Maitland Jones, Jr. is the David B. Jones Professor of Chemistry at Princeton, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Kiev Polytechnic, and Fudan University, among others. Well-known in his field, he is the author of the popular organic chemistry textbook Organic Chemistry and over 190 other publications.
Jones is also notable for his Organic Chemistry Without a Lecture course, which focuses on teaching orgo via small group work and problem-solving, with only minimal lecturing. Orgo grades are not curved, and the course isn't aimed at weeding out pre-med wannabes.
Jones's webpage has photographs of his uniquely-named grandchildren (Maitland appears to be a family name, but it went from his son to his granddaughter), accounts and photos of his travels, chemistry trivia, and course information.
Maitland Jones at Simon's Rock:
My academic advisor at Simon's Rock College, David Myers, had Jones as his doctoral advisor. I met Jones when he came to Simon's Rock on April 23, 2003 to give a lecture on an organic compound called bullvalene, which went mostly over my head (me being in first-year general chemistry, with no knowledge of orgo whatsoever) but which was quite interesting and amusing all the same.
He warned us all not to write textbooks (Organic Chemistry took him ten years to write), and said that it's like putting all your intellectual flaws on display to the world -- there are a lot of little mistakes that can go into 1200-1300 pages of textbook, and people will notice them.
I was especially relieved to find that at least one textbook author is capable of inserting humor without sacrificing content, and to find that there are professors out there who are as fabulous as David.* For that matter, Jones certainly blew the stereotype of graduate professors at Ivy League universities being aloof and scary.
Some of my favorite quotes from the lecture:
"Creativity is very hard to define. It's like pornography."
"The idea was so luminously beautiful it was permitted to be published."
(regarding pre-discovery bullvalene, after mentioning that mere ideas didn't get published)
"There's this tendency to look at a molecule and say 'This looks like a...basket,' and go to your Sanskrit dictionary and look up 'basket' and name the molecule 'basket-in-Sanskrit-ane' in hopes that people are impressed by your erudition. It's totally bogus and no one should ever do it. Now, naming molecules after your friends is a different matter."
*Why, yes, I am a David fangirl. It was pretty funny watching David fanboy Professor Jones the way I fangirl David, though.