Kaitlynn Lilly, class of ’22
Kaitlynn graduated with dual BS degrees in Mathematics and Physics. She was a valedictorian finalist, with a 4.0 GPA. Her studies at UMBC were supported by Goldwater and Meyerhoff scholarships. She did research with Dr. Webster over several years while at UMBC. In her final year at UMBC, she was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP) that provides full funding for graduate school. Impressively, she was also offered DoD SMART, Ford, and DOE fellowships.
Kaitlynn was admitted into 12(!) PhD programs in applied mathematics, including Berkeley, Brown, Cornell, Michigan, Minnesota Northwestern, Princeton, Duke. She chose to go to University of Washington (UW) in Seattle where she is currently studying the stability of water waves, as well as developing numerical methods to solve evolutionary partial differential equations. In summer of 2023, she had the opportunity to conduct laboratory experiments on the effect of wind on water waves, in the William G. Pritchard Fluids Laboratory at Penn State.
At UW, she is the vice president of their SIAM chapter, she is on the executive board of their AWM chapter, and she serves as a mentor in the Women in Applied Mathematics Mentorship Program. Overall, Kaitlynn has enjoyed her time at UW and loves living in Seattle!
Jeremy Rubin, class of ’20
Jeremy graduated with dual degrees in Mathematics and Statistics, and an Honors College Certificate. His studies at UMBC were supported by Meyerhoff and MARC U*STAR Programs. During his time at UMBC, he was a Teaching Assistant for several mathematics courses, as well as a Research Assistant for Dr. Bradford Peercy and Dr. DoHwan Park. In his final year at UMBC, he was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP) that provides full funding for graduate school.
Jeremy is currently a PhD student in the Biostatistics program at the University of Pennsylvania, working under the guidance of Dr. Jarcy Zee. His research is focused on predicting kidney function from renal biopsy scans.
Adrianna-Marie Urbina-Ruiz, class of ’21
Adrianna-Marie graduated with a BA degree in Mathematics, an MA in Teaching, as well as an ESOL (English as a Second Language) Post Baccalaureate Certificate.
While at UMBC, Adrianna-Marie was involved in the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program, Catholic Retrievers, and the Running Club. She greatly enjoyed meeting so many people from many backgrounds, and making lifelong friends during her time at UMBC.
After graduation, she spent a year at the La Universidad Industrial de
Santander in Bucaramanga, Columbia, where she she tutored undergraduate
engineering students in mathematical subjects. Now, a Fulbright Scholar, she works at La Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia.
Adrianna-Marie maintains her relationship with UMBC through teaching virtual/remote classes in her areas of specialty.
Ben Hyatt, class of ’21
Ben majored in Mathematics with minors in Physics and Philosophy, and obtained an Honors College Certificate. He was the recipient of an Undergraduate Research Award which supported his work with Professor Muruhan Rathinam. He was also recognized with the Freeman A. Hrabowski President’s Advisory Council Scholarship.
Ben is now in the PhD program in Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University. He was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP) that provides full funding for graduate school. He is working with Professor Daniel Lecoanet, and collaborates with applied mathematicians and physicists interested in the simulation of astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics.
His research focuses on numerical analysis developing scientific computing methods to accelerate their team’s simulations. He is looking forward to a career in computational research in government, academia, or industry.
Gerson Kroiz, class of ’22
Gerson graduated with dual degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science. He was the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including a Goldwater Scholarship.
He conducted research with Dr. Gobbert during the academic years and spent summers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM), and the SULI program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He was also involved with Pi Mu Epsilon (the Mathematical Honorary Society), the Korean Student Association, and the UMBC Wind Ensemble.
Currently, Gerson is an ML/AI software engineer at Google and works within the Cloud TPU team with the latest ML/AI models and frameworks. He is happy to say that having a background in mathematics is extremely advantageous in understanding the world of ML/AI. Linear algebra and calculus, amongst other fields of mathematics, make up the foundations of ML/AI and are used in all day-to-day work.
Zinedine Partipilo Cornielles, class of ’23
Zinedine Partipilo Cornielles, popularly known as ZP, graduated with dual degrees of BA in Mathematics and BS in Financial Economics. He was named outstanding graduating senior in both departments, as well as being part of the Sondheim Public Affairs Program, the Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Sloan Program. He was also part of the Mock Trial team for all but his last semester at UMBC. He received multiple team and individual awards in Mock Trial. ZP was one of two UMBC Valedictorians of the class of ’23. He enjoyed taking courses in philosophy, economics, and mathematics.
