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Joel Franklin, PhD '03

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Joel Franklin, PhD '03

Joel Franklin, PhD '03

TELL US WHAT YOU'RE UP TO NOW (WORK, RESEARCH, HOBBIES, OTHER)

I work on modified theories of gravity primarily, but have also done research on nonlinear versions of E&M (Born-Infeld) and nonlinear couplings in quantum mechanics (Born-Infeld and gravity).  I have also published expository articles on general relativity and E&M.  I'm currently working on a new book in which each chapter consists of a single physical configuration, and as the chapter progresses, more and more physical elements are introduced, complicating the problem but making its solution more and more general.  I play drums in a band that just put out a 7" EP (on vinyl, of course).

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ICME?

Most interesting physical problems require numerical solution of some sort, and I had no training in the methods one might reliably use.  The SCCM provided an interdisciplinary environment in which to learn and apply numerical methods.

WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE YEAR IMMEDIATELY AFTER GRADUATING?

I was a visitor at the Pasteur Institute in Paris for a few months, and then went on to a post-doc in the physics department at MIT.

HOW DID YOUR EDUCATION AT ICME PREPARE YOU FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING TODAY?

I teach a course on computational methods for physics at Reed College, that course has content that comes directly from my course work and research in the SCCM program

WHEN YOU REFLECT BACK ON YOUR TIME AT ICME, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST FONDLY?

The program provided the freedom to learn about and explore a variety of mathematics and application areas.  I took courses on stochastic differential equations, numerical linear algebra, string theory and algebra, and my overall education benefitted greatly from that breadth, both in terms of the coursework content, and from exposure to an array of teachers and researchers in disparate fields.  

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE, WHERE DO YOU ENVISION ICME STUDENTS FIT IN? 

Almost anywhere - the SCCM degree was flexible, and I could easily have ended up in an applied mathematics department or industry instead of at a physics department at an academic institution.  

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR TODAY'S ICME STUDENTS?

Don't focus too much on what kind of career you will end up with after Stanford - instead, enjoy your work and use your time in graduate school to explore fields outside of the ones you are used to and comfortable with.


ICME Program: PhD '03

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

Profession: Professor of Physics, Reed College- Portland, Oregon

Published Works:  Books published by Cambridge University Press

     - Advanced Mechanics and General Relativity (2010)

     - Computational Methods for Physics (2013)

Other Honors:

     - KITB Scholar at UCSB

     - Visiting Associate Professor of Physics, Stanford University (2011)