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Ian Durham, Ph.D.

PhD, Mathematics, University of St. Andrews
MSc, Applied Physics, The Johns Hopkins University
BSc, Mechanical Engineering (Minor: Philosophy), University at Buffalo

Professional credentials:

  • Member, American Physical Society (APS)
  • Elected treasurer of the APS' Topical Group on Quantum Information (GQI), 2012-2014
  • Founding Editor of the APS GQI publication The Quantum Times
  • Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
  • Elected member, Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

Background Information:

I consider myself to be a mathematical physicist. That is, I apply mathematical concepts to physical problems. I have been doing this in some guise or another for more than fifteen years. I am particularly interested in foundational issues, notably those in quantum mechanics and quantum information, but also in statistical mechanics, cosmology, quantum gravity, and particle physics. I find I am often drawn to issues involving emergence and complexity, especially as it applies to the quantum-classical contrast. That said, I am perfectly content applying these ideas to other areas including engineering. That is the beauty of mathematics and physics --- they are at the core of everything!

I have an entrepreneurial bent as well, being a veteran of six start-up ventures ranging from STEM education to nanotechnology to software development. My current start-up is called Kitchology, Inc. In an effort to promote an entrepreneurial spirit in Saint Anselm students, I worked to develop a partnership between Saint Anselm and the University of Notre Dame's ESTEEEM program. In addition to managing that program, I am currently Director of the Computational Physical Sciences Program along with Prof. Mihaela Malita of the Computer Science Department. I am former Chair of Physics and former Acting Chair of Mathematics. In my spare time, I enjoy fly fishing, competitive auto racing (though I don't get many opportunities to do it), performing music (of quite literally any genre --- I have even released an album), writing (short fiction and poetry mostly), generally being outdoors, and a host of other things too numerous to name. For more information, view my personal blog at (

Recent and Notable Publications:

M. Skotiniotis, B. Toloui, I.T. Durham, and B.C. Sanders, "Quantum Frameness for CPT Symmetry," Physical Review Letters, forthcoming (2013).

I.T. Durham, "Quantum Computers and Information Security: Shor's Algorithm and the Future of RSA," Hakin9 Extra, 14 (2012).

I.T. Durham, "Information and thermodynamic systems," in Foundations of Physics and Probability - 6, A. Khrennikov, ed., AIP Press, Melville, NY (2012).

I.T. Durham, "Rethinking the scientific enterprise: in defense of reductionism," Fourth Prize, 2012 Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) Essay Contest: "Questioning the foundations" (2012).

I.T. Durham, "In search of continuity: thoughts of an epistemic empiricist," Fourth Prize, 2011 Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) Essay Contest: "Is reality digital or analog?" (2011).

I.T. Durham, "Unification and Emergence in Physics: the Problem of Articulation," Third Prize, 2009 Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) Essay Contest: "What is ultimately possible in physics?" (2009).

I.T. Durham, "Rethinking the history of solar wind studies: Eddington's analysis of Comet Morehouse," Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 60, 261 (2006).

I.T. Durham, "Numerology and the cosmos: alternative cosmologies in 1930's Britain," Cubo: Matematica Educacion, 5, 1 (2003).

I.T. Durham, "Eddington and Uncertainty," Physics in Perspective, 5, 398 (2003).

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