Miami Math in Italy
Eleven Miami students participated in the study abroad program Math in Italy during Summer 2017. The program lasted five weeks and offered two 400 level classes: MTH411 (Foundations of Geometry) and MTH435 (Math Modeling Seminar). The summer program for 2018 will be in Barcelona, Spain, led by Anna Ghazaryan and Vahagn Manukian.
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From the Chair
Patrick Dowling, Chair
The 2017 edition of the Miami's Department of Mathematics newsletter is here at last. I hope that the student and faculty stories we have included help to provide you with a sense of the exciting activities and events of the past year. The stories included here only give a glimpse of what is going on in the department.
Our students continue to do great work in the classroom. The great work extends outside the classroom, where many students are involved in a variety of research projects, supervised by our talented and dedicated faculty. Our faculty have exciting research programs of their own, a number of which are supported by external funding.
I would like to spotlight four upcoming events being organized by our department:
  • The Mathematical Association of America Ohio section meeting will be held at Miami on April 6-7, 2018. The main contact person is Doug Ward.
  • The 37th annual Great Plains Operator Theory Symposium (GPOTS) will be held May 29-June 2, 2018 at Miami. GPOTS is the largest annual conference for operator algebras and operator theory in the world and is held at various sites throughout the US. The five-day conference, which is filled with plenary talks in the mornings and contributed talks in the afternoon, is organized by Caleb Eckhardt, Paul McKenney, and Narcisse Randrianantoanina.
  • Our 46th Annual Fall Conference will be held on September 28-29, 2018. Entitled "At the Intersection of Mathematics and STEM," the organizers are Dana Cox, Suzanne Harper, Jane Keiser, and Wayne Nirode.
  • We will hold the Fall 2018 Midwest Optimization Seminar meeting at Miami on Oct 12-13, 2018. The organizers are Olga Brezhneva, Ebrahim Sarabi, and Doug Ward.
We really like to hear from our former students and appreciate the support (particularly, the financial support) we receive from them. Thank you for your support.
We hope 2017 was good to you and that 2018 will be even better. Keep in touch, and be sure to visit our department website for updates throughout the year.
Patrick Dowling
Professor and Chair
MAT Graduation
MAT graduation ceremony
Student News
  • The Department of Mathematics held its first ever graduation ceremony for Miami Masters of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics graduates. Five graduates were honored at the ceremony, which was attended by Miami President Gregory Crawford and his wife Renate (pictured).
  • Three Mathematics Education/Math double majors, Jenna Odom, Leah Simon, and Camila Rodriguez, have won 2017 Memorial Scholarships through the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Jenna won the top award, the Sarah Greenholz Memorial Scholarship.
  • In the 2016 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics competition, Miami ranked 67th out of the 568 participating institutions in the US and Canada. Miami’s Putnam team was coached by the long-time team coach Dan Pritikin. The three members of the 2016 team were Bob Krueger, Ruilin Shi, and Nathaniel Coffin. Bob finished in the top 10% of the 4164 contestants. The 2017 Putnam competition was also held, represented by these same three students, and the results of the competition will be known in April 2018.
  • Bob Krueger attended the 2017 MAA MathFest in Chicago in July, 2017. He presented a research talk on the joint research done with Louis DeBiasio. His presentation won one of the Pi Mu Epsilon Student Speaker Awards. Bob also gave an invited talk at a special session on Extremal graph theory at the American Mathematical Society central sectional meeting in Bloomington, Indiana in April 2017. AMS sectional meeting talks are usually given by faculty researchers. It is very rare for an undergraduate to be invited to deliver a research talk on advanced topics.
  • Sixteen Mathematics Education majors attended the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Columbus, OH in October 2017. Leah Simon and Kyle Loftus also made research presentations at the conference.
  • Six Miami students, Robert Garrett, Noah Watson, Grace McCourt, Paris Franz, Nathaniel Coffin, and Bob Krueger, presented research talks at the 44th Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Conference held at Miami in September 2017 in conjunction with the annual Fall conference.
