BYU Advisory Board

Randy Beard 
Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Randal W. Beard received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City in 1991, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1993, the M.S. degree in mathematics in 1994, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1995, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Since 1996, he has been with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, where he is currently a professor. In 1997 and 1998, he was a Summer Faculty Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. In 2006 and 2007 he was a visiting research fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB, FL. His primary research focus is autonomous control of miniature air vehicles and multivehicle coordination and control. He is a past associate editor for the IEEE Control Systems Magazine and the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, and is currently an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control.

Natalie Blades

Natalie Blades received her A.B., Magna Cum Laude, in Mathematics from Wellesley College in 1997, her Master of Science in Engineering from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering in 2001, and her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2002. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Brigham Young University and an associate in the Department of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University. In 2007 and 2009, she received the J. Earl Faulkner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Statistics Graduate Courses and Graduate Mentoring from Brigham Young University.

Emily Evans
Emily Evans received a B.S. in economics from the University of Utah. After receiving her degree she spent 7 years in industry as a software engineer before returning to school to receive a PhD in mathematical sciences from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She joined the mathematics department at BYU in 2011. Her research interests include finite elements for domains with fractal boundaries, biological modeling, computational mechanics and the mathematics of computer animation.

Richard Evans
Richard Evans is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University specializing in international macroeconomics , monetary economics, public economics and computational economics. Rick is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory and is one of nine members of the Utah Economic Council. After receiving a B.A. in economics from Brigham Young University in 1998, he began his economic career as a Research Economist at Thredgold Economic Associates in Salt Lake City, providing state and national economic analysis for Zions Bank and their operations in eight western states. Rick later received a M.A. in Public Policy from Brigham Young University in and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.  He has also spent time as a researcher at the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and as an economic consultant.

Gus Hart
Physics and Astronomy
Gus Hart has contributed to a high-throughput framework for materialsdiscovery, algorithm development for cluster expansion modeling of alloys, and a Bayesian compressive sensing approach for model building. He is a co-developer of the UNCLE code, a simulation package for modeling alloys. He has also developed the ENUM code for enumerating derivative superstructures (lattice configuration combinatorics) in collaboration with Rodney Forcade. He is currently funded by the NSF, NETL, and ONR-MURI and is looking for undergraduate and graduate students to collaborate with and have openings in my group for post-doctoral researchers.

Tim McLain
Mechanical Engineering
Tim McLain is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University. He received BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from BYU and his PhD in mechanical engineering from Standford University. He joined BYU in 1995. With Randy Beard, he is the author of the textbook Small Unmanned Aircraft: Theory and Practice published in 2012 by Princeton University Press. He is currently the direct of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems under the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program. Professor McLain is a senior member of IEEE, an associate fellow of AIAA.

Craig Merrill
Craig Merrill is a Professor of Finance at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and is currently serving as the Director of the MBA Program.  He is also a Fellow of the Wharton Financial Institutions Research Center.  Professor Merrill received his Ph.D. in Finance and Risk Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  His primary area of academic research and publication is the valuation of interest-rate contingent securities with applications to derivative pricing, modeling of asset or liability risk and the valuation of insurance liabilities.

John Prince
Chemistry and Biochemistry
John T. Prince received his B.S. in Microbiology from Brigham Young University in 2000, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado, Boulder until 2010. His work has centered on the generation and computational analysis of large mass spectrometry based proteomic and lipidomic data sets. His lab owns and operates a state-of-the-art LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometer and they are working to integrate system-wide measures of protein and lipid state into predictive models of cellular phenotype. He joined the BYU faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and he is one of the founding members of SciRuby and the Ruby Science Foundation.

Jessica Purcell
Jessica Purcell received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford University in 2004.  She was an instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford before coming to BYU in 2008.
Dr Purcell has won several awards for her research, including the Sloan Research Fellowship in 2011, and grants from the National Science Foundation, including a CAREER award in 2013.  Her research is in geometric topology, particularly hyperbolic geometry and 3-manifolds, with applications to knot theory.

Summer Rupper
Geological Sciences
Summer Rupper received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington, Seattle, focusing on glaciers as indicators and recorders of climate change. Immediately following graduate school in 2007, she joined the Department of Geological Sciences at Brigham Young University, where she is currently an associate professor and director of the Climate Dynamics and Glaciology Laboratories. Her latest research interests include reconstructing climate from geomorphic evidence of past glacier extents and ice core proxy records, quantifying the spatial and temporal variability in ice sheet mass balance, and assessing the impacts of glacier change on water resources. The research tools she uses to tackle these projects include a combination of field-based, laboratory, and numerical modeling approaches. She recently received the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Young Researcher Award for her research efforts, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences’ Frontiers of Science.

Michael Scott
Civil Engineering
Dr. Michael Scott is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at BYU. His research focuses on computational methods for a wide variety of application areas with an emphasis on solids and fluids. Recent areas of emphasis include isogeometric analysis, incompressible turbulent flows, and structure preserving discretization techniques.


Kevin Seppi
Computer Science