Alumni Comments

Alumni Comments

About their experiences ...

"Loved the Program, props to Profs. Maris and Pelcovitz!" - Matthew Bycer, Patent Attorney

"Graduating from Brown = Amazing. Studying Physics = Amazing. Graduating from Brown with a degree in Physics = (Amazing)^(n), where n > 2." - Ryan Patrick Murphy

"I loved being at Brown and I miss it dearly! I have many fond memories and would like to help the university in any way that I can. Mentoring students, summer internships, postdocs and regular hiring where appropriate. Here is my bio from 2009: Michael Perrone is an IBM Master Inventor and the manager of the Multicore Computing Department at IBM Research which has the mission of exploring the strengths and weaknesses of multicore processors to help guide architectural design for future processors and to aid customers in designing novel algorithms for multicore. His recent projects cover a variety of HPC workloads, including seismic imaging, reservoir modeling, computational fluid dynamics, network intrusion detection, financial data stream processing, high-speed text indexing, photolithography, image processing and bioinformatics. His research includes algorithmic optimization for a variety of multicore processors, parallel computing and statistical machine learning. He received his PhD in Physics from Brown University." - Michael P. Perrone

"Brown prepared me well for graduate school and gave me a taste for research with the sr. thesis and a summer research opportunity. I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy more than 38 years of active research in physics and materials science." - Robert K. Mohr

"Upon graduating from Bown, I received an MS in Physics from Vanderbilt University. I worked for High Voltage Engineering in Burlington, MA for two years. After spending 15 years in the seafood business, I worked for a software company and then for Lucent Technologies in the software management of communications equipment. In my retirement, I have started to review the world of physics to become familiar with the developments in the field in recent years(string theory, entanglement, Higgs bosons,etc.) I look forward to hearing from you in the future about efforts at Brown." - Dana Willard

"I was fortunate to have Prof. Jan Tauc as my advisor at Brown. Jan gave me great opportunities to work on exciting research in a well-equipped lab. Through his connections, I wound up with a post-doc at Bell Labs. My graduate work at Brown and my post-doc prepared me well for the academic job market." - Jefferson Strait

"I am a retired professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington who continues to conduct research in astrophysics." - George Wallerstein

"I am really pleased with my 43 years in physics thanks largely to my Ph.D. from Brown. I summarize what I was up to during this time span in my LinkedIn profile: I would be even more pleased if I can reconnect with some more of my contemporaries at Brown and perchance connect with other Brown physics alumni with common research interests." - David L. Griscom

"Brown was pivotal in setting my career path. Although I took an MS at Brown, then left with my advisor (Peter Timbie) to complete my PhD at the University of Wisconsin, I consider my years at Brown to be the key formative period in developing my identity as a physicist. I will always remember that time fondly." - Sean Cordone

"I have always liked physics and math and was blessed with particularly good high school teachers who opened my eyes to the beauty of it. My education at Brown provided me some wonderful opportunities for further experiences... spending a summer at Brookhaven National Lab as a student for one... and physics has always been a fundamental area for me to return to. Physics is a wonderful way of precision mixed with rough "back of the envelope" knowledge of the world. It is a philosophy and outlook that will never leave me." - Brad Banko, Physician

"I had a great experience with the Senior Thesis for my physics ScB. My advisor was Professor Loferski (electrical engineering). I spent an extra semester (a 9th semester), with a reduced course load for the 8th and 9th semesters ... spent almost all my time in the lab ... had my own lab room and private office in Prince Hall ... had a door key so that I could enter Barrus Holley and Prince Hall 24/7 ... had permission to use the machine shop to make my own vacuum system components ... was included in my advisor's group meetings with his other graduate students, even though I was an undergrad. I assembled a cathodoluminescence test system with a Van de Graaf 450KeV accelerator, to measure how high energy electrons damaged II-VI semiconductor crystals. My undergraduate thesis at Brown was much more extensive than the project required later for my Master's degree at RPI. I learned a lot from this." - Andrew Woodruff

About the relevence of a Physics major...

"Although most of my work is really engineering, the power of the Physics degree is what has made it stand out." - Paul F. Sullivan

"I am Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. I have a PhD in Meteorology from MIT (1991). My research ranges from quantum chemical physics (we have a project at the moment on the 2-dimensional photochemistry of hydrogen peroxide (torsion and O-O bond stretching)) to the interplay between free-radical chemistry and the phase partitioning of complex organic mixtures associated with organic aerosols in the atmosphere. I teach physical chemistry (quantum chemistry). The Physics degree seems somehow relevant!" - Neil Donahue

"The work I do is managing engineering R&D, but I couldn't do it without degrees in Physics." - Tom Wood

"My Brown degree gave me an excellent preparation for my Ph.D. work, followed by a long career in industrial research as an individual researcher, a research manager and a director of research. I finished off my career branching off into biophysics (my previous areas of research were optics, fiber optic sensing, smart structures, complex adaptive structures and adaptive computational techniques) as the director of the Applied Biosciences Center at Virginia Tech. I am now retired, but found that a physics degree prepares me both for research and for management of engineering teams, since a physicist is willing to step outside the box and consider problems from first principles, something even good engineers are not generally trained to do." - William B. Spillman Jr.