After graduating from UMBC, ZP joined the Economics Department of Harvard University as a Pre-doctoral Research Fellow. He works with Professor Emily Breza, studying development economics and conducting research that aims to understand economic development in South East Asia. He hopes to pursue a PhD in Economics, studying both labor and development economics in Latin America.
Kristen Galuska, class of ’23
Kristen graduated with dual majors in Mathematics and Philosophy. She was awarded the Evelyn Barker Book Prize in the Philosophy Department in her senior year. She was an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity for three years, serving as Vice President for one year, as well as a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honorary Society. She loved her four years at UMBC (including the COVID years), and especially enjoyed MATH 404 (Partial Differential Equations).
Kristen is now a mathematics teacher at Old Mill High School in the Anne Arundel County Public School system. She has always wanted to give back to her home county, and thought there was no better way of doing that than by teaching her favorite subject in a high school.
Jake Doody, class of ’22
Jake graduated with dual Mathematics and Computer Science degrees, and an Honors College Certificate. He was an Undergraduate Research Award recipient, carried out research under the mentorship of Professor Bedrich Sousedik, and presented his findings at URCAD (Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day). He was named an Outstanding Graduating Senior in Mathematics, he enjoyed his time in Abstract Algebra, Computer Graphics, Disaster Politics, and of course, the Mama’s Boys a cappella group, while at UMBC.
Jake is now working at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, primarily as a software engineer and a mathematician, developing and implementing algorithms, especially with an eye towards cryptography which has its foundations in Abstract Algebra. Jake’s other projects have focused on game theory, linear algebra, and analysis.
Geoffrey Clapp, class of ’11
Geoffrey graduated with dual degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, and an Honors College Certificate. His favorite courses were Real Analysis and Intro to Math Biology. He did research with Dr. Kathleen Hoffman developing and evaluating mathematical models of a lamprey’s spinal cord in order to study how it swims. He was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Upon graduation from UMBC, Geoffrey moved to University of Maryland in College Park where he earned a PhD degree in 2016.
Geoffrey is now employed at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, where he develops and analyzes algorithms in the context of COVID-19 and defense applications. Specifically, problems in data fusion (how do we translate raw data into actionable information?), resource allocation (given what we know, what should we do next?), and optimization.
Geoffrey considers that his mathematical training at UMBC in general, and the mentoring that he received from Dr. Hoffman in particular, has strongly influenced the way he formulates, thinks through, and solves problems. It has helped him to break down complex algorithms, recognize their limitations, and identify ways to generalize them to new applications.
Morgan Small, class of ’23
Morgan graduated with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Finance. She was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon for four years and served as President. She enjoyed Partial Differential Equations (MATH 404) where she wrote a term paper about partial differential equations in finance, and Geometry (MATH 306) where she completed a project about Euclidean distance in facial recognition software.
Morgan is now employed as an accountant for Erickson Senior Living, a company that runs retirement communities that provide independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care in various states throughout the US. (And yes, that’s the same Erickson as in Erickson Hall at UMBC!) At her job, Morgan cleans and sorts data in SQL, then prepares financial reports according to GAAP requirements for auditor review. She loves the mix of data analysis, accounting, and finance in her work, and she’s grateful for her math major that prepared her to solve complex problems.
Morgan is entertaining a new job offer that may include the possibility of resuming her study of mathematics at the graduate level.
Adaku Uchendu, class of ’18
Adaku graduated with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Statistics. She was a McNair Scholar and a member of Pi Mu Epsilon (the Mathematical Honorary Society). She carried out undergraduate research mentored by Professor Bedrich Sousedik, and was an intern with the Federal Reserve Board, the central banking system of the United States.
Upon graduation from UMBC, Adaku continued on to graduate school at Penn State where she earned her PhD degree in Information Sciences and Technology in 2023. Her research interest are in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Cybersecurity. She is now employed as an AI researcher at MIT’s Lincoln Lab.
Michelle Ramsahoye, class of ’22
Michelle graduated with a BS in Mathematics. Her studies at UMBC were supported by Meyerhoff and MARC U*STAR programs. She conducted research under Dr. Minjoung Kyoung, while also serving as a Teaching Assistant for a number of mathematics courses.
