Das Thamattoor received a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in chemistry from the Government Arts and Science College, Karwar, India and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in organic chemistry from Karnatak University, Dharwad, India. After obtaining a Ph. D. from Princeton University, he spent a year at Oberlin College in Ohio as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He then worked for a year as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Notre Dame before joining the Colby College chemistry department.
At Colby, Das has taught the first half of the general chemistry sequence, both halves of introductory organic chemistry, advanced courses in reaction mechanisms, and a course for nonmajors. This spring he is teaching an advanced course in mechanistic organic chemistry and leading the general chemistry laboratory. Das’ research interests include reaction mechanisms, reactive intermediates, photochemistry, unusual molecules, and computational chemistry. To date, he has mentored about 80 Colby undergraduates and 50 high school students on a variety of research projects. This has led to several student-coauthored, peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Das’ research program has been supported by various funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund administered by the American Chemical Society, and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.
Das was recently named a Fulbright Global Scholar. Under the auspices of this award he will spend the summer of 2018 in Japan (research at Hiroshima University), the summer of 2019 in the Czech Republic (research at Masaryk University), and January/February of 2020 in Singapore (teaching at Yale-NUS College). Colby students often join Das on his overseas trips to participate in organic chemistry research projects. Das has also received several teaching awards in his career including the Charles Bassett Teaching Award at Colby.
When he is not teaching classes or puttering around the lab, Das is a rabid baseball fan who roots for Cleveland. During the 2013 baseball season, he and his son Luca, who was about 14 at the time, traveled around North America and saw a game at every major league baseball stadium. In addition, they visited Cooperstown, the Field of Dreams, and the NLBM in Kansas City. A blog of their adventures may be viewed here.
Das is also into music, especially the blues. In the spring of 2013 he took a course with luthier Bill Russo to build an acoustic guitar. A slideshow of the key steps involved in making the guitar can be found here.