Biography: Prof. Bernice Durand
Prof. Bernice Durand earned her B.S. in Physics in 1965 and finished her Ph.D. in 1971 with Derek Pursey. She is currently a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in particle theory and mathematical physics. While she is most intrigued by symmetry relations in the laws of physics her publications also include more down-to-earth phenomenological work with data from the large particle accelerators. Bernice has produced nine Ph. D. students, and done a great deal of teaching and university service.
Bernice's teaching spans courses from Physics 107, The Ideas of Modern Physics (a course in modern physics for nonscientists), to Physics 833, Advanced Math in Quantum Field Theory (a specialized course for advanced graduate students in physics and mathematics) which she developed. She also enjoys giving public lectures and speaking to service organizations or high school audiences about relativity, quantum theory, and other physics topics. Perhaps her favorite public lecture was co-sponsored by the Aspen Center for Physics and Aspen Ski Company atop Aspen Mountain, subject "The Sky." She has used several technological and pedagogical innovations in her courses. For example, all the course information and materials for Physics 107 are available on the web, and that course is occasionally offered on television, sometimes with an online discussion section for group homework questions. Filming four 3hr - lectures twice before a live class of 150-200 students and having it broadcastable was exhausting! And, she's done it all twice. She has incorporated some cooperative group learning into all of her courses over the past several years. In recognition of her efforts, in 1993 she was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Bernice has also served on committees at all levels of the university during the 31 years since she moved to Madison, most recently chairing the search committee for a new chancellor (a physicist) and the executive committee of the faculty. She currently co-chairs the committee charged with implementing Madison's ten-year diversity plan, and is about to trade that for chairing the athletic board. Bernice finds committee work interesting and challenging providing her with the opportunity to participate in solving problems and to formulate policies at the university level. It also gets her away from the departmental perspective, working with colleagues from other fields and levels at the university. Bernice admits that in the 70's and early 80's she had to learn to not talk quite so "straightforwardly" on committees with non-scientists, and to expect humanist colleagues to look for hidden meanings in what she said, where she wouldn't have the foggiest notion how to embed a hidden meaning.
Away from campus, Bernice has dealt with legislative and other external relations for the UW-Madison faculty and represented UW-Madison at the UW System and Big Ten (CIC) faculty meetings. She was previously on the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Council, and continues to serve on the Physics and Astronomy Council. At the national level, she has been involved with symposia on hate speech and the future of the public university sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and the Kellogg Commission, respectively.
Bernice's husband, Loyal Durand (called Randy), is also a physics professor, now emeritus. They live in the woods west of Madison and both enjoy gardening, skiing, hiking, working out, and cooking. She also loves to play piano. Every summer they work at the Aspen Center for Physics, the largest center for theoretical physics in the world, where Bernice has been a longtime Trustee and Member. She is now an Honorary Trustee continues her involvement in corporate operations and community relations. Randy has three sons, and they have five grandchildren. Feel free to contact Bernice at email@example.com (Web page: http://theory1.hep.wisc.edu/~bdurand)