Mark A. Novotny earned his B.S. degree in physics in 1973 from North Dakota State University and his Ph.D. in physics from Leland Stanford Junior University in 1978. He is currently a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and has served as Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy since 2001. He was the founding Director of the MSU High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) Center of Computational Sciences (CCS), which is under the auspices of the College of Arts & Sciences. Prior to joining MSU he was employed at the University of Georgia, Northeastern University, the IBM Scientific Centre in Norway, and Florida State University.
Prof. Novotny has published more than 190 articles in refereed journals. He is co-inventor of a US patent entitled 'Fully Scalable Computer Architecture' and is the inventor of a US provisional patent related to renewable energy. He has mentored in research eighteen graduate students, fifteen undergraduate students and fourteen postdoctoral associates. He has received external funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Army, and the US Air Force. In Fall 2013 he is funded by the National Science Foundation as the sole PI on a grant entitled "Computational Studies of Classical and Quantum Systems" and is PI on a grant entitled "Young Investigator Support to Attend the XXV IUPAP Conference on Computational Physics" which has one co-PI from LSU and one from NCSU. He has delivered over one hundred presentations at national and international meetings and institutions in the last decade, including over forty invited presentations.
His research areas are in computational materials physics, including algorithm development for bridging disparate time scales. He has studied extensively nucleation and growth phenomena in magnetic thin films and nanomaterials. Better understanding of the time scales involved in the dynamics of nanomagnets affects virtually everyone in today's technological society. Your data is primarily stored on magnetic nanoparticles, and the time scales extend from an inverse phonon frequency (about 10-13 sec) to the time to write a data bit (10-9sec) to how long you want your data to remain stored (109 sec). Nanomagnets also enable measurement of the last magnetic field reversal of the Earth, (about 1013 sec). The time spanned by algorithms of Prof. Novotny for nanoparticle dynamics is as many decades in time as the number of decades between the volume of a raindrop and all the water on Earth. The current research of Prof. Novotny centers on quantum statistical mechanics, quantum computing, computations for materials with energy storage applications, and on quantum transmission and electrical resistance in nanoparticles.
He became a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), nominated by the Division of Computational Physics (DCOMP), in 2000 "For original algorithm development and applications of computational statistical mechanics to equilibrium and non-equilibrium problems in condensed-matter physics and materials science". He received the Faculty Research Award from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2006. In 2011 he was named 'Outstanding Referee' by the APS. In 2012 he received a 'Dynasty Foundation Visiting Scientist' award to spend a fortnight in Russia. He became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) from the Section on Physics in 2012.