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Alumni Newsletter 2006

Letter From The Chair.

I have started my second three year term as the chairperson of the department and this is a good time for me to pause and look at the recent past and think about the near future.

In the last few years, I have seen how a department depends on many resources for its success. The years starting from 2001 have been hard years for the state and for the campus. Our own department lost a large number of faculty members to retirement and to richer pastures, and that has changed the face of the department. However, in the middle of this, we were fortunate enough to hire new research faculty members, one in mathematics and three in computer science. The changing economy has affected our own student body population: our huge enrollments in computer science from four years ago have dwindled in the face of a perceived “tech crisis”, from over four hundred to just above two hundred recently, despite the fact that computer science is still one of the best avenues for a college graduate to get a good job. On the other hand, our upper level math courses have now been filled to overflowing for a few semesters. We are looking to bring in a new faculty member in math to help us with these new students next fall.

At the lower end of our programs, we received a considerable infusion of resources when the campus opened the Mathematics Technology Learning Center (MTLC) in August. This computerized math teaching lab is now being used to teach College Algebra and Trigonometry, and this is a great example of how technological resources combined with the hard work of our faculty can improve a few courses dramatically. If you come to visit us, you must visit the MTLC as well and see it in use.

At the upper end, our PhD program graduated our first PhD—Karen Wurdack. Haiyan Cai hooded her at the December commencement. I hope that six years after its inception, we are starting a steady stream of PhD’s! In the fall, we also formally opened a second option in our PhD program, namely a Computer Science option. If you CS graduates want to come back and do a PhD in computer science, we are now open for business!

At the research level, new resources come in when a faculty member gets a research grant. Martin Pelikan was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award which grants him $400,000 over the next five years. This is a prestigious award for a young faculty member, and it makes the whole department shine more brightly.

What do I hope for the next few years? First, that the cyclical nature of the economy will bring more computer science students. Also, that our department can become a model for good undergraduate instruction as the lessons from the MTLC spread to other courses. That our PhD program and the vigorous activities of our new faculty create a vibrant research center. And finally that we graduate majors who are well trained, who enjoyed their years in our department and who as alums will stay in close touch with us.


First PHD awarded: Karen Warddock

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[caption under picture] Karen Wardock, phd, and advisor Haiyan Cai

 


[www.cs.umsl.edu/Spencer/Spencer_Flyer-2006.pdf can this be included as is or simply the text with the headline:” Spencer Lecture scheduled for April 24”]

 


Math Lab Propels Algebra Students to Excellence

We have continued the successful redesign process of our college algebra course. The new structure promotes active and collaborative learning and addresses the diverse range of student learning styles. With guidance from the National Center for Academic Transformation, we stared Phase 1 during the 2004-2005 academic year by keeping the same number of lectures, but adding a supplemental computer lab. The students did their homework on line, either from home or from campus. We placed weekly deadlines on the homework to force the students to keep up – this is the most important key to success. With our previous, traditional teaching format, we had always struggled to cover the necessary material because of the many repeated questions that slowed us down. In Phase 1, however, the instructors found that the lecture time was more productive because students, who were now more likely to have done the homework, were better prepared for the new material. We learned a lot during Phase 1, and planned a number of changes. One of the difficulties was the lack of a central place where we could work with the students. We were limited to 50-minute periods of time in one of the many computer-equipped classrooms on campus. The students often had to leave while they were in the middle of a problem. The instructors and teaching assistants (TAs) were scattered in various places throughout the day.

We started Phase 2 of our redesign this past fall in the newly-built Math Technology Learning Center, MTLC. The MTLC was designed to provide the centralized resource/learning location needed to take full advantage of the course redesign. In the MTLC, students can access course materials or receive individual assistance from 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Thursday. While they can still do their homework from home or from any computer on campus, most students choose to spend time in the lab where they can get help when they need it.

One of our goals for Phase 2 was to increase discussion among students. Students tend to be passive recipients of information during lecture, and student-to-student interaction is not easy. We chose the so-called replacement model to accomplish this goal. This model includes a reduction in lecture time, replacing it with more individualized time in the lab. The teaching/learning in lab is more individualized due to the interactive nature of the computer learning programs, the availability of TAs, and the presence of other students. The layout of the MTLC further encourages student interaction yet provides adequate privacy for quizzes and tests. During Phase 2 we also began using the same teaching method for the evening courses, thereby bringing more uniformity to the course.

Our passing rate has steadily increased during all phases of the redesign and the course structure is still evolving. Training for instructors, TAs, and tutors is required to successfully implement the redesign. The initial desire (momentum) to stick with the old way of doing things has to be overcome. As new faculty members and TAs are brought into the course, it is important to help them go through the steps of accepting a different teaching/learning model. Key ingredients for this redesign have therefore been the willingness of the dedicated lecturers to try something new and the support of the University in building the MTLC.