Michelle participated in various summer internships at Howard University, University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. In her senior thesis, mentored by Dr. Gobbert, she applied neural networks to predict the initial energy in proton radiation therapy treatment.
Michelle is currently a PhD student in the Computer Science program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, working under the guidance of Dr. Mirela Alistar. Her research is focused on bioinformatics, phage genomics, and phage therapy.
In the summer of 2023, Michelle had the opportunity to work with Colorado Senators Chris Hansen (D-Denver) and Cleave Simpson (R-Alamosa) where she worked on a bill proposal for climate change education policy for Colorado’s K–12. She looks forward to pursuing a career that combines her STEM background and public policy.
Jamshaid Shahir, class of ’18
Jamshaid graduated with dual BS degrees in Mathematics and Statistics, as well as an Honors College certificate, in 2018. He held a Meyerhoff scholarship and was also in the MARC U*STAR program. His undergraduate research was mentored by Dr. Hye-Won Kang.
In his final year at UMBC, Jamshaid was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP) that provided full funding for a graduate program of his choice. He went on to graduate school at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a PhD degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in 2023. His doctoral thesis concerned training graph neural networks on single-cell RNA sequencing data to quantify how responsive they would be to external stimuli, such as cancer medicines, or agents that would trigger cellular differentiation. Jamshaid says that his mathematical and statistical training at UMBC prepared him very well for the rigors of UNC’s bioinformatics curriculum and made studying for his graduate statistics courses a breeze.
Jamshaid joined the Science and Writing Communication Club at UNC where he wrote several blog posts on a variety of scientific topics for general audience, including the genetics of cat coats, the science behind meditation, and the application of machine learning to music. He also started a freelance blog on Medium, targeted towards a more data science-oriented audience, where he writes about methods used in the field of his thesis research as well as weekend data science projects.
Jamshaid has traveled extensively and has presented his research in conferences in Germany and the Netherlands. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Max Delbrück Center in Berlin where he is analyzing structural variations in DNA.
Ashani Jayasekera, class of ’20
Ashani graduated with a BS degree in Mathematics with minors in Statistics and Psychology, as well as an Honors College Certificate. While at UMBC, she was a member of the Mathematical Honorary Society Pi Mu Epsilon, and the Phi Mu Fraternity for Women. She also was a Teaching Assistant for many years, covering sections in Precalculus and Calculus. In her senior year, Ashani was awarded the Outstanding Senior in Mathematics recognition from the Department.
Ashani is currently a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Quantitative Methodology: Measurement and Statistics program where she conducts research in the use of machine learning and multilevel models in education and social science research.
Tess Sheets, class of ’18
Tess graduated with dual BS degrees in Mathematics and Public Health, and minors in Computer Science and Biomathematics. She was a Meyerhoff Scholar and competed in Ethics Bowl. She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take graduate-level courses and participate in independent research with Drs. Hoffman and Brooks. She then moved on to the doctoral program in mathematics at University of Utah where she received her PhD degree in 2023.
Tess is currently a Prevention Effectiveness Postdoctoral Fellow with the CDC, in Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics. She builds mathematical models of infectious disease dynamics to provide decision support for policymakers. She writes: “I use math daily and am excited for the opportunity to work on impactful questions”.
Diane Stonestreet, class of ’22
Diane graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. She was a McNair, Grand Challenges, and Mechanical Engineering S-STEM scholar, and served as a Head Teaching Fellow for Mechanical Engineering and the McNair Scholars Program. She also took part in many civic engagement opportunities—she was Vice President of Engineers Without Borders, mentored high school girls interested in STEM through the UMBC Reach Initiative, and was both a STRiVE Leadership Coach and an Alternative Spring Break Leader with UMBC’s Center for Democracy and Civic Life.
Diane is now a Mechanical Engineering PhD student at Cornell University, where she researches tendon biomechanics. She is interested in understanding the role of inflammation in overuse tendon injuries, and how inflammation may be modulated to promote effective healing of these injuries. Mathematical models of viscoelasticity are crucial in this field, as they provide an understanding of the mechanical properties of orthopedic tissues such as tendon. Diane writes: “Since coming to Ithaca, I’ve also picked up rollerblading, and I’ve gotten some pet tarantulas (the perfect low-maintenance grad school pet)!”
