Professor Cardetti Receives Grant to Study Mental Health and Math Learning in Children

Cardetti and Hoeft

Professor Fabiana Cardetti has been awarded a CLAS grant in collaboration with Professor Fumiko Hoeft (Professor of Neuroscience, Director of BIRC) to conduct the interdisciplinary research study The influence of mental health and socio-economic disparities on children with learning disabilities – a math intervention study. The funds help provide equitable educational opportunities in reading and math for Connecticut children with disabilities and financial hardship, while also supporting the investigation of the impact of variations in psycho-social factors as well as mental health and math achievement changes over time. Beyond the theoretical and clinical significance of the research, this project expands the engagement of the Department of Mathematics with the community by applying its scholarship to positively impact the welfare of Connecticut.

Image caption: Fabian Cardetti (left) and Fumiko Hoeft.

Professor Savkar Awarded AAUP Teaching Excellence Career Award

Amit Savkar

Professor Amit Savkar has been awarded the 2021 Teaching Excellence: Career Award from the UConn-AAUP, one of only two recipients in the university. The recipients were chosen by the UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards Committee from a pool of excellent candidates.

The recognition of faculty teaching, research, and service excellence through UConn-AAUP awards began in 1997. The intention of the awards is to showcase academic excellence at UConn.

A virtual ZOOM ceremony to honor Professor Savkar, and other UConn-AAUP award recipients, will take place on Wednesday, April 28th, at 1:00 pm. Any and all who wish to attend are welcome, and are asked to email Barbara Kratochvil to receive the ZOOM link.

Image caption: Amit Savkar

Talitha Washington (UConn Math PhD 2001) elected Fellow of the AMS

Congratulation to Talitha Washington, who received her doctorate in mathematics from UConn in 2001, on being named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, class of 2021!

Dr. Washington is Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University. She also has an affiliate faculty appointment at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College. Previously, she has held positions at The College of New Rochelle, the University of Evansville, and Howard University.

This summer, Dr. Washington was appointed the inaugural director of the Data Science Initiative of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC). The AUCC is the largest contiguous consortium of African-American higher education institutions in the United States, and the Data Science Initiative that Dr. Washington will lead will seek to analyze current and emerging societal problems, particularly those affecting the African American community, and develop data-driven solutions.

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

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