Martin Pelikan Receives a Grant

This is a grant from National Science Foundation, through NSF CAREER program (in the Power, Controls, and Adaptive Networks subprogram at NSF subprogram). The award is from 2006-2011.

This is some information from Martin’s proposal for the grant:

Proposal Title: CAREER: Design and Application of Scalable Hierarchical Optimization Algorithms by Combining Evolutionary Computation, Machine Learning and Statistics

Institution: University of Missouri Saint Louis

Intellectual Merit: The challenge of nonconvex optimization remains one of the most fundamental challenges occurring again and again in all branches of engineering. It is crucial to understanding the mechanisms for creativity (ability to break out of a local minimum or rut) in the mammalian brain, and in complex systems of all kinds. Existing methods based on genetic algorithms, operations research and the like are widely used, but have difficulties in scaling up to large, complex problems in part because they do not even address how it is possible to learn to search better as one acquires more experience in any design domain. This PI is one of the few researchers taking a new approach to this task, called Estimation of Distribution Algorithms (EDA). Dr. Pelikan has developed new, principled methods capable of learning from search to search, for the case where all the design choices are discrete in nature. Here he will extend the work to the case of continuous variables and network design, with real-world testbeds, and explore ways to scale up to larger problems.


New Status of a Computer Lab

Our Computer Specialist Mike Schulte describes the most recent lab changes in the Department:

The department, together with Campus Computing, has converted one half of room 316 on our floor into a computer lab available to all students.

There are 8 computers with the same software that is available on the computers in all the other student computing labs on campus. They also have immediate access to space on a campus-wide network drive, so that they can save their work on a computer in the lab and later in another lab.

From this lab, the students have easy access to their instructors and TA's when they need help. We are also putting the tutors for the CS 1250 and CS 2250 classes [the first two computer science classes in the CS program] for 6 hours a week.

The lab is open to all students with valid Gateway Identifiers. The hours are 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Friday.


Scholarship News from the Chair of the Andalafte, Spencer and Scholarship Committee 
Ron Dotzel

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers several scholarship opportunities including the Mathematical Sciences Alumni Scholarship, the Andalafte Memorial Scholarship, the Raymond and Thelma Balbes Scholarship and the Joseph M. and Mary A. Vogl Scholarship in Mathematics. For the academic year 2005-2006 over $15,000 was awarded to 14 students. Recipients of the Alumni Scholarship are Sheena Acre, Ronelle Bailey, Larry Burkett, Paul Casolari, Maurice-Leonard Cohen, Anthony Cooper, Amani Dawoud, Fadil Hamidovic, Seth Hein, John Hoven III, Benjamin Siders, Eric Tyhurst (also the recipient of the Balbes Scholarship), and Kurt Werder. Krystal Taylor received the Andalafte Memorial Scholarship. A Vogl Scholarship award will be made for the first time in the academic year 2006-2007.

It is only through the generosity and foresight of alumni and friends of the Department that these scholarships are made possible. It is impossible to measure the huge impact these scholarships make on the careers of the recipients and on the profession itself.


Start of a New Tradition

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science will sponsor the Andalafte Mathematical Competition on Thursday, April 6 from 1:00-4:00pm in 100 Clark Hall. This competition will consist of 5 challenging problems which are accessible to undergraduates. It is highly recommended that participants should have completed at least Math 1900. Prizes will be as much as $1000. Winners will be recognized at the 9th Annual Spencer & Spencer Lecture on Monday, April 24 at 7:30pm in the Century Room of the MSC.


So What Are the Balbes’s Doing Now?
You will find the answer to this question below


Ray and Thelma Balbes Ray Balbes surfing

We arrived in Carlsbad CA (that’s about 30 miles north of San Diego) last May and was greeted, not by the Governator but by the prospect of being a legal alien; you know, trying to get a driver’s license, finding the nearest supermarket and meeting a bunch of yuppie neighbors. Truth is, Thelma got a 100% on the drivers test (yea, I missed one), the supermarket is right down the street, and everyone around also seems to be a transplant from out of state. Next order of business was to take surfing lessons. Harder to learn than you think, unless you’re 15 years old or so. Our grandkids were up in less than an hour. Cheryl (our daughter) got up on the first try, but you may remember that she was a professional ballerina and now teaches ballet. I did take a couple of waves in, but it took 3 instructors to stand me up. Gonna try it again this summer. You can see me on the Fine Living Channel in May. When I get it right, I’ll come back and give a seminar. Culturally, Southern California is not the wasteland its portrayed to be, there is the Getty Museum, the Hollywood Bowl, Lego Land, and the In ‘n Out Burger. The beaches are the same as when I was a kid in the ‘60s but the Beach Boys are not what they were.