"I worked for AT&T-Bell Labs. Initially I modeled neutron damage in Si. After four years I moved to a job providing technical support toa facility manufacturing printed circuits. This was a broad generalist job requiring a knowledge of many technical disciplines. The work on neutron damage was a direct extension of my PhD research. The later work on printed circuits required the approach used in physics for problem solving." - Robert R Holmes

"Training in physics allowed me to participate in many technical areas including: Elastic yarn manufacturing, Helicopter manufacturing.Nuclear power for submarines, space power systems &electric power generation.Water purification by reverse osmoses. Laser holography for visualization of complex stress patters and laser printing. Fiber wound structures to increase energy storage in high speed flywheels. Fuel cell technology and development for underwater applications, marine power sysems, and for the Space shuttle. Small town planning: land use, water supplies, liquid and solid waste disposal & cell phone tower siting." - Ben Gitlow

"The Brown physics program provided a solid base for my career in solar physics. You can read about my work at"- David Rust

"I got a Ph.D. degree on Elementary Particle Physics from Cornell in 1984. I now do Biophysics and study biomolecular systems by computer simulations." - Yuko Okamoto

"Technology ScB in Physics was an excellent foundation for a career in high tech managment. Was able to understand the technical operation of the various products or concepts I delt with, while the strong mathematical background helped understand the financials of the business. An MBA from Harvard helped resolve the personnel administration and expression issues." - Frank J. Wezniak

"Currently teaching in Bioengineering division. My degree in Physics of course was a tremendous help in my research area, which is biomedical imaging." - Kijoon Lee

"I returned to Brown in 1959 and got a PhD in Physics with Leon Cooper on the superconducting proximity effect. I taught Physics at U. Michigan, Case Western Reserve U., U. of Kansas and finally Dalhousie U. before moving to the Dalhousie Oceanography Department in 1975 and then working for the Canadian government from 1978 to 2000 as a marine ecologist. Leon Cooper told me once abut my thesis topic that if could solve this problem, I could solve anything. Basically he was right. Although none of the work I do in ecology looks anything like physics, the intellectual skills I acquired at Brown were the basic tools that I needed and used. What mattered was not that I learned physics, but rather that I learned how to do science." - Bill Silvert

"My Physics degree has thoroughly prepared me for my career even though I am not pursuing science. Studying Physics at Brown taught me to think analytically, and that has been invaluable." - Kenli Okada

"I teach high school physics. It's really fun.." - Lieva Whitbeck

"I am a practicing medical physicist whose graduate work at Brown has been essential for my career. I use my scientific skills directly to assist the care of patients. In over thirty years I don't think that any two days have ever been alike, and I have the luck to get paid for pursuing a hobby. " - David L. North

"I am a partner at a management consulting company and I serve the Aerospace & Defense industry. After receiving my ScB in Physics at Brown, I got my PhD in theoretical nuclear physics at MIT. Both degrees really help me in my profession. First, they give me great credibility with my clients who usually have technical backgrounds themselves. Second, physics education is great training for the analytical problem solving required for effective consulting. " - Eric Kronenberg

"Currently advise information technology and information companies on mergers acquisitions and financings. My undergraduate Physics education helps me everyday solve problems, screen BS and tell my kids how much there is still left to understand about how the universe works." - David Heinemann

"My ScB(P) gave me a broad understanding of physics/engineering and superb analytical skills able to solve the problem of RADAR backscattering from ocean waves and other problems. After working at Martin for three years, Sanders for eleven years, I worked at DEC for 22 years. At DEC I was the engineering manager for DECsystem 10 software and CPU hardware development for the 11/70, 11/55, and 11/60 and the FP11C." - Alton Ryder

"Over the years I have been working on research in solid state physics. But in the latter part of my career, I have been focused on infrared technology for both industry and the department of Defense. Currently I am retired but still "working", consulting for a company that produces infrared detector materials for IR focal plane arrays. The principal IR material is a II-VI alloy, HgCdTe. We are pursuing growing this material on Si substrates that will afford extremely large arrays consisting of up to 16 million pixels. The company is also pursuing II-VI solar arrays using materials from the II-VI columns of the periodic table. These include compounds and alloys such as CdTe, CdZnTe, etc. Besides consulting on a wide variety of device issues for EPIR, I am also developing for them a design tool allowing the detector designer to predict performance of a given detector design as well as aid in analyzing failure. This involves the numerical solution of the semiconductor equations, a set of non-linear, second order partial differential equations. While the bulk of my career has been spent in IR physics and technology, Right after Brown, I worked in nuclear power reactor design physics. This involved extensive numerical computation. Therefore most of my research career involved numerical solutions for my research areas which included transport and optical properties of IR materials as well as development of computer-based design tools for engineers and technologists. I have always worked in industry for companies. At times, I have also supported DoD IR technology groups. One exception was course I taught one semester on IR Device Physics at the Microphysics Lab at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Thirty years ago, I along with the late Professor William E. Spicer founded a specialty conference now called the the II-VI conference called the US Workshop on the Physics and Chemistry of II-VI Materials. I remain on the Program Committee. This Workshop established an international community on IR materials the underlying physics and chemistry processes as well as the technology of IR focal plane arrays In summary, my Brown degree required me to take in addition to physics and math courses, a series of liberal arts courses form Sociology to Biblical Literature. In doing so, it gave me insight into how the world works and how people interact. This was critical in easing my way through the myriad political problems one faces in jousting with fellow researchers as well as management for dollars as well as programs." - Thomas Casselman