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

Gordina, Carfagnini, and Luo Spend Spring 2022 at MSRI

Gordina, Carfagnini, and Luo, at MSRI.Three department members are participating in the 2022 Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) program Analysis and Geometry of the Random Spaces.

Professor Masha Gordina is a Research Professor in the program. These positions are reserved for distinguished researchers who can make key contributions to their programs including the mentoring of postdoctoral fellows.

Marco Carfagnini is the Salgo Noren Program Associate in the program. His research is in stochastic analysis and its interplay with differential geometry and functional analysis. In particular, he studies limit laws for degenerate stochastic processes, especially processes on Lie groups, and analysis and geometry of path spaces. In Fall of 2022 Marco will join the University of California at San Diego as a Stefan E. Warschawski Visiting Assistant Professor.

Liangbing Luo is the Lauter Program Associate in the program. Liangbing’s research interests lies primarily in analysis, probability and geometry. She is particularly interested in functional inequalities, such as logarithmic Sobolev inequalities and Poincaré inequalities. More precisely, Liangbing’s research include logarithmic Sobolev inequalities with respect to a hypoelliptic heat kernel measure on finite-dimensional and infinite-dimensional Heisenberg groups and how the constants depend on the geometry of their underlying spaces. In Fall of 2022 Liangbing will join Lehigh University as a C.C. Hsiung visiting assistant professor.

This program is devoted to the investigation of universal analytic and geometric objects that arise from natural probabilistic constructions, often motivated by models in mathematical physics. Prominent examples for recent developments are the Schramm-Loewner evolution, the continuum random tree, Bernoulli percolation on the integers, random surfaces produced by Liouville Quantum Gravity, and Jordan curves and dendrites obtained from random conformal weldings and laminations. The lack of regularity of these random structures often results in a failure of classical methods of analysis.

UConn Math Grad Program Ranked Top 40 Among Public Universities

UConn’s ranking climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the country’s best mathematics graduate programs, a sign of the University’s growing reputation as a center of excellence in mathematics education and research.

US News & World Report Best Graduate Programs logo

In the 2022 list, UConn’s Mathematics Graduate Program is ranked #40 among public universities and #66 overall. The rankings are based on surveys sent to mathematicians around the country, and as such are a reflection of national reputation.

Department head, Professor Ambar Sengupta, attributes the improvement to hard work over the past several years. “Our faculty have been conducting really stellar research, publishing in top international journals, getting appointed to world renown editorial boards, and securing competitive grants. We have also worked diligently to improve our standing and visibility. We have become an institutional supporter of the MSRI. And the number of meetings and summer schools organized by our faculty and postdocs has never been greater. This excellence reflects on the quality of our graduate program and other educational offerings.”

In other good news, the department’s Actuarial Science program was ranked #1 in the country in the most recent UNL Global Research Rankings of Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance.

“I want to thank every member of the department – professional staff, the entire faculty, and our graduate students – for these achievements,” added Professor Sengupta. “It really is a team effort. And it makes UConn Math an exciting place to work at.”

Kickoff Event: Connecticut Noyce Math Teacher Leaders Program

Entrance with logo

Professor Fabiana Cardetti (Co-PI) with other members of the program team organized the inaugural event for the NSF funded Connecticut Noyce Math Teacher Leaders (MTL) program which was hosted this past Saturday March 19th at the Connecticut Association of Schools in Cheshire, CT.

MTL Team and Special Guests

The five-year program is a partnership between the Department of Mathematics, the Neag School of Education, and the Connecticut State Department of Education designed to build capacity for math teacher leadership across Connecticut. The event marked the official start of the program with a celebration for the cohort of 20 secondary math teachers, MTL Fellows, who are embarking in the five-year program.

Prof. Cardetti at Kickoff

The kickoff event featured welcoming remarks by Guest Speakers, including Charlene Russell-Tucker, Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Education; Jason Irizarry, Dean of Neag School of Education; Ambar Sengupta, Head of Department of Mathematics; and Georgina Rivera Vice President for the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. A Keynote address was given by Steve Leinwand, Math Education Change Agent, principal researcher at AIR, and experienced leader in mathematics education.

The Department of Mathematics is excited to be a part of this innovative initiative, expanding mathematics teacher leadership and supporting equitable access to high-quality mathematics education for all students.

Congratulations MTL Fellows!

(photo credits/Shawn Kornegay)

Welcome Nathaniel Abbott!

Nathaniel Abbott, holding his dog, Renly, with mountains in the background.

We are pleased to introduce Nathaniel Abbott, who joins our Department as Educational Program Manager.

Please join us in welcoming him aboard!

To get to know Nathaniel a bit better, we asked him a few questions.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Ohio. My family moved around a lot when I was a kid so I don’t call any specific state home (but I do consider Tennessee my favorite). In no specific order, I have lived in Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Connecticut. While I do prefer the southern culture, I see myself in Connecticut for the foreseeable future because I love what I do here at UConn.

Where did you go to school?

I received my B.S. from Southern Adventist University in Film Production with an emphasis in business. I had originally been enthralled with the entertainment industry and worked on television commercials and promotional content before realizing I wanted more than it could offer. So I decided to obtain my M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago and have been working towards my goal of program manager ever since.

How long have you worked at UConn?

I started working at UConn in March 2020 while still living in Alabama. I moved here in June during Connecticut’s lockdown which was quite the transition. But I have been working in the business and educational industries for the past 13 years.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

General free time is enjoyed on the couch with my dog, Renly, reading a good Mitch Rapp or Jack Reacher novel—perhaps even watching Westworld season 1 for the 10th time. I also appreciate the satisfaction I get from my home improvement projects. My vacations generally consists of going south to Alabama to visit family or the Smokey Mountains which is my go-to spot. There’s nothing like Gatlinburg, TN in the northeast but I certainly enjoy the nearby rural mountainous area and am still looking for a favorite weekend camp site.

What do you look forward to in this new position?

I always look forward to the challenge. Doing a great job in support of an office and department requires commitment to both self and team. It’s quite the balancing act because work is interesting, challenging, and always changing—it’s definitely not for everyone. You certainly benefit from discipline, relationship building, and openness to learning, as they are intrinsic to the profession. While there may be cyclical tasks, the majority of duties vary, as do the people you assist, in an evermoving live pattern that makes no day exactly the same. And while sometimes the day-to-day pressures with deadlines looming and random department requests may stack up to make a normal person go crazy, that’s where the balancing act and love for the job shines because I’m excited to be a part of something that isn’t just a “business-as-usual” role.