Mathematics and Statistics Newsletter Spring/Summer 2018

Faculty News
Student News
Alumni News


Welcome to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Newsletter. Our goal is to share with you the news within our department and news about our students and alumni. We plan to publish the newsletter at the end of each academic year. If you have any story ideas or news to share, please send an email to Jim Parish or Tammy Voepel. We encourage you to keep up with happenings in the department via our department website or our Facebook page.

You may have noticed that you are getting this newsletter a little bit later than in past years. For the past few years, our department has been temporarily located in the Vadalabene Center during construction, but as of this summer we have moved back into Science East. The move took place during May and many of us are still unpacking and rearranging our new space. We would love for you to stop by and visit the renovated spaces. The department faculty have offices on the second and third floors of the building. There will be an official dedication held on the evening of September 21.


We were fortunate to have numerous colloquium talks within our department for faculty and students this year. Topics ranged from ideas that are accessible to students just beginning in the undergraduate program to graduates and professors well versed in the subject area. Are you interested in sharing your current work? If so, please let us know! We would love to have you as a speaker at a future colloquium in the department. Read a list of our colloquium speakers below:

  • On September 22, Jim Gill from Saint Louis University presented “Finite Dimensional Random Objects.”
  • On October 20, Gabe Spalding from Illinois Wesleyan University shared his research on mesoscopics and quantum microscopies.
  • On December 1, Jireh Loreaux from our department at SIUE presented “Diagonalization of Matrices and the Pythagorean Theorem.”
  • On February 7, Emily Olson from Millikin University presented “The Ordered and the Conjectured.”
  • On Febraury 23, Jim Parish from our department at SIUE presented “A Short History of Non-Euclidean Geometry.”
  • On March 2, Brittany Froese Hamfeldt from New Jersey Institute of Technology presented “Generalized Finite Difference Methods for Fully Nonlinear Elliptic Equations.”
  • On March 14, Erica Metheney, an SIUE alumna from Texas A&M, presented “Generating Graphic Sequences Using Heavy-tailed Distributions with Infinite Mean.”
  • On April 6, Jun Liu from our department at SIUE presented “An Adaptive Factorization Method for Inverse Scattering Problems.”
  • On April 25, Bradley Currey from Saint Louis University presented “Reality Check: Explicit Computations in Abstract Harmonic Analysis.”


High School Math Contest
On February 24, approximately 400 students from 19 high schools participated in the annual Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics High School Math Contest. Some students traveled more than 100 miles to compete on our campus. This was a statewide event with almost 300 high schools participating in 4 divisions at 22 regional sites. Students could take at most three tests during the day, including both individual and team tests, as well as written and oral tests. Each region finished the day with awards ceremonies distributing individual, team and overall school awards. At SIUE, the schools winning first place in their division were Gibault Catholic High School, Carlinville High School, Carbondale Community High School and Edwardsville High School.

Math Teachers’ Circle
The Great Rivers Math Teachers’ Circle meets on the third Thursday of the month. Middle school, high school, community college and university teachers spend the evening working on rich math problems and sharing a meal. The circle is partially funded by grants from the SIUE Meridian Society and the American Institute of Mathematics. More information on math teachers' circles can be found here. If you are interested in being on the email list for the circle for the next academic year, please contact Tammy Voepel. This past year, the Circle was funded by a generous donation from Matthew and Heather Samsel.

Faculty News

A big thank you to President Emeritus Earl Lazerson and former math faculty member, who donated the President Earl Lazerson Collection of more than 2,000 books, many of which have a math focus, to the University.

We are fortunate to welcome two new faculty to our department this year, Drs. Jun Lui and Beidi Qiang!

Dr. Jun Liu earned his doctorate in 2015 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His research interests include partial differential equations (PDEs) constrained optimization and optimal control, numerical PDEs and numerical linear algebra. He was recently awarded an NSF Award (DMS-1743826) for organizing the 2018 NSF-CBMS Regional Research Conferences in the Mathematical Sciences: Computational Methods in Optimal Control, at Jackson State University.

Dr. Beidi Qiang earned her doctorate in 2017 at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include reliability analysis with dynamic system modeling, nonparametric and Bayseian methods, and machine learning algorithms.

Student News

Honors Day

Congratulations to all the students who received an award at the Honors Day Convocation on April 15. We commend you on your academic achievements during this past year!

  • Outstanding Mathematics and Statistics Student Award – Benjamin Rohlfing
  • Outstanding Senior Student in Mathematics and Statistics – Steven Landry
  • Paul J. Baeske Incoming Statistics Student Scholarship – Levi Johnson
  • Gordon T. Chamness Memorial Award – Matthew McDermott
  • Clellie Curtis Oursler Senior Scholarship in Mathematics – Joseph Nilges
  • Florence A. Fanning Award – Erica Smith & Michele Suemnicht
  • Andrew O. Lindstrum, Jr. Memorial Award – Theresa Lindell
  • R.N. Pendergrass Graduate Student Scholarship Award – Simon Ellis, Eric Grubbs & Kevin Juma
  • Matthew Samsel Graduate Assistant Fellowship in Mathematics & Statistics – Kip Brown & Ricky Hua

Graduate School Research Symposium 

Kip Brown (project director Dr. Junvie Pailden) and Eric Grubs (project director Dr. Marcus Agustin), graduate students specializing in Statistics and Operations Research, presented their work at the 2018 SIUE Graduate School Research Symposium.

Senior Project

The senior project now culminates in a group poster session. Below is an image of the seniors, faculty members, and some posters in the background from the inaugural event held on May 4.

This is photo of math faculty and senior math students with their senior project posters.

Alumni News

Congratulations to Matthew Samsel, MA ’00, as he is inducted into the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame at the “A Night Among the Stars” ceremony on October 6, 2017. 

Alumni, we would love to hear from you! Do you have a new degree, job information, a change in your family status or a personal accomplishment? Consider sending us information to share in the next newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you!