Message From The Department Head
Welcome to the UNC Greensboro Department of Mathematics and Statistics! On behalf of the Department, I invite you to browse this website.
Let me begin by expressing a very sincere gratitude to our faculty, staff, and students for their support in adjusting to the new way of academic life forced on us by the Covid-19 pandemic. Just as the entire campus, we in Math/Stats continue to look for ways to enable our students to receive the best possible education they all deserve.
The Department offers a number of outstanding degree programs. Included among these programs is a PhD in Computational Mathematics with tracks in Computational Mathematics and Computational Statistics. We also offer a Doctoral Minor Program in Statistics geared primarily towards UNCG PhD students looking to acquire significant data analytics skills. A brand-new MS in Applied Statistics program starts Fall 2020. Our existing MA in Mathematics program will soon have several new concentrations covering a variety of contemporary topics such as Machine Learning and Computational Mathematics. Our collaborations with the MS in Informatics and Analytics (MSIA) program continue to get stronger and we have collaboratively developed several courses. The undergraduate BA/BS programs in Mathematics are also going though a major transformation.
Undergraduate research has been a major strength for our Department. We have hosted many NSF funded research program over the years. The latest being the REU program in Complex Data Analysis using Statistical and Machine Learning Tools (Sat Gupta (PI) and Xiaoli Gao (Co-PI)) that ran from May 26 – July 31, 2020. This year’s program trained 9 nationally recruited undergraduate students who worked on a variety of research projects.
Last year, we graduated 5 PhD students. All 5 of them secured great jobs even before formally completing the degree program. Three of them accepted tenure track assistant professor positions at various universities, one accepted a postdoc position at Duke, and one accepted a senior analyst position at a biomedical devices company.
Our faculty continues to excel in research. AY 2019-20 was the best year for the Department in terms of new external funding. We received four NSF awards and one Army Research Office award. The NSF awards included a 3-year award of 324,000.00 for Sat Gupta, a 3-year award of 238,982.00 for Ratnasingham Shivaji, and a one-year award of 46,793.00 for Talia Fernos. Talia Fernos also received another 3-year NSF award of 283,145.00 that becomes operational effective this Fall. Yu-Min Chung received a 3-year award of 158,060.00 from the Army Research Office. The Department also received a gift of 52,000.00 from our alumni Dr. Carol Adams Erickson for the new Adams, Culbreth, Nunn Endowed Scholarship for undergraduates. In addition to the unprecedented success in securing external funding, the faculty published 32 high quality journal articles in CY 2019 and gave 92 research presentations, including 30 at international venues.
Several of the faculty have won campus-wide teaching and research excellence awards. The outstanding faculty includes a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, two Fellows of the American Statistical Association, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. The Department is also home to the Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice (Springer) with Sat Gupta serving as the Editor-in-Chief. The Department is also affiliated with the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). These affiliations offer a host of professional development opportunities to our faculty and students.
We also made a new faculty hire this spring. Dr. Thomas Weighill will join us as Assistant Professor of Mathematics effective January 1, 2021. Thomas graduated from University of Tennessee in 2019 and is currently a postdoc at Tufts. Thomas will add further strength to our growing expertise in the area of computational topology.
Our Math Pathways work is going strong this year! Tracey Howell, Sat Gupta, and Dan Yasaki attended the winter meeting of the American Association of State College and Universities in New Orleans in February. Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Andrew Hamilton, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success Strategy and Innovation Samantha Raynor, and Assistant Director of Frontier Set Initiatives Denisha Bland completed the UNCG team. They won the “Student Success Pitch Contest” when they described their ideas to create the new Calculus Readiness Diagnostic Test and redesign the Precalculus/Calculus classes.
Thanks to our donors, we were able to provide a variety of scholarships to our students in AY 2019-20. These included the Helen Barton Scholarship, Vicky Langley Math Scholarship, Ione Holt Grogan Scholarship, Judith J. Mendenhall Scholarship, Mary D. Murray Scholarship in Mathematics, Eldon E. And Christine J. Posey Mathematics Scholarship, Cornelia Strong Scholarship, Dr. Theresa Phillips Vaughan Math Scholarship, and Bertha Barnwell Vielhauer Endowed Scholarship.
Our Statistical Consulting Center, under the leadership of Director and Professor Scott Richter, continued to serve the campus and the off-campus community holding over 60 consulting sessions and hosting our 5th consecutive year of Quantitative Methodology Series workshops. Some of the other services we offer include a Math Help Center that provides free one-on-one assistance for students enrolled in our undergraduate mathematics and statistics classes, and a Math Emporium for undergraduate students who wish to enroll in a College Algebra or Precalculus class taught in a non-traditional, hybrid format. Our Math Club provides an opportunity to connect with our faculty and students. We are also home to a Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics. Many of these services are currently offered remotely but we look forward to more in-person interactions with our students and the larger campus community when the pandemic eases.
The department hosts an annual student conference – The UNCG Regional Mathematics and Statistics Conference (RMSC), and a biennial international conference on Advances in Interdisciplinary Statistics and Combinatorics (AISC). We also host a variety of special events, lecture series, and colloquia.
If you need further information or have any suggestions about how we can better serve the campus and off-campus communities, please email me. If you are an alum, please email me about yourself. We would love to connect with you and keep you abreast, through our newsletters, of all the wonderful things that happen in the Department. If you would like to visit our department, do not hesitate to contact us. We are housed in the Petty Science Building on the UNCG campus, in the city of Greensboro, and are a part of the University of North Carolina System.
All in all, AY 2019-20 was a highly satisfying year and I look forward to continued excellence by our faculty and students.
Fellow of the American Statistical Association