Thelma became very involved with the Parkinson’s Disease Association. She now leads a support group here in Carlsbad. In Februay she went to Washington DC to lobby congress to support Parkinson’s Research. While there she also attended the First World Parkinson Congress. She learned a lot and had so much fun that she is planning to attend the 2nd congress in Paris in 2009.

As you know, before leaving UMSL, I became interested in the connection between Art and Mathematics; this came about by writing a computer program to generate fractal images and then trying to decide if I liked the results because they were inherently beautiful or because I was the one who created them. In any case, I am still writing programs to create images but have moved from fractals to ray-tracing to noise generation to (something called) L-systems to some of my own stuff. Hey, mathematicians can win Academy Awards, not for acting but for algorithms – do a google on “Perlin Noise”! Thelma and I do art shows – one in Beverly Hills last summer- the Governator still didn’t show up. By the way, writing software for yourself doesn’t have to be “user friendly” so its a lot easier; and if you find a bug in an algorithm after its made a beautiful picture, you don’t have to fix it. Computer graphics is mostly analytic geometry, vector analysis, calculus and some elementary numerical analysis, and since I always enjoyed teaching calculus, I’m having fun doing it, with the bonus of not having to grade exams. Although its not up-to-date, my web-site is www.balbes.net.

Best Regards from Thelma and Ray Balbes


Life without a Regular Schedule
Grant Welland

In January, I celebrated the third year of retirement. I miss the days of teaching while I enjoy aspects of my new life which would be impossible if I had a regular schedule. My first priority is family and my second is research and learning. I still try to honor the mantra of my professional life, "Any day during on which I learn something new is a good day." Good and unhappy things have occurred.

 

When I left UMSL I closed the book on formal research but hoped to carry over research interests to private life. I hoped I would use my knowledge of wavelets to help my new hobby, photography. The ideas are still there but I have not succeeded in implementation. I enjoy digital photography greatly. Wavelets helped me chose a great recreation.

 

My older daughter Sasha is completing her PhD in Cultural Anthropology. She was good at science but had her reasons to pursue a degree in the humanities. I am very proud of Sasha. Recently the University of Toronto has offered her a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor.

 

My second daughter, Kara, is very accomplished in marketing. She now works with Purina and recently helped Purina introduce its new product, 'Beneful'. Life is not always good. At age thirty, Kara discovered she is suffering from the rare, neuro-endocrine cancer. Next month she will celebrate the third year since her cancer was discovered. It has been difficult and she is still battling cancer.

Last summer Kara introduced me to 'Team in Training'. Together we went to Disney World where we walked a 1/2 marathon on January, 7. I wouldn't have done it without her. Throughout autumn we trained. It is a new life for me. I hadn't exercised seriously since High school. I feel better and I dare say I look better. You needn't take my word for that.

 

I am now a crusader to help aid cancer research. Team in Training is one half of a two pronged effort. The other half, the better half, is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I am proud I raised $4,600 for LLS during the Disney World campaign. I am now training for my next 1/2 marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. I have pledged to raise $4,400 for this campaign. I will run, not walk, this 1/2 marathon on June 17.

Please visit my web site at http://www.active.com/donate/tntgmo/GWellan where you can read a short history of Kara, my daughter and a second honored team mate, Kelly. There is also information to help you donate to LLS.

I hope you'll visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to monitor my progress and share it with friends. Cancer is a feared health problem. It has entered my family in four individuals, including my mother.

Thanks for your interest and support!

When you visit the web site, please use the online submission at the top right of this web site or if you prefer send your donation directly to me using the address below. 
Write checks to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Grant Welland.
835 S. Hanley Rd. 
St. Louis, MO 63105


Nazire Koc speaks the Languatge of Mathematics


Nazire Koc

Mathematics has its own language, its own grammar, and its own words. For Nazire, the important thing is to let the students speak this language without hesitation, and they shouldn’t have any doubts about the words that they are using. Nazire’s teaching philosophy is that if students understand math as they go along, they will be able to do well through the semester. However if students have any questions during the learning process and if they do not ask their instructor, it becomes a rolling snowball that gets bigger and bigger. Nazire enjoys working with students, teaching them and helping them to understand mathematics and become well educated professionals.

Nazire Koc has been a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Missouri at St. Louis for two years. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Aegean University (Izmir, Turkey) and her master of science in 1998 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, both in mathematics. She is currently working on her thesis about assigning weights to fuzzy rules based on statistical models for a second master degree in computer science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and expects to graduate this summer.

Nazire worked as a graduate teaching assistant in both departments of computer science and mathematics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale during her graduate studies.

