Mathematical Sciences research ranked in the top 100 nationwide

In the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) latest rankings of universities by total research expenditures, Michigan Tech ranked 116th in the nation among public institutions and Tech’s atmospheric science and oceanography research ranked first in Michigan.

Nationally, atmospheric science research at Michigan Tech ranked 39th in research expenditures and oceanography ranked 53rd. Environmental science also ranked 53rd. Tech’s mechanical engineering research ranked 23rd in the nation, the highest ranking of all research fields at the University.

“Michigan Tech has been growing our capabilities in environmental science through our faculty hiring processes like the strategic faculty hiring initiative, our facility development efforts like the Great Lakes Research Center and in our equipment investments such as the cloud chamber in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute,” said Dave Reed, vice president for research. “NSF’s report reflects the impact of those investments and the significant research role that Michigan Tech is playing both nationally and within Michigan.”

The NSF report covered fiscal year 2015.

Other research areas at Tech that ranked in the top 100 nationwide include:

  • Biomedical engineering, 96th
  • Chemical engineering, 98th
  • Civil engineering, 92nd
  • Electrical engineering, 55th
  • Mechanical engineering, 23rd
  • Materials science and engineering, 61st
  • Mathematical sciences, 75th
  • Business and management, 73rd
  • Humanities, 98th
  • Visual and performing arts, 85th

The NSF report showed that research expenditures at Michigan Tech totaled $69.6 million for fiscal year 2015.

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.

In Print

Professor Iosif Pinelis published the paper “Convex Cones of Generalized Multiply Monotone Functions and the Dual Cones” in Banach Journal of Mathematical Analysis, Volume 10, Number 4 (2016), 864–897. The abstract is available online.

Pinelis also published a paper, “Contrast Between Populations Versus Spread within Populations,” in Statistics and Probability Letters 121 (2017) 99–100. It is available until December 22, 2016 here.

David Olson this weeks Props for Profs Winner

image39658-persOur final Jackson CTL Props for Profs Winner for Spring 2016 is David Olson—senior lecturer in Mathematical Sciences.

Olson’s nominator emphasized that he not only makes class “fun and informative,” but that he leaves “real, helpful notes on your work.”

The nominator also found Olson’s connection to students exceptional, allowing him to “really notice when you need help.”

Perhaps most importantly, the nominator felt that Olson did an exceptional job of maintaining this strong connection well beyond when students leave his classroom.

Olson and his nominator will each receive a $5 gift certificate to purchase a snack or beverage at the Library Café or several other locations on campus.

by Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

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.

Dr. Piret this weeks Props for Profs winner

image111742-persThis week’s Jackson CTL Props for Profs Winner is Cécile Piret, an assistant professor in Mathematical Sciences. Piret’s anonymous nominator praised the way she went above and beyond with “many review sessions before tests and long office hours.”

Even though Piret was teaching the class for the first time, the nominator felt that she put in “a lot of effort” and perhaps more importantly “asked for student input and used that information to try to make her class better.”

Piret and her nominator will each receive a $5 gift certificate to purchase a snack or drink at the Library Café or several other locations on campus.


MIT Professor to Deliver Kliakhandler Lectures

stanleyThe Second Annual Kliakhandler Lectures will be held Sept. 29-30 at Michigan Tech. Richard Stanley of MIT will deliver the lectures which are sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences and funded by a generous gift from former faculty member Igor Kliakhandler.

The Kliakhandler lecture series brings a top mathematician to campus each year to give a pair of lectures.Stanley is a prolific mathematician who has won numerous honors, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics’ George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics, the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition from the American Mathematical Society and the Rolf Schock Prize for Mathematics.

His first lecture is from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 in Dow 641. Stanley’s lecture will be “Plane Tilings,” in which he will discuss the challenges of filling a planar region with a given collection of shapes (tiles).  A jigsaw puzzle is a familiar type of tiling, though it is not very mathematical; decorative tile floors often use plane tiling to create an aesthetic effect. The physicist Roger Penrose created a family of tilings that are known as Penrose tilings.

Stanley will survey some interesting mathematics associated with plane tilings and discuss questions such as the following: Is there a tiling? If so, how many are there? If no tiling exists, how can we prove this? What special properties, such as symmetry, can a tiling possess? These questions involve such subjects as combinatorics, group theory, probability theory, number theory and computer science.

From 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 in Fisher 138, Stanley will deliver a colloquium entitled “A Survey of Alternating Permutations.” Permutations are fundamental transformations in mathematics, and alternating permutations comprise one of the most important families of permutations. Stanley will discuss several aspects of the theory of alternating permutations and describe applications to topics such as group theory and geometry.