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Spring 2024 Convocation

On Friday May 10th, 2024, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics had its graduation ceremony. 

The SMLC Auditorium was packed with graduating undergraduate and graduate students, their families, friends, departmental staff, instructors, and  professors. These students had obtained this year their BS, MS or PhD in Mathematics or Statistics, and are preparing for their next chapter in life. They received wise advise from graduating students Murphy John (BS in Statistics and BS in Applied Math) and Sarah Poiani (PhD in Pure Mathematics) who spoke for their class, about enjoying the moment and the importance of balance in life and self-care.

Our Chair Professor Monika Nitsche lead the ceremony. Our Undergraduate Chair Professor Dimiter Vassilev introduced the undergraduate student awards (outstanding in each area and the Marron Lopez scholarship recipients) and presented the Department Honors and each graduating undergraduate student to the audience. Our Graduate Chair Assistant Professor Fletcher Christensen introduced the outstanding graduate student awards (in teaching and research in each area) and presented each graduate student to the audience. Our Chair also presented awards for outstanding faculty (as voted by the students).

Special note deserve four graduate students who received their PhD degrees and are now Doctors:

  • Owen Davis PhD Applied Mathematics, Faculty Advisor: M. Motamed, Thesis "Mathematically rigorous deep learning paradigms for data-driven scientific modeling". Owen will join the workforce as a researcher at Sandia National Laboratoires.

  • Kyle Henke PhD Applied Mathematics, Faculty Advisor: M. Motamed, Thesis on "Analysis and Computation of Constrained Sparse Coding on Emerging non-von Neumann Devices". Kyle will continue working for an AI start up from Turkey where his wife will start a job in the US Consulate.

  • Sarah Poiani PhD Pure Mathematics, Faculty Advisor: J. Vassilev, Thesis on "On Properties of Pair Operations". Sarah will join the faculty at Mississippi Women's University in a tenure-track position.

  • David Vargas PhD Applied Mathematics, Faculty Advisor: J. Schroder, Thesis on "Parallel Multigrid in Time for Chaotic Dynamical Systems".  David has been awarded the prestigious John von Neumann Postdoctoral Fellowship at Sandia National Laboratories.

We are often asked what can someone do with a degree in Math or Stats. These are just some of our recent graduates' future plans: 

  • Daniel Baca BS Applied Math: Attend graduate school and pursue a career in Computing Research at the National Labs. 
  • Hyein Choi BS Applied Math: Attend graduate school at MIT for Mechanical Engineering. 
  • Imuseoluwa Obembe MS Statistics: Continue working as a Statistician at Intel. 
  • Alexandria Van Why BS Applied Math: Continue working for the USDA Forest Service as a data manager. 
  • Thaddaeus Bonzon BS Applied Math: Applying to Medical School. 
  • Cole Kochan BS Statistics: Pursue a PhD in Economics. 

2024 Convocation Program

After the ceremony we all gathered in the SMLC atrium where the caterers had food and drinks for all. Heartful thanks to Facilities Manager Robert Ortiz, Department Administrator Amy Hathaway and Department Advisor Ana Parra Lombard for all the help organizing the ceremony and producing the program and slide show.

We congratulate all our graduates and wish you the best of lucks in the future! May you put your degrees to good use!