Nazire is married and has two children: a son, Tolga (7), and a daughter, Erin (4). She enjoys spending time with her family and likes reading non-fiction, hiking and swimming, and thanks to her colleagues she now addicted to playing sudoku.

 

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%\title{Scholarly Experience, Interests, and Goals}

%\author{Karen A. Chandler}

 

Visitor Karen Chandler stimulates Calculus Students”

\begin{document}

 

Professor Chandler conducted her Ph.D. in algebraic geometry at Harvard.

Her postdoctoral postion was as an L.E. Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago.

 

 

Teaching is a wonderful opportunity for me to share my enthusiasm for

mathematics with my students.

My main goals in teaching are

to show the ideas and inherent beauty of math

and to look

carefully for what each student may obtain from the course.

In each class, I work to motivate and energise each student on the pertinent

ideas of math, its applicablity to their interests, and use in developing

thought processes.

A profound challenge to students is making a transition in ways of viewing

mathematics as a whole. A professor must be aware of difficulties that

may arise for each student and encourage their opinions and questions.

By initiating dialogue with each student, one may discover his or her interests

and thereby adapt explanations and examples,

with the reward of seeing the student succeed in understanding and applying new concepts.

 

 

 

 

My visit to the University of Missouri at St. Louis has enriched my

teaching experience, along with the dedication of department members.

I find that students here may be encouraged to set their own

initiatives on learning and follow through by their own strategies.

For example, in my calculus class (1800) this semester it appears, at

times, that I should perhaps restrain the excitement of students during class!

 

 

 

 

My main field of interest is algebraic geometry: to compare the algebra of a

system of polynomial equations to the geometry of the set of solutions.

I shall describe some areas of my research, techniques for

dealing with such problems, and conclude by discussing their common themes.

 

 

{\bf Hyperbolicity:}

May we place a (complex) line directly along a (complex) surface, by bending it smoothly?

If not, we say that the surface is {\it hyperbolic}.

For example a sphere of radius~1 is described by the equation

$x^2+y^2+z^2=1$ of degree two.

We may bend the line along the equator of the sphere,

which shows that it is not hyperbolic.

The Green-Griffiths-Kobayashi Conjecture (1970) asks whether a very general surface in 3-space

described by an equation of degree at least~5 is

hyperbolic.

This issue had intrigued prominent researchers

 

 

 

 

{\bf Deformation and Infinitesimal Deformation:}

Along with the intrinsic properties of an algebraic variety it is relevant to find extrinsic information

on a given variety~$X$ appearing inside a larger space.

Issues here include the deep problem of rigidity: whether~$X$ % a given subvariety of projective space

allows deformation (movement) within the ambient space;

Wahl's conjecture on whether~$X$ appears

as a slice of a (nontrivial) higher dimensional one; and the stability of the normal bundle of the inclusion.

To determine how~$X$ may be moved, I begin with infinitesimal deformation: how may it

be deformed in a ``very small'' manner?

This implicitly involves the study of hypersurfaces that are highly singular

along~$X$.

 

 

{\bf Infinitesimal Interpolation:}

The fundamental problem of infinitesimal interpolation within an $n$-dimensional space

is to find a polynomial equation of minimal degree in $n$ variables

for which the values of its partial derivatives up to given orders are specified at certain points.

Geometrically, this corresponds to the construction of a (simple) object in~$n$-space

that includes designated points with prescribed tangents, curvatures, and higher order information

on its shape.

 

This problem was solved by Lagrange

and Hermite (19th century) in the special case of one variable.

I work on the generalisation to several variables which, by contrast, depends on the

choice of points.

Therefore I analyse the extreme possibilities: finding precise results on a general collection of

points (the easiest to interpolate) and on an arbitrary collection (the worst case scenario).

The former problem in the special case of two variables (points in the plane)

has attracted much attention from researchers such as Segre and, currently,

Joe Harris, Ciliberto, Miranda, Hirschowitz, and Harbourne.

My own work shows that the structure of the problem is much

richer in dimensions at least~3.

On the issue of an arbitrary collection of points,

my results

indicate how this problem

extends the classical theorem of Castelnuovo (1892) on basic postulation.

 

Common themes in my work include determining and interpreting cohomology of

jet sheaves (such as tangent bundles) and relative jets (such as normal bundles) of

an algebraic variety.

A basic tool in each case is that of hyperplane slicing, and then handling a lower-dimensional variety.

Particularly, the base case for dealing with embedded varieties is that of a collection of

infinitesimal neighbourhoods of points in space, which has interest in its own right.

