Professor Fredrick Olness received his degrees from Duke and the University of Wisconsin and is now a Professor of Physics at SMU, where he recently served as Department Chair.
At SMU, he has been honored as a Dedman College Distinguished Professor, a Ford Research Fellowship Recipient, the SMU “M” Award, and the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award. In addition, Prof. Olness has served as President of the SMU Faculty Senate, and also as the Director of the Dallas Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
Professor Olness is a past spokesperson of the CTEQ Collaboration, and has held visiting positions at Fermilab (near Chicago) and the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. He was elected as an American Physical Society (APS) Fellow “For significant contributions to understanding nucleon structure and heavy quark production in perturbative quantum chromodynamics.”
He has written over 200 research articles, served as a convener for international workshops and conferences, and has been an invited speaker for international conferences and summer schools.
Professor Fredrick Olness received his B.S. from Duke University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Continuing his work-across-America tour, he took postdocs at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and the University of Oregon in Eugene, before joining SMU where he is now a Professor of Physics. He served as Department Chair from 2001-2007, and again from 2010-2015. In 2010 he was selected as the Dedman College Distinguished Professor
Professor Olness was a Co-Spokesperson of the CTEQ (2010-2014) Collaboration (cteq.org). He spent an academic year on sabbatical with the Theoretical Physics Group at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and another academic year on leave working on the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at the CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) laboratory in Geneva Switzerland.
Olness was elected as an APS Fellow for “For significant contributions to understanding nucleon structure and heavy quark production in perturbative quantum chromodynamics.” Each year, no more than one-half of one percent of the then-current members of the Society are recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow in The American Physical Society.
Prof. Olness served as President of the SMU Faculty Senate. He received an SMU Ford Fellowship, the SMU “M” Award, the SMU Distinguished University Citizen Award, and the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award. He was also the Director of the Dallas Regional Science & Engineering Fair (2000-2017).
His research is in elementary particle physics phenomenology, at the interface between theory and experiment. Specifically, he studies Quantum Chromodynamics (the fundamental force that binds nuclei) to help answer the questions: What are the fundamental building blocks of nature, and what holds them together?
Fredrick initiated the DOE theory grant at SMU in 1992, was awarded an SSC Fellowship in 1993, and is an active member of the CTEQ collaboration—a novel collaboration of theorists and experimentalists. He has written over 200 research articles, served as a convener for international workshops and conferences, and has been an invited speaker for international conferences and summer schools.
Olness co-authored the popular textbook Mathematica for Physics, which integrates new computer algebra programs into the core physics curriculum. This text is now in its 2nd Edition, and has also been translated into Japanese.
On the side, he presents “The Physics of Music” and “The Physics Circus” public lectures to local schools, and is the co-director of the Dallas Science Fair. Outside of physics, he entertains himself (and others) by playing his trumpets for church services and weddings.
His wife, Gloria, is an Associate Professor at UNT in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Department. Her research examines the discourse production abilities of adults with acquired neurogenic communication disorders, such as stroke-induced aphasia.
His son, Jonathan, is an early-career professional with experience in global health and international development. His daughter Jacqueline is a bioinformatics programmer working with a health research group. His son Benjamin studied engineering and economics and is a commercial business analyst.