STEAM Member Spotlight: Jonathan Stanfill

May 16, 2023

STEAM Member Spotlight: Jonathan Stanfill


Jonathan is a Zassenhaus Assistant Professor (postdoc) in the Department of Mathematics at The Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Baylor University in 2022 under the supervision of Fritz Gesztesy and attended Carson-Newman University for undergraduate studies. Before graduate school, he was a US Army logistics officer in the 82nd Airborne Division where he led Paratroopers and spent much of his time jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.

Jonathan’s general research interests include spectral theory, operator theory, special functions, and orthogonal polynomials. In particular, he studies functions related to the spectral theory of Sturm-Liouville operators such as spectral zeta functions, Weyl m-functions, and Donoghue m-functions. He has begun studying techniques in asymptotic analysis and resurgence to help solve some of the problems that arise in spectral theory.

We asked Johnathan a few questions about his role at Ohio State, as well as his thoughts on the STEAM Factory! You can read his answers below:

  1. Tell me about yourself and your role at OSU (Department, title, why you got involved).
    1. I am a Zassenhaus Assistant Professor (research postdoc) in the Department of Mathematics. I teach a combination of upper-undergraduate and graduate classes.
  2. Tell me about your research. What do you find interesting about this subject matter?
    1. My research is in the general areas of analysis and mathematical physics, more specifically, operator and spectral theory. I am drawn to the subject due to its natural interdisciplinary nature: the motivation and application of many projects are from physics and the research requires many different disciplines within mathematics itself. I am currently beginning to explore a project related to quantum field theory with my research mentor here at OSU, Ovidiu Costin.
  3. Are you involved in any other organizations around campus or beyond Ohio State?
    1. I am involved in the STEAM Factory and plan to join its working board.
  4. You have been very engaged with STEAM since you became a new member recently. What has been drawing you to STEAM?
    1. I am drawn to STEAM because of the opportunity to interact with scholars from different disciplines and with different perspectives. The physical space also helps STEAM feel like a true community where you can share ideas and get feedback from others genuinely interested in collaborating!
  5. What is your favorite STEAM event? Or what is your favorite aspect of the STEAM community?
    1. I will go with what is probably the typical answer, the STEAM Exchange! It is a great time to hear what one word can mean to different scholars from a variety of fields.
  6. What are your interests/hobbies outside of campus? 
    1. I enjoy traveling, hiking, and gardening with my wife and dogs! I also enjoy woodworking, but do not find much time for it nowadays!