Published: Sept. 8, 2016
meet our new faculty

This semester, the Applied Math Department (APPM) welcomes a new associate professor, two new assistant professors, two new full-time instructors, two new instructors/research associates, and two new lecturers. These faculty members have diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from degrees earned here at CU Boulder to degrees earned as far away as the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The diversity from these members has sparked exciting plans and insights within the department.

Dr. Eric Vance, our newest associate professor, will open the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) in the near future. With LISA, he hopes to train students to become effective collaborators, provide research infrastructure to enable and accelerate research-applying statistics, and improve statistical skills and literacy. Others, such as new instructor Dr. Eric Thaler, have come to CU Boulder with important field experience. Dr. Thaler recently retired from a 35-year career with the National Weather Service (a sector of NOAA) where he was involved with operational weather forecasting and research, training, and computer applications development. Instructor and research associate, Dr. Chao Deng, received his Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from Sun Yat-sen University. The alternate perspective of Pure Mathematics from Applied Mathematics brings compelling differentiated findings. He was supported by two Natural Science Foundations of China in studying viscoelasticity and charged fluid.  In both PDEs, Dr. Deng uses the harmonic analysis tools (including function space theory, frequency interaction argument) to study the endpoint properties of the nonlinearities, which together with the background modeling provides interesting insight into the linear/nonlinear interactions of the PDEs.

Alongside innovative projects for students and unique perspectives, many have brought important research to CU Boulder. Dr. Yu-Jui Huang, assistant professor, has brought research that is relevant not only to CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, but also relevant to the Leeds School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. He previously specialized in solving Finance and Economics problems by using rigorous stochastic analysis, bringing applied mathematics into non-STEM fields. His current research interests include modeling healthcare and mortality, student loans, and stochastic games involving heterogeneous players.

The research of Dr. Zachary Kilpatrick, assistant professor, ventures into the networks of the brain. His research group studies nonlinear dynamics in mathematical models of neural systems, with an emphasis on stochasticity in spatially structured networks of the brain. He has also been developing probabilistic models of how organisms make decisions in changing environments and has recently published his findings in SIAM Review. Dr. Danielle Lyles, instructor, also has experience with the brain. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University, where she studied mathematical neuroscience. Following Cornell, Dr. Lyles had an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Davis in the field of theoretical spatial ecology. There, she continued her use of hybrid modeling techniques to explore the interplay between random "noise" and oscillations.

A handful of the new faculty's research has developed within, or has roots within, APPM prior to the fall of 2016. Dr. Justin Cole, instructor and research associate, completed his Ph.D. from Florida State University. His Ph.D. advisor was Ziad Musslimani, who was a postdoctoral fellow with APPM in 2000. Dr. Cole’s thesis topic was on the nonlinear Schrodinger equation, which can be used to describe both water waves and light propagation in glass-like media. He is currently working with Professor Mark J. Ablowitz to model and analyze light propagation in photonic topological insulators. These materials have a honeycomb lattice structure (like a beehive) and exhibit many intriguing properties such as localized edge states. Dr. Xudan Luo began with APPM as a visiting scholar and is now a lecturer and research associate, after receiving her Ph.D. this past summer from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her work involves direct scattering and inverse scattering problems of non-local non-linear Schrondinger equation and searching for soliton solutions. She is working with Professor Mark J. Ablowitz as her advisor. The help room is a valuable resource for students studying mathematics. Rachel Tutmaher began her position as a lecturer teaching Calculus 2 and as the help-room coordinator this semester. She also teaches at Front Range Community College and formerly was a Research and Development Engineer at the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory. Rachel has a background in applied mathematics, classics, and physics with degrees from Bucknell University, Florida State University, and University of Colorado Boulder.

APPM is excited to witness the new plans and diverse insights transform CU Boulder’s initiative alongside the progress of continuing faculty members. The 2016/2017 school year is sure to be excellent due to the accomplished faculty CU has gained, and the talented faculty CU has retained.