Stevens F. Johnson Biography
A Brief History


The home farmstead.

The Iowa Wesleyan Chapel, site of many A Capella Choir rehearsals and concerts.

I was born in Iowa, raised on an Iowa farm, and graduated in 1971 from a local community high school that no longer exists (9th out of 36 from a class that academically ranked in the 99th percentile nationally). I attended Iowa Wesleyan College (Mt. Pleasant, IA), graduating Magna Cum Laude in May 1975 with double majors in Physics and Mathematics and a minor in Secondary Education. (I would have majored in Vocal Music instead, but I thought it would be too much fun to take seriously. Even so, I was a tenor in the touring A Capella Choir all four years.)

During the school years at Iowa Wesleyan, I corrected Calculus homework as well as substituting in the student union dining hall and the mens dormatory desk. During the summers between, I had my own painting company (with partners when the projects became too numerous to handle alone), mostly painting houses, barns, and sheds.

The University of Iowa's Old Capitol, an icon of the campus. It was the original capitol of the state.

I taught high school Physics, General Science, and Algebra for half a year after a false start in graduate school, then re-enrolled the next year in Electrical Engineering at The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), earning an M.S. in May 1979 and a Ph.D. in December 1981. My emphasis was Applied Physics with specialties in Plasma Physics, Plasma Engineering, and Space Physics.

The area around Los Alamos is at once beautiful and dangerous. A single, narrow, and winding road is the only major access to the city and laboratory.

For the summer of 1980, I was a graduate research assistant in the Theoretical Division at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now called Los Alamos National Laboratory), Los Alamos, NM. Some of my work leading to the Ph.D. came from what I learned about inertial confinement fusion theory while at Los Alamos.

From March 1982 to August 1985, I worked in the Electronic and Information Sector Lab of Central Research at 3M, St. Paul. MN, focusing on electrophotography (photocopying machines). Since August, 1985, I've been at Bemidji State University, Department of Physics/Science, teaching most of the departmental courses in the catalog (Physics, Engineering, Astronomy, and Applied Mathematics).

In 1992, I took a three year unpaid leave of absence from Bemidji State, attending the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND (with the summer of 1993 enrolled at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH), graduating in May 1995 with an emphasis in Patent Law (and Intellectual Property Law in general). I've been a member of the Minnesota bar since Fall 1995.

I enjoy cycling (every day in the summer), singing (Bemidji Chorale), weight lifting, nature photography, reading, writing, studying, and research in my free time.

The Bemidji Chorale.

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Last Updated October 20, 2009.
© 2009 Stevens F. Johnson and the Dept. of Physics/Science, Bemidji State University. All rights are reserved unless explicitly stated otherwise.