With dreams of being a research physicist, Mike Thayer’s educational career began in a conventional way. He graduated with a B.A. in physics from Rutgers University and attended the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. in cosmic ray astrophysics. He was fortunate to work with a terrific advisor, Dr. John Simpson, one of the co-founders of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (the “doomsday clock” journal). After a postdoctoral period at Caltech, he concluded that the research life was not for him, but that teaching was, and so he entered an alternative route teaching preparation program in New York City.
Mike Thayer. ©AMNH
Mike taught mathematics and physics for four years at the Beacon School, an alternative public high school in Manhattan, and has been teaching mathematics (with as much physics, history of science, and other such things thrown in as possible) for the past five years at Summit High School in Summit, New Jersey. His interests outside of the sciences and mathematics are cooking, travel, playing guitar, and constantly being amazed at how wonderful his 3-year-old daughter Meredith is. Mike, his terrific wife Valerie, and Meredith live in New Jersey.