  • Axel Brandt, a former Miami student who graduated with his M.S in mathematics from Miami University in 2012, obtained his Ph.D in mathematics from University of Colorado Denver in 2016. Since Fall 2016, Axel has been a teaching postdoctoral fellow at Davidson College.
  • Former Miami undergraduate students Stephen Colgate and Charlie Liu co-authored a research paper on mathematical modeling of drug use that appeared in the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal in 2017. The project was completed under the supervision of Anna Ghazaryan.
  • Former Masters students Axel Brandt and David Irwin coauthored a research paper with Tao Jiang on hypergraphs that appeared in the professional journal Combinatorics, Probability, and Computing in 2017. Another former Masters student Andrew Newman coauthored a research paper in extremal graph theory with Professor Tao Jiang that appeared in the professional journal SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics in 2017.
  • In summer 2017, undergraduate student Sanchit Ram Arvind worked with Reza Akhtar on a research project in number theory. The project was sponsored through the University Summer Scholars (USS) program.
Faculty News
  • This year, Vahagn Manukian, Stephane Lafortune (College of Charleston) and Anna Ghazaryan are guest-editing a theme issue on stability of nonlinear waves and patterns and related topics for Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. The journal is known to be the oldest continually running scientific journal in the world.
  • Tao Jiang participated in an American Institute of Mathematics Structured Quartet Research Ensembles program in April 2017 on a multi-year project in graph and hypergraph theory. This is a research program that brings together a group of four to six researchers to spend a week at AIM to collaborate on research problems on a chosen topic. Paul Larson participated in the same program on a project on set theory that concluded in 2013.
  • Alin Pogan received a 2017 Simons Foundation Collaboration grant for mathematicians. Since the award became available in 2011, six faculty members in the math department have been awarded the grants. Only one other non-Ph.D granting math department (Bucknell) has had more more awardees than Miami.
Spotlights on New MTH Faculty
Kostas Beros
Kostas Beros
Jason Gaddis
Jason Gaddis
Wayne Nirode
Wayne Nirode
Alim Sukhtayev
Alim Sukhtayev
  • Kostas Beros was born and raised in the Bay Area. He earned his B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2005. After graduating from college, he moved to Wisconsin for graduate school and obtained a Ph.D. from UW - Madison in 2013. He spent four years as a postdoc at the University of North Texas before joining Miami University. His research interests lie in mathematical logic. When he's not teaching or working on research, Kostas likes to get outdoors or play guitar.
  • Jason Gaddis is originally from Harrisonburg, VA and did his undergraduate work at Indiana University. He taught high school for four years in Baltimore, MD and then completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research area is in noncommutative algebra,specifically its intersection with algebraic geometry and invariant theory. Before joining the faculty at Miami, he was a teaching visitor at the University of California, San Diego and a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow at Wake Forest University. In addition to spending time with his wife and daughter, Jason enjoys traveling, reading, and exercise.
  • Wayne Nirode, a lifelong resident of Ohio, grew up in a one-stoplight town 40 miles southwest of Cleveland. He earned his B.S. in secondary education with mathematics and economics as teaching fields from the University of Dayton in 1997. He, then, began teaching mathematics and coaching football at Troy High School. Wayne retired from coaching football in the mid 2000s and began teaching economics and statistics in addition to mathematics courses. Along the way, he earned an M.S. in educational technology from the University of Dayton in 1999, a PhD in mathematics education from Ohio University in 2012, and an M.S. in mathematics from Shawnee State University in 2016. After teaching at Troy High School for 20 years, he joined the mathematics department at Miami. His primary research interest is the teaching and learning of high school geometry. In his spare time, Wayne enjoys physical activity, cooking, and working on home improvement projects.
  • Alim Sukhtayev grew up in Simferopol, Ukraine. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Taurida National V.I. Vernadsky University, Ukraine before moving on to his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Dr. Sukhtayev’s research interests lie in Applied Analysis, Partial Differential Equations and infinite dimensional Dynamical Systems with emphasis on problems related to stability theory, operator theory and infinite determinants. He worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University and Indiana University before joining the Miami faculty. In his spare time, he likes to play soccer and also enjoys watching soccer games on TV.
