News

In Memoriam: Charles I. Vinsonhaler

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Charles I. Vinsonhaler, Professor Emeritus of the Mathematics Department.

Chuck, as he was universally known, was on the UConn faculty for decades and served as Department Head (1997-2003). He founded the department’s world-leading Actuarial Science program and played a key role in the founding of the Goldenson Center. MathSciNet lists 98 scholarly works by Chuck, mostly in Algebra but also in Actuarial Science. He wrote Problem Solving, coauthored with Tom De Franco and Mark Naigles, and the monograph Advanced topics in linear algebra, coauthored with Kevin O’Meara and John Clark. He supervised at least eight doctoral dissertations and advised numerous Master’s students. Chuck held a number of visiting positions, including at the University of Canterbury, NZ, where he was an Erskine Fellow.

As one emeritus colleague put it, those of us who have known Chuck for many years remember, with great fondness, both his wisdom and the warm friendship and humor that he shared with us. I myself got to know him only over the last few years, and will treasure that memory.

In April 2019 the department’s Actuarial Science program arranged an event to celebrate Chuck. Many memories were shared by students and colleagues, including some who were his students and eventually colleagues. In closing let me quote a comment about Chuck from one student: “Changed the path of my life – I majored in math and have a quantitative profession. He is caring, has a great sense of humor and his deep understanding is an inspiration. Math is beautiful and sharing its depth touches ones soul – this professor helps you share this experience.”

Welcome new faculty and students!

Welcome back!

Even as we prepare for a very unusual new semester, we are very excited to be joined by a large number of newcomers this fall, and to welcome them to our Department!

Regular Faculty
Robert Dolan, Assistant Professor in Residence
Amineh Farzannia, Assistant Professor in Residence
Sijing Liu, Assistant Professor in Residence
Hanson Smith, Assistant Professor in Residence
Daniel Watt, Lecturer
George Yin, Professor

Postdoctoral fellows and visitors
Xin Dong, Assistant Research Professor
Véronique Bazier-Matte, Assistant Research Professor

Students
We are also pleased this fall to welcome a new class of 16 PhD students and 8 MS students.

Professor Lozano-Robledo Launches Math Video Series for Kids

Algebra for Kids intro slide: what is algebra?

With most colleges around the country teaching online for the remainder of the year, faculty have quickly had to master new technologies and teaching methods to adapt their curricula to the web.

But UConn math professor Álvaro Lozano-Robledo is going the extra mile. In addition to the Applied Linear Algebra course he’s teaching this semester, Professor Lozano-Robledo has launched a new series of videos on YouTube aimed at introducing algebra to 3rd and 4th graders. The new series, entitled “Algebra for Kids”, features fun, colorful animations to explain key concepts like multiplication, grouping, variables, and equations.

“I have been trying to give my kids some extra math activities and material during the school-from-home era, so I started teaching my daughter some algebra,” explains Lozano-Robledo about how he got the idea. He adds, “It gives us something to do, and I imagine many other parents are looking for something like this for their kids to do.”

The first two videos are already racking up views. More are soon to follow, according to Lozano-Robledo.