Mark Walton is a theoretical and mathematical physicist. Raised in Fredericton, NB, he completed a BSc in Honours Physics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. He then studied theoretical high-energy physics at McGill University, obtaining an MSc and a PhD. His PhD thesis was on the subject of string theory (perhaps the first in Canada). He took an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and switched focus there to conformal field theory. Walton still works in conformal field theory, but has also published results in deformation quantization, or quantum mechanics in phase space. His research often involves the mathematics of Lie groups and algebras. He is currently exploring the usefulness of the techniques he has learned in conformal field theory in the mathematical physics of quantum information science.
Mark has been at the University of Lethbridge since January 1991. He was hired from a postdoctoral position in physics at the Université Laval in Quebec City. Walton served as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy 2002-05, and was a member of the Faculty of Arts and Science STP Committee in 2009-10 and in 2014-15.
Walton’s main research collaborators over the years have been Terry Gannon (University of Alberta), his former postdoctoral fellow Jørgen Rasmussen (University of Queensland), and his postdoctoral supervisor, Pierre Mathieu (Université Laval).
Walton has co-authored 56 journal articles, 1 book chapter, 7 refereed conference proceedings, and co-edited the proceedings of 1 meeting (Theory Canada 7, a national theoretical physics meeting hosted by the U of L, June 2012). He has delivered 15 invited talks, and an invited series of lectures in Istanbul. He was a Member of the NSERC Evaluation Group for Physics 2010-13, has been an Affiliate of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics since 2004, and was awarded a 2-year term as University Scholar (Sciences) 2013-15 at the University of Lethbridge.
Walton has garnered approximately $800,000 in research funds over the past 25 years (including scholarships and fellowships won by students and postdoctoral fellows he trained). He supervised the first MSc in Physics at the UofL and the second PhD. In total, he has supervised or co-supervised 7 graduate students (5 MSc, 2 PhD), including 1 current MSc student. 6 postdoctoral fellows have worked under his (co-)supervision since 2000. Over the past 25 years, Walton has supervised 21 different undergraduate research projects, including 7 funded by NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Awards.