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Math Students Put in Outstanding Performance at 2021 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

April 20, 2021

William Aaron, Connor Anderson, Kyle Dituro, Ben Gobler, Avery Smith, and Kejia Wang participated in this prestigious mathematics competition involving students from the US and Canada. 

These tests are extremely challenging-- the median score of all participants is often 0 or 1 (out of a maximum of 120). This year, over half the team broke into the double digits! Extraordinary work! WPI's top scorer this year was Ben Gobler!! Congratulations, Ben!!

In addition, many thanks to Prof. Padraig O'Cathain and Prof. Briggite Servatius for their time and efforts training and leading this team effort.


Bal Nandram receives USDA NASS grant to get reliable estimates of cash rental rates

In Professor Nandram's own words: This work at NASS is to develop Bayesian small area models to get reliable estimates of cash rental rates. I also advise researchers at NASS on the use of these small area models, which use Markov chain Monte Carlo methods extensively and routinely. NASS informs many crop insurance and agricultural support programs administered by other agencies.. Many farmers rent their lands to other farmers, and it is useful to know annually what a fair price is by practice (irrigated, non-irrigated, and pasture land) for each of 49 states consisting of nearly 3000 counties with nearly two million operations. Models must be operationalized to provide fast analysis and precise positive estimates of cash rental rates with standard errors. This is a very important on-going activity at NASS because NASS is responsible to the US government to perform this research activity.

Kevin Stern named winner of Provost’s MQP Award for Math Department

April 30, 2021

On Friday April 30th, we held our virtual project presentation day event. Eighteen projects were presented, showcasing many areas of Mathematical Sciences. This year, the projects and presentations were outstanding!

Congratulations to Kevin Stern, the winner of this year's Provost's MQP Award for the Department of Mathematical Sciences!

Project TitleEquivalent Resistances of Polytope Networks

Student: Kevin Stern

Advisors: Brigitte Servatius (MA), Padmanabhan Aravind (PH)

An additional congratulations to all graduating seniors along with their MQP advisors for completing this important part of what makes WPI unique.

Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to the Undergraduate Committee--Randy Paffenroth, Jon Abraham, Joseph Fehribach, Oren Mangoubi, Fangfang Wang, and Min Wu-- and our Operations Manager Rhonda Podell for putting together this stellar event!

Adam Sales's headshot

Adam Sales receives Grant to Use Modern Measurement Models to Summarize Complex Implementation Data

June 4, 2021

In Adam's own words: Randomized field trials of interventions in education, health, and other areas often gather complex, rich data on how the intervention is carried out. For instance, in interventions involving educational technology, researchers gather computer log data of students' actions within the program. There is broad agreement that implementation data is important, but little guidance on how best to use it to understand treatment effects. This project develops a framework for using modern measurement models to summarize complex implementation data, and then to estimate different average treatment effects for groups of subjects who implement (or would implement) the intervention in different ways.
For further information on this award, please visit:

association for women in mathematics logo

WPI Math Department and WPI Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics Hosts Sonia Kovalevsky Day Event.

April 10, 2021

Over 2 dozen 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls with an interest in math signed on for this virtual event to honor Sonia Kovalevsky, the first woman to obtain a PhD in Mathematics. The goal of the event was to bolster participants’ passion and enthusiasm for mathematics in a supportive environment. WPI students engaged the participants in math activities and featured keynote talks by women leaders in STEM including WPI President Laurie Leshin and WPI Dean of Arts and Sciences Jean King. 

Randy Paffenroth's headshot

Randy Paffenroth Partners with Synoptic Engineering (Prime: DARPA)

May 24, 2021

In this project, WPI Professor Randy Paffenroth is working with Synoptics Engineering (Prime: DARPA) on using machine learning to study electromagnetic scattering problems.   The key idea is to train deep neural networks on far-field scattering patterns and use these deep neural networks to infer properties of the scattering medium.

Congratulations to 2021 WPI Kryptos Team

April 28, 2021

Math Students Frederick (Forrest) Miller and Avery Smith turned in an excellent performance
at this year's Kryptos Challenge a multi-day hacking competition hosted by Central Washington University. 

The contest consisted of a series of three cryptanalysis challenges, with 65 teams (over 128 students) from the USA and abroad taking part. The WPI team achieved “Babbage” level by solving two out of three of the challenges. (Just 10 teams solved all three and 11 other teams solved the first two.)  Congratulations to Avery and Forrest for this wonderful achievement!! 

In addition, many thanks to Prof. Bill Martin for being the faculty advisor!

Oren Mangoubi's headshot

Professor Oren Mangoubi Receives NSF/CCF Grant

May 13, 2021

The grant is titled “CRII: AF: Optimization and sampling algorithms with provable generalization and runtime guarantees, with applications to deep learning”. 

In Professor Mangoubi’s own words "The aim of this project is to design novel optimization and sampling algorithms for training deep learning and other machine learning models, and to prove guarantees on the running time, generalization error, and related robustness properties of these algorithms. Training algorithms with good generalization properties can lead to machine learning models which are more robust to changes in the dataset, allow for robust predictions, and help mitigate algorithmic bias when the training dataset may not be fully representative of the diversity of the population dataset."

For more information, please visit:

Math Grad Student Wins 1st Place at The Finals of The Graduate Research innovation Exchange (GRIE) held in April

April 6, 2021

Congratulations to Yang (Lyric) Liu! She won 1st place in the Mathematical, Chemical, and Physical Sciences for her poster presentation on "Bayesian Inference for Big Data: Combining Probability Sample and Non-probability". 

Congratulations to her faculty advisor as well, Prof. Bal Nandram!

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Math Students Take Top Prize in Actuarial Case Competition

April 2, 2021

Congratulations first year MAC majors, Celeste Rehm, Abby Barksdale, Kevin McGonigle, Emerald Pham, and Anshika Jain and Liz Cole for winning the 13th Annual Actuarial Case Competition sponsored by Travelers Insurance!!!