Ian Durham


+1(603) 222-4073



Ph.D., 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 (quantummoxie.wordpress.com)

  • 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).

  • Professional Societies
    • American Physical Society
      Editor, The Quantum Times, newsletter of the Topical Group on Quantum Information
    • Royal Astronomical Society
    • British Society for the Philosophy of Science
    • The Anacapa Society
  • Research Interests
    • Quantum information science, in particular theoretical studies of open quantum systems, algorithms for quantum computing, and quantum cryptographic protocols.
    • Foundational problems in mathematics and physics with an emphasis on quantum mechanics and its intersection with statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.
    • History and philosophy of physics, mathematics, and astronomy.
    • Other random things that pique my interest.
  • Background

    Academic Degrees

    • Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, 2005.
      Dissertation Title: Sir Arthur Eddington and the Foundations of Modern Physics
    • M.Sc. in Applied Physics
      Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2001.
    • B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (Concentration: Fluids; Minor: Philosophy)
      State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1997.

    Academic and Research Positions

    Saint Anselm College
    Manchester, New Hampshire
    Associate Professor, Department of Physics, 2008 - Present
    Director, Computational Physical Sciences Program, 2008 - Present
    Assistant Professor, 2004 - 2008

    Simmons College
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Visiting Assistant Professor, 2002 - Present
    Lecturer, 2001-2002

    University of New Hampshire
    Durham, New Hampshire
    CATSAT Research Fellow, 2001

    United States Naval Academy
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Adjunct Instructor of Physics, 2001 (Spring)

    Industry Positions

    Durham Research, Inc.
    Crofton, Maryland
    President, 1999-2001

    SAIC, Inc.
    Washington, DC
    Scientific Programmer/Instrument Engineer, 1997 - 2000

    Selected Publications