Welcome to the Internet home of Steuard Jensen! A personal homepage seems almost quaint in the Age of the Blog, but I have enough distractions without feeling obligated to give the world a daily chronicle of my life. If you're a friend who wants to know what I've been up to recently, just write to me. And if you don't know me but for some reason want to learn more about who I am, this probably beats a blog anyway.
First, the bare bones professional outline. I am an Associate Professor of Physics and Associate Provost at Alma College in Alma, Michigan (almost the exact center of the state's lower peninsula: 50 miles due north of Lansing). Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at the Joint Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. I got my Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Chicago, studying string theory under Jeff Harvey. As an undergraduate, I majored in Physics and Math at Harvey Mudd College (also in Claremont); my thesis there was on general relativity.
More personally, I was born in Montana but grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. I've been a science nerd for most of my life, as have many of my friends (though we all have other interests as well). My wife Kim has taught math part time at Alma; while I was in graduate school in Chicago she was the math curriculum chair (and a popular teacher) at Robert Morris College. We met in college (her name was Kim Yarbrough at the time), and we were married as soon as she finished her Masters in math at the University of Georgia.
A great many things have become important to me over time, though I don't have the time I'd like to devote to all of them. They range from family and friends to hobbies and amusements to ideas and philosophy, and I doubt that I could ever list them all. Still, I've taken a stab at summarizing the most important bits on this site. Most of that can be found on my personal pages.
Meanwhile, the material here related to my research and teaching is best accessed from my separate professional home page. Most of this falls into two categories: a research section including my publications and explanations of my work for non-specialists, and a teaching section including tutorials and discussion of several topics in math and physics. I've also written a list of surprising life knowledge that I call "Wow, Good to Know!" Finally, I've made a nice poster of the planets to scale for the Alma planetarium.
Rounding out the notable sections of this site, I'm something of an expert on J. R. R. Tolkien and Middle-earth (it's my chief hobby, when I have time for hobbies), and my Tolkien Meta-FAQ is a rather popular collection of information and essays on the topic. And while it's been many years, I still think that my Prom King story is funny enough to share.
The Master said: `If a man does not anticipate deception and does not reckon on bad faith, but on the other hand is aware in good time when they occur, he is a man of quality, isn't he?'
—Confucius, Analects 14.31
Write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2004-2015 by Steuard Jensen.