 

\end{document}

 


Professor He—Research and Teaching


Wenjie He

Professor Wenjie He received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005. His research interest includes the wavelet theory and its applications in computer graphics and image processing. Professor He is also a member of the Institute of Computational Harmonic Analysis. Professor He and Professor Chui (Director of the Institute of Computational Harmonic Analysis) joined with four professors in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, are working on a research project that applies the wavelet theory to develop a novel hierarchical representation for large scale data. This five-year project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Professor He and three other professors in the department form a group on computer graphics that devote efforts to developing effective algorithms for curve and surface rendering and multiresolution editing based on the wavelet technique.

Professor He developed the course of Advanced Java Programming in 2005. This graduate level course covers the Enterprise Java topics that are extremely hot in the business world. This is a very popular course, and the students who learn the techniques in this course can easily find jobs. Some companies even ask for new graduates from this course every semester. Professor He is also advising two Ph.D. students.


Steve Rigdon BA (’77) MA (’80) Calculus Author


Steve Rigdon

I left UMSL in 1979 to pursue a Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Missouri - Columbia.  I received BA (1977) and MA (1980) degrees from UMSL.  I got married in 1982 and started a full time job with Monsanto in the Dayton, Ohio area.  I finished my dissertation in 1985 while still in Dayton, so I got my Ph.D. in December 1985.  In 1986, I came to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as Assistant Professor.  Currently I'm Professor.  I was chair of the department from 1994 - 1998.  I have published three books, Calculus 8th edition (Prentice Hall, 2000), Statistical Methods for the Reliability of Repairable Systems (John Wiley & Sons, 2000), and now Calculus 9th edition (Prentice Hall, 2007 copyright).  An early transcendentals calculus book is nearing completion.  Currently I serve on the Editorial Board of Journal of Quality Technology, and I'm section editor for the Encyclopedia for Reliability and Quality Control to be published by Wiley.  I've published over 35 articles in journals such as Technometrics, Journal of Quality Technology, Quality Engineering, and Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation.

I have three children.  Christopher is a senior at SIUE majoring in Mathematics and Industrial Engineering.  Mary is a freshman at SIUE majoring in Special Education, and Emily is a junior at Edwardsville High School.  My main hobby is playing music.  I play trumpet and french horn in a number of groups, including the Edwardsville Municipal Band, the Granite City Swing Band, and the Rolling Thunder Brass Quintet.


Galina’s Dream Comes True at UMSL


Galina Piatnitskaia

I was very fortunate to receive my education from one of the best universities of the Soviet Union. When I was a student there, its name was Moscow Physical-Technical Institute; now it is called Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. I earned my Ph.D. in Mathematics from this school in 1980. At that time, I was sure that I would become a teacher, but I did not know in what field. Since my major was a boundary area between mathematics and computer science, I applied for teaching positions in both fields. It just so happened that I became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics (later I was promoted to the Associate Professor of Mathematics) in Nortwestern Polytechnical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia (now Northwestern Technical University).

I worked at this institute for 16 years, and it was a wonderful time! I taught a number of courses in different fields of mathematics, participated in research, made presentations at scientific conferences, and published several papers and booklets (for the students of our institute). For 5 years I delivered television lectures on geometry for the regional TV station. From February till May of 1994 I worked as a Visiting Associate Professor at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri. It was at this time when I started thinking about moving to the United States, but our family did not have an opportunity to do that. I enjoyed all my activities, but the most pleasant part of my work has always been teaching. I was dreaming of the time when my only job responsibility would be teaching.

In 1998 my husband was among winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery, which is held by US government every year. We decided to settle in St. Louis because at that time our older son was a student of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. I was very lucky to get a teaching position at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of UMSL. I will forever be grateful to the chairman of our Department, Ray Balbes, who gave me a chance to start a new page in my life. He also encouraged me to teach courses in Computer Science, and I liked it very much. Now I have flexibility to teach a number of courses in Mathematics or Computer Science, depending on the needs of our Department. It means so much to me that my long-time dream has become true, and now I may entirely focus on teaching. In my work I try to combine the best features of both the Russian and American educational systems.

I don’t have a lot of news this year. The most important thing to me is that my older son received his Ph.D. degree in Economics last summer. Now he is an Assistant Professor at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). My younger son is a junior in Illinois Institute of Technology. I am very proud of my recent award: my brief biography was published in the 9th and 10thEditions of “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”. I would like to express my gratitude to my former students who remember our classes and wish good luck to all our alumni.