Emily McGovern, class of ’19
Emily graduated with double majors in Mathematics and Computer Science. She was involved in grading and TAing for both the Math and CSEE departments, and this helped spark her interest in teaching and reaching others through the material that she had come to love. She participated in several math competitions in the MATH 479 class and particularly enjoyed MATH 407 (Modern Algebra & Number Theory) and 408 (Introduction to Abstract Algebra). She liked the department’s perfect balance of being large enough to enable connections to other universities, and small enough to form personal relationships with faculty and other students.
Upon graduation from UMBC, Emily entered the graduate program in mathematics at North Carolina State University where she expects to defend her doctoral dissertation on categorical representation theory and combinatorics in the spring of 2024. She writes: “PhD studies have been significantly more challenging than the undergrad, but also significantly more rewarding. I’ve had so many opportunities to explore new areas of mathematics, work in collaboration with other students and network with other researchers in my field. I’ve been able to travel around the US and to the UK—including Cambridge, as pictured, and Canada—and forge multiple-university collaborations. My experience teaching as a grad student has also been incredibly fulfilling and I hope to eventually work at a university that is primarily undergraduate focused and continue to improve as an educator.”
Emily will take on a postdoctoral position at University of Oregon in fall of 2024 and is super excited to continue to grow as a mathematician in every aspect.
Sofia Encarnacion, class of ’22
Sofia graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Economics, and a minor in Gender Studies. She was a McNair Scholar and a Sloan Pre-Doctoral Fellow.
Upon graduation she obtained a pre-doctoral internship at Cornell University where she works at a replication lab under the Data Editor for the American Economic Association. The lab’s mission is to ensure that replication packages for articles pending publication are accessible and reproduce the intended results.
Sofia writes: “I am primarily interested in research in labor economics, with a focus on economics of education and family. Since coming to Ithaca, I have started rock climbing, listening to audiobooks, and I got a dog!”.
Maria Deliyianni, PhD ’22
Maria Deliyianni graduated with a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics in 2022. She was advised by Dr. Justin Webster and worked on the modeling and analysis of nonlinear elastic plates, with a special focus on inextensible beam and plate models that arise in the context of piezo-electric energy harvesting. The results of her investigations were published as journal articles in Applied Mathematics and Optimization and Archive of Applied Mechanics. During her time at UMBC, she was recognized with the departmental graduate research and graduate teaching awards.
Maria is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at University of Arizona, where she works on issues related to the existence of solutions for fourth order parabolic equations, as well as other problems in nonlinear elasticity. Upon completion of her postdoctoral appointment, she intends to look for an academic faculty position.
Abhishek Balakrishna, PhD ’23
Abhishek Balakrishna graduated with a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics in 2023. He was co-advised by Dr. Justin Webster and Dr. Animikh Biswas. His dissertation consisted of two projects under the umbrella of nonlinear dynamical systems for PDEs. Specifically, he worked on data assimilation algorithms involving the equations of fluid dynamics, where he proved a notable regularity criterion. He also worked on flow-plate interactions arising in the study of aeroelastic flutter and successfully resolved a 30 year open problem in coupled hyperbolic systems. The results of his investigations were published as journal articles in Nonlinear Dynamics, Applied Mathematics and Optimization, and Mathematical Models and Methods in the Applied Sciences.
Abhishek continues the pursuit of his research interests in fluid dynamics and fluid-structure interaction models. Currently he is Assistant Professor (RTPC) of Mathematics at the University of Southern California where he is working on a fluid-structure interaction problem that models a non-viscous (Euler) and incompressible fluid contained in an elastic (Koiter) shell.
Reetam Majumder, PhD ’21
Reetam graduated with a PhD degree in Statistics in 2021. He was mentored by Dr. Nagaraj K. Neerchal, and worked closely with Dr. Matthias Gobbert in Mathematics, and Dr. Amita Mehta at JCET (NASA/UMBC Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology), as well serving as a Research Assistant to them.
Reetam is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at North Carolina State University, where he works on geostatistical problems with a focus on spatial extremes and deep learning. His interests are in interdisciplinary problems with applications in modeling wildfires, extreme streamflow, and climate change detection and attribution. Reetam intends to pursue a research career after the conclusion of his postdoctoral appointment.
