Mathematics and Statistics Winter 2019 Newsletter

Faculty News
Student News
Alumni News


Welcome to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics newsletter. 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.

We are still trying to determine the best time to send out a yearly update from the Department. As such, this newsletter includes a summary from the past academic year and a few items from this academic year.


Our colloquium committee remains committed to providing multiple sessions each semester on a variety of topics. We have been fortunate to have presenters from our Department as well as from outside the University. Over the past year, presentation 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. Read a list of our colloquium speakers below:

  • On September 28, 2018, Anthony Bosman from Andrews University Department of Mathematics presented “I Think Knot: An Introduction to Knots and Surfaces.”
  • On October 5, 2018, Trong Wu from SIUE's Department of Computer Science presented “Foundations of Interval Computation.”
  • On October 26, 2018, Shrey Sanadhya from the University of Iowa presented “On Cocycles of Automorphism Groups of a Standard Borel Space.”
  • On February 20, 2019, Richard Lumor from Panera Bread Company shared his experiences as a statistician and data scientist in the workforce.
  • On March 22, 2019, Craig Cullen from Illinois State University presented “Exploring Trigonometric Relationships: Is it a Function?”
  • On April 5, 2019, Zhu Wang from the University of South Carolina presented “Proper Orthogonal Decomposition Reduced Order Modeling of Hamiltonian Systems.”
  • On September 20, 2019, Greg Budzban, SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Dean, presented “Introduction to Algebraic Probability via Markov Chains.”
  • On November 8, 2019, Glenn Harris from Northern Illinois University presented “Substantial Efficiency in Multi-Objective Optimization.”

Are you interested in sharing your current work? If so, send us an email. We would love to have you as a speaker at a future colloquium in the Department.


High School Math Contest
On February 23, 2019 approximately 400 students from 19 high schools participated in the annual Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics High School Math Contest at SIUE. Some students traveled over 100 miles to compete on our campus. This was a statewide event with almost 300 high schools participating in four 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 Red Bud High School, Carlinville High School, Carbondale Community High School and Edwardsville High School.

Math Teachers’ Circle
The Great Rivers Math Teachers’ Circle typically meets two or three times a semester. 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, please contact Tammy Voepel. This past year, the Circle was funded by a generous donation from Matthew and Heather Samsel.

Faculty News

We are fortunate to welcome two new members to our department this year. 

Yi “Jacky” Jiang, PhD, earned her doctoral degree in applied mathematics from Iowa State University. Her research interest lies in computational math, specifically on developing high-order accurate numerical methods of solving hyperbolic partial differential equations. She is also interested in undergraduate mathematics education.

Jennifer Stock is an alumnus of Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, earning her Master of Science in pure mathematics in 2019. Her hobbies include music, crafts and puzzles.

We said a sad farewell to Barb Kniepkamp earlier this semester. She passed away on September 24, 2019. She was a member of our department for 25 years and will be greatly missed.

Student News

Honors Day

Congratulations to all the students who received an award at the Honors Day Convocation on April 14, 2019. We commend you on your academic achievements during this past year!

  • Outstanding Mathematics and Statistics Student Award: Kevin Juma
  • Outstanding Senior Student in Mathematics and Statistics: Nathaniel DeRousse
  • Paul J. Baeske Incoming Statistics Student Scholarship: Brynn Cross
  • Gordon T. Chamness Memorial Award: Jonathan Amwayi
  • Clellie Curtis Oursler Senior Scholarship in Mathematics: Jonathan Amwayi and Nathaniel DeRousse
  • Florence A. Fanning Award: Faith Griffon
  • Andrew O. Lindstrum, Jr. Memorial Award: Kelli Mowery-Davis
  • R.N. Pendergrass Graduate Student Scholarship Award: Bradley Gruen and Kyle Heckert
  • Matthew Samsel Graduate Assistant Fellowship in Mathematics & Statistics: Soroush Mahmoudiandehkordi, Jennifer Stock and Courtney Vahle

Senior Project

The Senior Project Poster Showcase was held on May 10, 2019. Senior students in the Department shared their spring research projects and student teaching experiences.

Alumni News

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!