Feynman earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1942, worked on the Manhattan project during World War II, and served on the faculty of Cornell University before going to the California Institute of Technology in 1950. In 1986 he was a member of the presidential commission that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. A writer of scientific works such as The Character of Physical Law (1967) and Statistical Mechanics (1972), Feynman is also a popular lecturer and author of a two volume informal memoir of his career as a physicist, entitled Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (1985) and What Do You Care What Other People Think? (1988).