Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Michigan Technological University! Exciting things are happening here:

Dr. Kui Zhang joined the department as a Professor of Statistics in August.  He obtained his PhD in probability and statistics from Beijing University in 1999.  Dr. Zhang did his postdoctoral training in statistical genetics in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, School of Medicine, from 1999 to 2001 and in the Program of Molecular and Computational Biology of Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California from 2001 to 2003. He was a faculty member in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2013 to 2015. Dr. Zhang has published more than 80 papers in peer reviewed journals and his research is currently supported by NIH.

Igor Kliakhandler, a former faculty member, has made a generous gift to stimulate research activity at Michigan Tech. Activities supported by his gift include the following:

  • Each year, a faculty member will be named the Kliakhandler Fellow. Professor Vladimir Tonchev is the 2014-15 Kliakhandler Fellow.
  • The Kliakhandler Fellow will organize a conference at Michigan Tech. The first such conference, "Algebraic Combinatorics and Applications", was held August 26-30. It attracted more than 30 mathematicians from around the world.
  • The department will host an eminent mathematician each year to give the Kliakhandler Lectures (separate from the conference). George Andrews of Penn State, past president of the American Mathematical Society and member of the National Academy of Sciences, will give the inaugural Kliakhandler Lectures on October 8 and 9, 2015.

We have new degree programs at the undergraduate level.

  • The first student in the new Business Analytics concentration graduated in Spring 2015. This concentration, which is part of the Mathematics degree, provides a broad preparation in mathematics, statistics, data mining, database management, and business.
  • The new bachelor's degree in Statistics is now admitting students, with the first graduates expected in May 2016. Job opportunities in statistics continue to grow.

The department, which provides coursework that is foundational for most of the degree programs at Michigan Tech, continues its tradition of innovative teaching. With a grant from the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, several faculty are implementing a blended learning model for the calculus sequence. Blended learning refers to the combination of online learning and traditional classroom instruction; at Michigan Tech, we are using this approach to make better use of classroom time and student/faculty interaction.

Whether you are a prospective student looking for a degree program or a prospective faculty member looking for a department that supports high-quality teaching and cutting-edge research, I hope you will browse our web pages and find the information that suits your needs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mark S. Gockenbach
Professor and Chair