Son Van
MTH Alumni Spotlights
Written by Olivia Prosser, CAS communications intern
Son Van graduated from Miami in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Mathematics. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, focusing on partial differential equations and stochastic processes. Originally from Vietnam, Son Van did not intend to study mathematics. Like many other Vietnamese students, he says “my parents wanted me to study economics to make a lot of money.” Those plans changed, however, after he took a course in discrete math. It was his math professor at Earlham college, Tim McLarnan, who inspired him to pursue mathematics.
When asked about his time in the mathematics department at Miami, Son Van says “I learned not only the knowledge, but also the passion for mathematics. It is the love of math that has proven to be “infinitely vital” (as Dr. Ortiz would put it) as I struggle to become a real mathematician.” Son Van would like to thank his academic advisor, Anna Ghazaryan, for her patience in teaching him how to conduct research for the first time. It was Dr. Ghazaryan who also taught Son Van the basics of partial differential equation and dynamic systems, which still are still his main area of interest.
At Carnegie Mellon University, Son Van has been involved in problems in partial differential equations and stochastic homogenization. His goal is to have a rigorous understanding of physical models that have been proposed recently by engineers and physicists.
All in all, Son Van credits the math department at Miami for being the place where he learned what it means to be a mathematician.
Axel Brandt
Axel Brandt, who graduated with an M.S in mathematics from Miami University in 2012, obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics from University of Colorado Denver in 2016. While at CU Denver, he was active in mathematical outreach projects and was awarded for high quality teaching and potential in research. His dissertation combined computational tools with advanced topics in graph theory.
Since Fall 2016, Axel has been a teaching postdoctoral fellow at Davidson College, where he has advised undergraduate research, contributed in an initiative fostering diversity and inclusion in gateway courses, and consulted on mathematical projects for industry. He is a fellow of MAA Project NExT and a member of the 2017 AMS Mathematical Research Community on “Crossing Numbers of Graphs.”
Math Career Night
L to R: Sarah Denman, Matt Fenchel, Chrissy Stoller, Melissa Buhrlage and Mike Salerno
Career Night
On Thursday, October 26, 2017 the Math and Statistics departments hosted a Career Panel for current students. The panel featured five Miami alumni, Melissa Buhrlage (Associate Manager of Innovation Analytics for Nielson), Sarah Denman (Vice President of Insights for 84.51), Matt Fenchel (Manager of the Biostatistical Consulting Unit for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), Mike Salerno (Product Manager for The Cincinnati Insurance Company) and Chrissy Stoller (Cost Management Data Analyst for Kroger).
During the panel, the alumni answered several questions about their time at Miami and their previous career experience. When reflecting on their time at Miami, the panelists remembered their experience fondly, mentioning specific classes they enjoyed or professors they learned from.
When asked what advice they would give to current college students, some panelists gave practical advice such as course suggestions. Both Sarah Denmann and Mike Salerno recommended students take computer programming courses while at Miami. The other panelists focused on the importance of networking. Matt Fenchel encouraged students to attend conferences in the field they are interested in. Chrissy Stoller told students that when networking, come prepared with questions for experts in the field. Melissa Buhrlage encouraged students to trust their gut and to try new things.
Math fall conference
45th Annual Fall Conference
The 45th Annual Fall Conference was held September 29-30. The topic was Algebra and Connections to Geometry, with featured speakers Srikanth Iyengar (Utah), Dan Rogalski (UCSD), and Chelsea Walton (Temple). We also had 8 shorter talks with 4 Miami faculty speaking. Over 120 faculty and students registered, representing several schools in the Tri-state area. The conference was organized by Dennis Keeler and Hamid Rahmati, with tremendous help from Sara Bryson.
123 Bachelor Hall • 301 S. Patterson Ave. 
Oxford, OH 45056 
513-529-5818  •
Editors: Caleb Eckhardt, Tetsuya Ishiu, and Tao Jiang
© 2017 Miami University. All rights reserved.
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