Deborah Tepper Haimo resides in Claremont California

Deborah Tepper Haimo retired in 1992 after 24 years as Professor of Mathematics at UMSL. She remained very active in mathematics and in education in the years following her retirement. From 1990-95 she served on Harvard University’s Board of Overseers. She served as President Elect (1991-2), President (1992-3), and then Past President (1993-4) of the Mathematical Association of American (MAA). Deborah Haimo was strongly committed to improving mathematics education, and she served on the Board of Advisors for the Coalition of Missouri Mathematicians and on the Missouri State Systemic Initiatives. Professor Haimo moved to San Diego, CA in 1995 where she was appointed Visiting Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. She continued her work on education by serving on the California Department of Education Program Advisory Committee and then as Chair of the California Mathematics Curriculum Framework and Criteria Committee, charged with improving standards for K-12 mathematics education in the state. In 1997, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded the Yuen-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics by the MAA. From 1999-2001 she served as Chair of the AMS Arnold Ross Lecture Series Committee. For many years, Professor Haimo graded Putman exams and was always gratified to see the depth of talent among young mathematicians. In 1993, she established the annual MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, in memory of her husband, the mathematician, Franklin T. Haimo. In 2004, Deborah Tepper Haimo moved to Claremont, California where she currently resides in a retirement community.


Alumni News

M.Dawn Blaloch
MA Math, 2004
Current employment: TA, Saint Louis University, working
on PhD. in topology; advisor, Dr. Anneke Bart. Favorite things about UMSL: Students. I miss the students. I miss the tree outside the Library that turns bright crimson in the fall. 
Adventures: Passed PhD qualifying exam in analysis this past
August (2005) Hooray! One down,three more exams to go. My mother died this last December. My middle
daughter graduates from college in 2 count them, TWO
months (i.e.in May 2006).

John Blodgett
BA Math, 1967
Current employment: Senior Programmer Analyst at OSEDA (Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis), U. of Missouri Columbia. Favorite things about UMSL: The price was right -  tuition my first semester (1963) was $65. Classes were in the old Normandy county club building, which was a cool place to learn calculus. The campus from which I graduated in 1967 was
far different than the one to which I returned to work 5 years later. Much smaller (Benton and Stadler were the only buildings in '67) and
less impersonal.  Most of my math classes the last 2 years had fewer
than 10 people in them.  The instructors were all youngsters, hardly
anyone over 40.  Everything was new.   
Adventures: I went to Duke to get my M.A. and got to be a "Cameron Crazy" for a
while.  Taught (math & programming) for 2 years at Slippery Rock (PA). Wound up back at UMSL as a programmer/instructor in the summer of '72, 
largely due to the brokering of Dr. Andalafte who had been my mentor while at UMSL.14 months later I became head of the Urban Info. Center within the Computer Center.   That lasted 25 years, after which I moved to the Columbia campus (long story) where I have continued to do similar work at OSEDA.   The adventure part of my career has been getting in pretty much on the ground floor of computing technology, experiencing its evolution over 4 decades. I never really changed
jobs, but my job changed constantly because of new tools and technology.
Additional information: Married Elaine in 1974 and we have a son, Gordon, who now lives in St. Ann.  
My personal web page is http://www.oseda.missouri.edu/jgb/ , but most of my work involves the Missouri Census Data Center site at http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/index.shtml

Ann Boehmer(McCarthy) 
MA Math, May 2000
BA Math, Jan 1997
Current employment: East Central College in Union, Missouri as an Assistant Professor of Math.
I have received Who's Who Among America's Teachers for 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 
and 2005-2006 school years.

Mary Bowman
BS-Applied Math, Emphasis in Statistics, 99. 
Current employment: Amdocs Training Focal Point for North and South America.
Favorite things about UMSL: The instructors-Dr. A, Dr. Connet and Dr. Schwatrz. 
Adventures: I am getting ready to depart for a two week business trip to Tel Aviv. My job has also taken me to Montreal and throughout the US. My son recently graduated UMSL with his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication. He is attending Michigan State for his PhD. He is having to get much of his advice on Stats from me! 

Nathan Causey
BS-CS, 2003
Current employment: AT&T Services.
Favorite things about UMSL: UMSL was a great place to attend college. There was a great faculty, nice curriculum, good facilities and the wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime.
Adventures: I traveled to England to visit my sister last May. In December I went on a Caribbean cruise which was really wonderful.

Anuradha Chivukula
MS-CS, 2003 
Current employment: Programmer/Analyst.

Brad Culberson
BS-CS, 2002
Current employment: MotionBased, a division of Garmin International in San Francisco.
Favorite things about UMSL: Sanjiv's Operating Systems Projects! Adventures: Two Ironmen competitions, several marathons and other triathlons. Brad received an MBA at Washington University and now works with Garmin International “in a division that makes software for GPS devices used by athletes... Now I really can't admit it when I am lost.”

