Who's Who Top Educators

Mark D. Semon, PhD

Title: Professor Emeritus
Company: Bates College
Location: Lavina, Montana, United States

Mark D. Semon, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Bates College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in physics and physics education.

Dr. Semon entered college planning to major in English or Philosophy but, when he took a required course that included the theory of relativity, his interest in physics was piqued. Dr. Semon couldn’t fathom how time could depend on motion or how energy and matter could be equivalent. In order to better understand these concepts, Dr. Semon switched his majors to physics and mathematics. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University in 1971, graduating Magna Cum Laude with High Honors in physics. Dr. Semon continued his education at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he received a Master of Science degree in 1973. After studying for one year at Imperial College in London, he returned to the University of Colorado Boulder and received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1976.

In 1970, Dr. Semon worked as a summer research assistant in the Solar Division at Kitt Peak National Observatory. The following year he was awarded one of approximately 150 Woodrow Wilson Fellowships for showing exceptional promise in teaching. One year before earning his doctoral degree, Dr. Semon worked at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory as a summer research assistant in the division of Field Testing of Nuclear Weapons. He began teaching at Bates College in 1976 as an assistant professor. Once at the institution, he rose through the ranks to associate professor in 1983 and full professor in 1988.

Dr. Semon was assistant editor of the American Journal of Physics from 1988 to 1990 and a member of the AJP Editorial Advisory Board from 2011 to 2013. During his time as assistant editor, Dr. Semon also was a visiting professor of physics at Amherst College. Dr. Semon worked as a forensic accident reconstructionist from 1978 to 2017, during which time he also contributed to a book on forensic accident reconstruction and to the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

During his career, Dr. Semon has been the author or co-author of papers on non-relativistic scattering theory, the Aharonov – Bohm effect, an alternative formulation of Quantum Electrodynamics, a physical interpretation of the electromagnetic vector potential, a new geometric model of velocity addition in special relativity, a new equation of state for liquid-gas systems near a critical point, and an analysis of pitches in fastpitch softball.

Upon graduating from college Dr. Semon was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Mu Epsilon. He also is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the American College of Forensic Examiners and the Council of Undergraduate Research.

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Bates College

Lifetime Achievement Award

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