Month: May 2022

In Memoriam: Domina Spencer

We are saddened to report the news of the passing of Domina Eberle Spencer, Professor Emerita.

Domina received her PhD in 1942 from MIT, writing a thesis on tensors and geometry. It was an era when few women were included in mathematics doctoral programs. Domina served on our faculty for many decades. Though I never got to meet her, I heard about her regularly from those who were close to her. Many of you knew her as colleague from her time on our faculty. Domina’s research work was in mathematical physics, focusing primarily on electromagnetic theory. Her publications include Theory of Holors (Cambridge University Press, 1986), coauthored with Parry Moon. She is named as one of the inventors of a fluorescent lamp. Those who knew her closely have told me about her adventures on the sailing team in her student years and that she played the flute even in her later years. She turned 101 last September.

Domina will remain a part of this department’s history, a remarkable scholar and human being.

Prof. Malmendier Receives OVPR SFF Award

Professor Andreas Malmendier has received an OVPR Scholarship Facilitation Fund for his project “Developing Best Practices for Inclusive Graduate Mentoring in Mathematics”.

Developing best practices for inclusive mentoring in Mathematics is key for enhancing the diversity in UConn’s mathematical sciences graduate program. The goal of this Scholarship Facilitation Fund is to cultivate knowledge about how to promote a positive and inclusive educational climate in mathematics. Specifically, this project will focus on understanding the learning environment for graduate students in mathematics. The project team consists of Drs. Andreas Malmendier (Mathematics) and Jacqueline Chen (Psychological Sciences).

As part of the SFF, the team will conduct confidential, one-on-one interviews with mathematics faculty members and doctoral students. The team will analyze the interview content to identify common sources of misunderstanding, conflict, or tension between faculty mentors and graduate students when they give and receive feedback, respectively. From the results, Drs. Malmendier and Chen will generate a summary of conclusions about the best practices for graduate mentoring and present them in the Mathematics Department teaching semina