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Character

Cougar Queries: "I can recite from memory 123 digits of pi."

Name: Larry Howell

BYU employee since: 1994 

My job at BYU is… professor of Mechanical Engineering, which means that in addition to teaching classes, I get to work with students in the lab to make new discoveries and create new technologies that can help make a positive difference in the world.

Larry Howell


Currently I’m working on… origami-based engineering design. This sounds kind of crazy but has led to interesting applications in areas as diverse as space systems, medical devices and consumer products.

The idea of being able to do things that no one had ever done before and creating new things …sparked my interest in my field.

Students don’t think I notice… when they have done the reading before class, but it makes a big difference.

My favorite lecture to teach is… whenever I can make a connection between the gospel and what we are learning.

When I have 30 minutes of free-time, you can find me… reading.

I’ve hiked Y Mountain… two times, both times with my special-needs son.

My favorite spot on campus is… my lab …because… I get to interact with students while we are doing exciting things.

The title of my autobiography would be… The Faith of an Engineer.

The nerdiest thing I’ve done is… I’ve been ranked as high as #287 in the World Pi Rankings for being able to recite from memory 123 digits of pi.

My most embarrassing moment was when… in high school I was on a seminary “knowledge bowl” team and accidentally hit the buzzer with my head but didn’t know the answer to the question, costing my team the championship. My former classmates still remind me of it. 

Larry Howell

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