells an occasional shot, and had a number of contributions to UVA’s The Week in Photographs. He was in martial arts for over 25 year and held a third degree black belt in Taekwondo.