Steven Johnson '95, PhD '01

Professor of Applied Mathematics and Physics
Studies the influence and design of complex geometries ("metamaterials") on wave phenomena.

Research Interests

  • The influence of complex geometries (particularly in the nanoscale) on solutions of partial differential equations, especially for wave phenomena and electromagnetism — analytical theory, numerics, and design of devices and phenomena. (See, for example, photonic crystals.)
  • High-performance computation, such as fast Fourier transforms, solvers for numerical electromagnetism, and large-scale optimization.

Biographical Sketch

I received my Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 2001, as well as BS degrees in physics, mathematics, and computer science from MIT in 1995, with post-doctoral positions at MIT and Harvard. My Ph.D. thesis was published as a book by Kluwer in 2002 (sans color, unfortunately); you can read the introduction online. I grew up in St. Charles, Illinois and attended high school at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA).

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Awards & Honors

  • 2009 // Edmund F. Kelly Research Award, awarded every three years by the MIT Mathematics Department for outstanding research by a junior faculty member.
  • 2008 // Ranked among top-10 most-cited authors in the field of “photonic crystals” by ScienceWatch.com (October 2008).
  • 1999 // J. H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software (for FFTW); Argonne Natl. Lab., National Physical Lab. (UK), and the Numerical Algorithms Group
  • 1999 // Laurels Award in Electronics (for FFTW), Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1999.