Michael Edwards
BS-CS with minor in Math, 1997
Current employment: Technical Architect for AT&T

Matthew Feldt
BS-CS,Minor Math 1995
Current employment: Senior Software Engineer with a knowledge and event management startup company.
Favorite things about UMSL: The accessibility and encouragement of the Computer Science faculty. The department was small enough that it was common to have the same professor for multiple classes and as  a result of that familiarity I was encouraged to participate in  
Campus Computing initiatives and faculty projects where I'd say I  learned as much or more as in the class room setting.
My least favorite thing about UMSL at the time I attended was the forced minor in Mathematics in the Computer Science degree program. I would have much rather taken more Computer Science classes than was possible with the heavy emphasis on Mathematics.
Adventures: My greatest adventure was convincing a previous employer to eliminate my job with a six months severance package. I took full advantage of the time off by traveling around south and central America highlighted by six weeks in Guatemala. One week before my severance package ended, my wife and I were married, a week after, I was back to work. Additional information: I married a wonderful woman who practices family medicine, speaks Spanish and most enjoys working with under-served patient populations. We have had two children, a boy, two and a half and a girl, six months. When we're not too tired to think we're very happy to have them around.

Stephanie Glynn
BS-Applied Math
May 2002
Current employment:  Nexstar Financial, A Bank of America Company.  I am a mortgage underwriter.
Favorite things about UMSL: I loved being involved in student activities.  I was treasurer/vp of the UMSL Math Club for 2-3 yrs. It helped me develop relationships with other students as well as faculty. Also Mirth Day was one of my favorite
activities at UMSL every year.
I value all of the knowledge that I learned at UMSL.

Steve Grimm
BS-Applied Math, 1986
Current employment: Quality Engineer, The Boeing Co.

Christopher M. Gund
BS-CS,1990 
Current employment: Senior programmer/analyst for Esse Health.
Favorite things about UMSL: Dr. Edward Z. Andalafte. 
Adventures: I earned an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Washington University.

David Jimenez
BA-CS, Math minor, 2002 
Current employment: Network Administrator at Emerson Climate Technologies - White Rodgers Division
Adventures: Marriage

Mohammad Shoeb Saeed Khan
MA-Applied Mathematics, 2003
Current employment:
PhD in Applied and Industrial Math., University of Louisville, Kentucky
Favorite things about UMSL: I love my time Millennium Center, sipping coffee by the fire place and looking out on a
rainy day. 
Adventures: Went on a camping Trip to Yellow stone National park. Additional information: I got a research article published in an international journal. The title and journal are as follows: A commutativity theorem for rings, Kyungpook Math journal, 43, (2003)

Sister Cheryl Kemner
BA-Math, 1977
MEd in Secondary Education, 1986
Current employment: Math teacher, department chair and student council advisor at St. John the Baptist High School,St. Louis

Ai Keramidas
BS-CS, 2002
Current employment: Software Engineer in the Hybrid Vehicle Program at Ford, Dearborn, MI.
Favorite things about UMSL: ”I really enjoyed the classes I took and I met great friends and professors at UMSL. I wish I could visit UMSL sometime soon.
Adventures: I am currently working on the second hybrid vehicle, Fusion. Ai is also a part time student at University of Michigan working on a masters degree in Software Engineering.

Nancy Killingsworth
B.S in Applied Math, 1993
M.A. in Math., 1997
Current employment: Application Development Consultant/Lead with Ingenix, Inc (a division of UnitedHealth Group)

Barry King
BA-Math and Econ, double major, 1968
Current employment: Associate Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Favorite things about UMSL: I was there when they stilled used the country club buildings in creative ways and liked that.
Adventures: Father of a 15 year old son, sailed across the Atlantic in a 38' sloop, still an active skydiver.

Tom Lane
BS-CS, 1995
Current employment: Software Engineer at Reuters.
Favorite things about UMSL:I liked all the people there very much and really enjoyed that time in my life.
Adventures: I met my wife, who is from south Brazil, and have now traveled there twice and am learning Portuguese.

Wei Li
MA-CS, 2003
Current employment: May Department Stores Company Information Technology Center as a DBA.
Favorite things about UMSL: Libraries with large collection of reference, devoted professors like Dr. He and Dr. Gayou.

Kenn Luecke
BA-CS, minors in Math & Economics, 1989
Current employment: The Boeing Company in the NCO Thrust of the Phantom Works division. Working with Insitu's unmanned aircraft, the ScanEagle and developing software for Time and Space Partitioned
Operating Systems.
Adventures : Earning an MBA from Washington University. I got married to my wife Linda about 6 months ago. I enjoy dancing. 
Currently writing a book on the Zumbehl family of St. Charles County.

David Mottert
BS-Math&BS-CS,99
Current employment: the IT department at Anheuser-Busch.

Bryan Muehlberger
BS-CS, 2002
Current employment: Pfizer, Inc. as Site Head- Application Hosting Services. Bryan just received the 2006 St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award! Congratulations!

