Hooked on Physics

Mark Transtrum

Mark Transtrum

The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences welcomes Mark Transtrum as a new assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Transtrum graduated from BYU in 2006 with a double major in physics and mathematics. He went on to receive his PhD in physics from Cornell University in 2011. His research at Cornell was focused on the use of differential geometry to understand mathematical models and numerical algorithms for data fitting.

For the past two years, he has been working as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he built upon his dissertation work to study complex biological models related to cancer. Recently, he has been working on “coarse-graining” complex biological models, simplifying them into more understandable forms.

Transtrum’s love of physics began in high school when he realized that the natural world could be systematically understood in a quantitative way. He has “been hooked ever since.”

He cites his exemplary professors and opportunities at BYU as one of the reasons for his success. “I benefited greatly from the wonderful mentors who helped me get started as an undergraduate,” he said.

Transtrum and his wife, Jenny, have two children—a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. He spends most of his free time with his family, but he also enjoys fishing, hiking, cooking, playing the piano, and playing video games.

Transtrum hopes to eventually teach a broad range of undergraduate and graduate physics classes, including areas related to his research. He especially looks forward to positively influencing his students to love learning.

“I’m looking forward to mentoring BYU students to help them discover the elegance of physics and mathematics and begin their own explorations through research.”

By Meg Monk Posted on