Alen Alexanderian, PhD ’10
Alen Alexanderian graduated with a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics in 2010. He was co-mentored by Dr. Rouben Rostamian and Dr. Muruhan Rathinam. His PhD research focused on methods for characterizing effective material properties and symmetries in random media.
After graduating from UMBC, Alen held postdoctoral appointments at The Johns Hopkins University (2010–2012) and The University of Texas at Austin (2012–2015). He joined the faculty of the Department of Mathematics at the North Carolina State University in 2015 where he is now an Associate Professor.
Alen’s research focuses on computational methods for inverse problems governed by PDEs, Bayesian inverse problems with infinite-dimensional parameters, optimal design of sensor networks, and uncertainty quantification. His research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy.
Noemi Petra, PhD ’10
Noemi Petra graduated with a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics in 2010. She was co-mentored by Dr. Susan Minkoff and Dr. John Zweck. Her PhD thesis focused on the mathematical modeling, analysis, and simulation of trace gas sensors. She enjoyed the multidisciplinary, collaborative and multiphysics aspects of this research project, as well as comparing her results with experiments.
Subsequently, Noemi received a Peter O’Donnell Jr. (ICES) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010–2011) and later held a Research Associate position (2011–2014) at the Oden Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2014 she joined the faculty of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Merced, where she is now an Associate Professor. She received an NSF CAREER grant award in 2017.
During Summers 2015 and 2016, Noemi was a Visiting Faculty in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. She and her collaborators received the 2019 SIAM Computational Science & Engineering Best Paper Prize. She is currently an Associate Editor for the SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification.
Her research interests include large-scale Bayesian inverse problems governed by differential equation, uncertainty quantification in inference and prediction, and optimal experimental design. Her research is commonly driven by real-world applications such as the dynamics of ice sheets and power grid.
Cosmin Petra, PhD ’09
Cosmin G. Petra graduated from UMBC with a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics in 2009. His dissertation was on numerical algorithms for complementarity and optimization problems with application in the simulation of rigid-body systems with friction, under the advisement of Dr. Florian Potra. After graduation, Cosmin joined the Argonne National Laboratory as a postdoctoral appointee and a computational mathematician.
Currently, Cosmin is a computer scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). His work focuses on high-performance computing algorithms for mathematical optimization with emphasis on the optimization of complex energy systems.
Cosmin is best known for winning the Grid Optimization International Competition organized by the Department of Energy’s ARPA–E in 2019. He is also the recipient of several awards, such as LLNL’s Early and Mid-Career Recognition award (2023), LLNL Global Security Gold award (2020), COAP Best paper award (2013), INFORMS COIN-OR cup (2013), and COAP Best paper award – Honorable mention (2011).
Christos Xenophontos, PhD ’96
Christos Xenophontos is currently a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Cyprus, where he’s been since 2004 in the ranks of Assistant Professor 2004–2009, Associate Professor 2009–2017, and Professor 2017–present.
Upon graduating from UMBC in 1996 with a PhD in Applied Mathematics under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Schwab and Dr. Manil Suri, he has held positions at Ohio State University at Lima (1996–1997), Clarkson University (1997–2001), and Loyola University (2001–2004). His research interests revolve around singularly perturbed problems and the numerical approximation of their solution using high order Galerkin-based methods.
Ahmad Mousavi, PhD ’19
Ahmad Mousavi completed his doctoral research on sparse optimization in 2019 under the mentorship of Dr. Jinglai Shen. Upon graduation, he assumed a joint postdoctoral position at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota and Cargill Inc., where he continued developing his research interests in collaboration with Dr. Hui Zou. In 2021 he embarked on a second postdoctoral appointment, at the Informatics Institute of the University of Florida, where he worked with Dr. George Michailidis.
In 2023 he was appointed a Professional Lecturer in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at American University. That appointment will be converted to Assistant Professor of Data Science in Fall 2024.
Alain Moluh, PhD ’23
Alain Moluh received a master’s degree in Statistics at UMBC in 2014, and then joined the National Center for Health Statistics where he made significant contributions to the Health Interview Survey. Later he moved to the Office of Assistant Secretary of Health where his work was focused on women’s health issues.
Alain returned to UMBC, and completed his PhD degree in Statistics in 2023. He was mentored by Dr. Yehenew Kifle and Dr. Bimal Sinha. He is currently employed as a mathematical statistician at US Department of Agriculture.