James Pattie
BS-CS, 1999
Current employment: Senior Linux Sysadmin/Programmer for GPS Insight, LLC
Favorite things about UMSL: The computer professors went out of their way to make the classes enjoyable and went above and beyond. Adventures: Getting married January 21, 2006 and taking a Eastern Carribean cruise for the honeymoon.

Maria Rapini
BS in CS., minor in Math., 1995
Current employment: Sr.Analyst at Ameren Services.
At this time I am working on client server and web applications programmed in Visual Studio .NET. This coming calendar year I will be involved in developing and maintaining an Oracle EPM system.
Favorite things about UMSL: I liked the accessibility to the resources the campus offered. I was able to utilize the library and the computer labs to get me through my degree. I also like the new student center and made some good friends during my few years there.
Adventures:I have been fortunate enough to travel several times to Europe and see quite a variety of cultures and geography.

Gary Schilling
BS-Applied Math & BS-Chemistry,1980/81
Current employment: Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco for 21 years in various technology-related manager and analyst roles.
Favorite things about UMSL: Dr. E. Z. Andalafte tailored an upper-undergrad course for me in distance geometry using his Ph.D. thesis and his advisor's (L.M. Blumenthal of UM Columbia) book on the topic. I still have the material and thesis (26 years later) and remember the research subject: metric characterizations of euclidean spaces. I had another upper readings course with Dr. Grant Welland (on mathematics of classical mechanics) which I enjoyed. I remember running around asking many of the math professors for unsolved math problems to tackle. Many gave me some, but sadly, I have to report that I haven't solved any (e.g., Riemann's Hypothesis was one given to me - that was cruel!).
Adventures: built a classical guitar using old-master methods, mostly hand tools like chisels/planes, side pipe-bending, on a small table with no shop, a blue print of a 1937 Hauser (Segovia's famous guitar now in NY Met. Museum), and hand-finishing using the French polish method with shellac ... the guitar turned out great, but it took me a year!

Wei Sha
MS-CS, 2003
Current Employment: Science Applications International Corporation
Favorite things about UMSL: I like the UMSL campus and hospitality of people from mid-west. I miss my time I spent at UMSL and at St. Louis.

Bryan Shaw
Accounting, Mngt Information Systems, and a BSBA with an emphasis in Finance as well as a minor in Mathematics, 2000
Current employment: I am a partner at Hoffman Clark, LLC, a local CPA firm.
Favorite things about UMSL: The old Pierre Laclede Honors College and the friendships with professors and students.
Adventures: I helped run several celebrity charity Harley bike rides in Canada and the US. While working and initially out of school, I played competitive racquetball tournaments throughout the country.
Additional information: I miss being able to wear shorts every day.

Elmer C. Smith
BA in Math., 1973
Current employment: Edward Jones
Favorite things about UMSL:Computer Center, Volley Ball, Ping Pong, Dr. Andalafte
Adventures: I worked for UMSL for 16 years after my graduation and became Assistant Director in the Office of Computing. I left and went to work for Clark Refining & Marketing Inc. for 12 years and have worked for Edward Jones for the last 3 years.
Additional information: Married 25 years to my wife Jeanne, also an UMSL Alumni. I have a daughter, Jaimie, who is 19 and has just been accepted to the Mizzou Veterinary School.

Andrew Stephan
BA-Math 2003, MA-Math 2004 
Current employment: St. Charles Community College as an Instructor of Mathematics.
Memories: I enjoyed the professors in the math department. Most were very willing to help and went out of their way to do so. I especially enjoyed Dr. Dotzel, Dr. Rao and Dr. Jiang. The dorms at UMSL were also a great experience for me.

Aaron Tenney
BS-Applied Math, BS- CS, BA Physics, 2001 (I still think we should have had some apes beating on a large black monolith at commencement but I suppose it wasn't "feasible" in retrospect (if you haven't seen 2001 a space odyssey ignore the previous nerd joke)).
Aaron got his masters from Washington University and is currently working on his doctorate.
Favorite things about UMSL: UMSL is always going to feel like home. Last week I went to the AAAS conference which this year (for the first time since 1953) was held in St. Louis. Every day I parked at the UMSL north metrolink station and rode the train in to Americas Center and back at the end of the day. The years I spent at UMSL were the most intense and driven years of my life (so far) and just being on campus for 10 minutes a day reminded me of that.

Jayakumar Thandapani
MS-CS, 2003
Current employment: Business Analyst.

Carol Thornborrow
BS-CS, 2000
Current employment: Systems Administrator
Adventures: 2 week vacation to Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam

Zhongyu Zhang
MS-CS & PhD-Physics, 2004
Current employment: Software build engineer at Tom Sawyer Software, Oakland, CA.