Category Archives: People

Math Students Present at Undergrad Research Symposium

imedImageThe Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.

Anthony Marcich – Applied and Computational Mathematics

Title: Preliminary Work for Autochrome Photograph Reconstruction: Scanning and Processing Design
Advisor: Dr. Cecile Piret
Overview: Marcich goal is to use Radial Basis Functions methods (RBF) to construct smooth and accurate images from scans of these photographs. Their investigation of RBF requires processing scanned photos into nodes. They then described the initial scanning and processing work necessary to obtain these nodes.

E. Yasmine Walton-Durst – Mathematics

Title: Rayleigh–Bénard Convection in Michigan Tech’s Cloud Chamber – A Statistical Analysis of High Frequency Temperature Fluctuations
Advisor: Dr. Will Cantrell
Overview: Walton-Durst used time series analysis and other statistical methods to identify trends in temperature fluctuations from a second to several minutes. We hypothesize that data from the temperature sensors can provide a signature of the characteristic fluid movement within the chamber.

Madison Heeringa – Acutarial Science Mathematics

Title: Finding Structure in Data
Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Ong
Overview: Heeringa’s goal is to learn about and understand PCA and multi-scale PCA. Which will eventually be used to classify land and canopy cover in satellite images.

 


A Year in Germany Gives Michigan Tech Student New Insights

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 2.33.40 PMWhy would someone put acceptance to a prestigious law school on hold to spend a year in Germany?  That’s just what Russell Lawson did, and he doesn’t regret a minute of it.

Lawson, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in economics at Michigan Technological University in 2016, has been accepted into the University of Michigan Law School, but he chose to spend this year participating in the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange program.  In Germany, he’s going to school, working a job, immersing himself in the culture.

Lawson calls the competitive program, known as the ‘’Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm’’ in German, a “cultural exchange program aimed at promoting understanding and cooperation between the two countries.”  It includes 75 participants chosen from all over the US, representing a majority of states and multiple fields of study. “We have engineers, bio chem majors, those who study music, politics, international relations, two welders and four chefs/bakers, really a diverse group,” Lawson explains.

Read the full story.

by Mary LeDoux, student writing intern


Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Beth Reed

Math09232013021Bruce Seely, Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, has chosen to recognize Beth Reed, senior lecturer and assistant to the chair in mathematical sciences as our first Spring 2017 Dean’s Teaching Showcase member.

Seely’s nomination was influenced by Brent Baltus, a senior on the hockey team, who singled Reed at the Faculty Appreciation event during a game on December 2nd.

Baltus, a senior major in Finance who started this year with a 3.73 GPA, named Reed as “the best professor he had encountered” at Michigan Tech. Baltus had taken a couple of classes from her during his first two years in statistics and math and added she was “an unbelievable professor.”

Seely asked Reed what she does that would lead a good student (and athlete) like Brent to value her efforts. She answered with several points from the recently submitted students teaching evaluations for Fall 2016 and offered several points. Reed knows every student’s name, signaling that they are individuals to her. This makes her approachable and shows she cares about them as people. She prepares a handout for every class session containing the concepts, problems, formulas and so on covered that day. This allows students to actually listen in class rather than struggling to write everything down. Her handout adds structure to the notes taken by the students while eliminating transcription errors. Reed dedicates some class periods to worksheet days, devoted to working problems while she walks around and answers questions from students.

Finally, she asks a lot of questions of the students during class sessions. Students report this makes them pay attention (especially at 8 a.m.). When a student offers an incorrect answer, she talks them through the process until they get to the correct answer. Seely also asked Reed if there was something she did that specifically helps student athletes, who must miss classes due to travel.

In addition to her willingness to meet with them outside of class, she noted the most important thing was to ask them to introduce themselves on the first day of class. That allows her to work with them and their schedules. From this initial discussion, it is much easier to ensure Reed has a heads-up when an assignment and/or exam might conflict with games and travel. Such communication allows her and the student to work around any conflicts.

These are the kinds of effort — small steps in some respects, but large in the aggregate — that make a difference in how well students do. While a student-athlete recognized Reed’s efforts, the more important fact is that she makes these attempts for any student.

Reed will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative teaching methods or work in curriculum and assessment.


New faculty joins Mathematical Sciences this semester

Today, we take a look at and welcome faculty who have started with the Fall Semester.

image143207-persJohn Gruver, PhD

John Gruver joins Michigan Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. Gruver received a PhD in Mathematics Education in a joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego.

He previously worked as a research assistant at the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. Gruver has also worked as an instructor at San Diego State University, providing upcoming elementary educators with additional skills to be used when teaching mathematics. He also mentored student teachers at Brigham Young University. Among his many awards and publications, Gruver is a Winter 2015 Graduate Student Association Travel Grant winner.

 


image118342-persJie Sun, PhD

Jie Sun joins Michigan Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. Sun is no stranger to Michigan Tech. She has been here since 2013 as a visiting assistant professor.

Sun earned a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in 2009. She has also worked as an instructor at Michigan Tech and at the University of California, Berkeley. Sun served as a member of the organizing committee for the first annual Kliakhandler conference in 2015. She has received multiple awards in teaching and research.

 

 


image113156-persZeying Wang, PhD

Zeying Wang joins Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. She has worked as a lecturer at Michigan Tech since 2012. She also served as a visiting assistant professor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Wang supervised an undergraduate research project and presentation, as well as serving on the departmental undergraduate committee at Tech. She has worked as an instructor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio; Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; and University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

 

 


Teresa Woods, MS

Teresa Woods joins Michigan Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as a lecturer. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering and Secondary Education at Tech. She obtained an MS from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is currently completing an MS in Applied Sciences at Michigan Tech, with an expected graduation date of 2017.

Woods has worked as a graduate teaching assistant and an instructor in Tech’s Department of Mathematical Sciences. She has worked as a health data researcher for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and an online mathematics instructor for the Community College of Vermont. She also worked as a performance consultant with Vermont Technical College in Essex Junction, Vermont.



Johnathon Aho receives Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Alumni Association Announces 2016 Awards

image136114-pers Michigan Tech’s Alumni Association has named its 2016 award winners. Each year, members of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors review dozens of nominations of outstanding alumni and friends to determine award recipients.

One of the winners is a Mathematical Sciences alum, Johnathon Aho ’08 Mathematical Sciences/Biological Sciences, Rochester, Minnesota, who received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.  This award is presented to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated.





David House Endowed Professorship for Kui Zhang

Kui Zhang
Kui Zhang

The College of Sciences and Arts is pleased to announce the David House Endowed Professorship in Statistics, Data Mining, and Data Analytics for Kui Zhang. Professor Zhang, a new faculty member in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, is pursuing methodological developments and seeking collaborations in statistical genetics and genomics, bioinformatics, and biostatistics.

David House is one of Michigan Tech’s leading strategic supporters. As department chair Mark Gockenbach has noted, “It is gratifying that Mr. House recognizes the importance of statistics and data science in today’s world. His support has been critical in helping Michigan Tech to move forward, and I am very grateful for his latest contribution to the university.”