- Neuron News
- Sci-Tech Editing
- STEM edu
- Independent Research
About the Principal
Matthew T. Dearing graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BA in physics magna cum laude with research honors in 2000 followed with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2017. His undergraduate research involved developing new ways to organize matter on the micro- and nano-length scales, primarily using focused laser light called Optical Tweezers. In particular, he fabricated the first holographic (phase-modulating) optical element for use in an optical tweezer system using the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This research (2001) led to the development of further work that resulted in U.S. Patent #6,541,022 (2003) with colleagues William Murphy, now at the University of Wisconsin, and Gabriel Spalding, at Illinois Wesleyan University.
After graduating from IWU in 2000, Matthew worked as a research assistant under Dr. John Quintana of Northwestern University with DND-CAT at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. During this opportunity, he performed experimental measurements using synchrotron radiation and designed and built a specialized stage for the automated control of an x-ray micro-focusing optical element.
He continued his education in physics at Cornell University as an NSF IGERT Fellow in Nonlinear Systems (National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) in the Department of Physics and helped establish the new Excimer Laser Microfabrication Facility at the Nanobiotechnology Center while working as an Industrial Support Specialist for the NBTC. Also at Cornell, he developed software for mapping neuronal growth on silicon chips to structurally characterize living neural networks as they interface for potential integration with computer circuits, and presented and published his work at the International Conference of Complex Systems (2002). For several years, Matthew also taught physics, electronics, algebra, technical mathematics, trigonometry, and calculus at Cornell University, Wells College, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College.
During his time in Ithaca, New York, Matthew and his wife, Michelle, started a paint your own pottery studio in Downtown Ithaca and launched dot pottery, an online personalized pottery creative arts service for which Michelle was the featured artist selling personalized whimsical designs to customers across the country. Soon after, they expanded with pyop At Home that offered, for the first time, the very popular creative experience of paint your own pottery to anyone located anywhere in the United States.
From 2005 to 2015, Matthew was a principal member of the family business, Denney Jewelers, where he focused on managing and training the sales team, managing retail operations, marketing and finances, managing customer service, and developing the overall customer experience. He designed and crafted original fine jewelry using sophisticated CAD/CAM design software, 3D wax prototype printing, 3D machine milling, and on-site casting and manufacturing with precious metals and gemstones. He became a Certified Senior Management Professional with Jewelers of America, and Matthew designed and led the manufacturing of the exclusive infinity by DENNEY line of fine jewelry available at Denney Jewelers. Matthew also studied as a gemologist receiving certification with the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
In the fall of 2014, Matthew began teaching introductory physics labs at Illinois Wesleyan University as an Adjunct Instructor. His excitement for helping students “click” with physics by diving into experiments, struggling with derivations, and working together to problem solve and figure things out guided his efforts to support the world-class educational experience in a small, liberal arts environment hosted by IWU.
In 2015, Matthew joined Argonne National Laboratory as a Systems Analyst and Applications Developer where he currently develops web-based enterprise software solutions to support the operational mission of the federal laboratory. As a fundamentally interdisciplinary organization focused at the forefront of research and technology, Matthew is excited to bring his wide range of skills to support “one of the greatest scientific destinations in the world” and the incredible science and engineering that directly affects our world today.
Through Dynamic Patterns Research, Matthew curates resources on informal science education and independent research. He writes science articles covering informal science opportunities, citizen science, and advancements in neurotechnology for the Citizen Science League, Science 2.0, and humanity + Magazine. His independent research efforts were featured in the State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois.
Matthew is also a freelance scientific technical editor partnering with Cambridge Proofreading & Editing, LLC and is developing new web applications to support healthy living, which are in beta testing and expect to be launched to a broader audience in 2019.
Matthew is a husband and father who enjoys exploring the universe with his 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. For many years, he has performed on stage in community theatre and during 2012 launched an independent theatre production company, dynamic patterns theatre, which premiered their first production in May 2012 to sold-out audiences. Along with his wife, Michelle, they continued a successful production season throughout 2013. Matthew has been a board member for the Springfield Theatre Centre and the Springfield Ballet Company and was a member of the Rotary Club of Ithaca and the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise. Currently, he serves as Cubmaster for Pack #99 in the Thunderbird District of the Three Fires Council #127, Scouts BSA and is actively involved in implementing the BSA STEM program for local Scouts.