Stratton Hall with Flowers

Recent highlights of faculty and students in the Mathematical Sciences Department. 
For Research specific items please also visit our "Grants & Awards" page.

Location: Unity Hall
Office Location: 4th Floor, Room 457 (Temporarily Moved Due to Stratton Hall Renovation)
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Mayer Humi's peer-reviewed article “Traveling waves in an evolving interstellar gas cloud” has been published in the Journal of Mathematical Physics. This body of work was designated as a featured piece and “editor’s pick”! Link to the paper is here.

Mayer’s research in mathematical physics has recently focused on a conjecture that suggested traveling waves could be a factor in the formation of asteroids and potentially planets.  Through a theoretical investigation of the role of gravity and density in interstellar gas clouds, he found that solid particles have the potential to coalesce at wave crests where the mass density is maximal. 


Oren Mangoubi receives Google Research Scholar Award Grant

Oren Mangoubi is the PI for this research project titled Matrix Diffusions for Differentially Private Linear Algebra. In Oren's own words: As the collection of big datasets and applications of machine learning algorithms to different areas of people's lives have proliferated in recent years, privacy breaches of individuals' data in medical, census, and other sensitive datasets has led to increasing concerns. Consequently, methods which add random noise to machine learning algorithms to preserve a given level of differential privacy have become increasingly sought-after in science and industry. This award studies the use of matrix-valued diffusions to add noise to machine learning algorithms, in order to preserve the privacy of sensitive datasets while minimizing the resulting loss in the utility of these algorithms to researchers. For mor: Google Research Scholar Award


Derek Drumm wins 1st Place in the 2023 GRIE in Mathematical, Chemical, and Physical Sciences

The Graduate Research Innovation Exchange (GRIE) 2023 is a two-part event to celebrate and showcase graduate research at WPI. The first part was held on February 8th and the finals were held on April 4th . Congratulations to all of our student poster presenters for their outstanding posters and presentations! Thank you to all of our students that attended to cheer on your fellow graduate students and thank you to our faculty that served as lead judges and poster judges in both rounds of the GRIE. 

Derek Drumm, a 4th year PhD student in Mathematical Sciences, competed in the Graduate Research Innovation Exchange (GRIE) 2023 and tied for 1st place in Mathematical, Chemical, and Physical Sciences for his presentation titled "Determining Flow Obstacles From Lagrangian Coherent Structures". 

You can read more about the finals and the student winners by category in the WPI press release here.

Congratulations to WPI students John Muirhead, Brandon Voci, Andrew Adiletta, Ben Gobler and Jessica Wang for successfully participating in the Kryptos Challenge

This year we had another successful showing of student teams in the Kryptos Challenge hosted by Central Washington University (and coordinated by Prof. Stuart Boersma). Please join me in congratulating our two student teams for their outstanding performance! 

John Muirhead, Brandon Voci, and Andrew Adiletta successfully solved all challenges and are recognized as Master Code Breakersattaining the TURING level of achievement.


Ben Gobler and Jessica Wang successfully solved all challenges and are recognized as Master Code Breakersattaining the TURING level of achievement.

This multi-day hacking challenge started on April 20th and ended on April 24th. The contest consisted of three cryptanalysis challenges, with 70 teams, only 12 of which solved all three problems (including two teams from WPI!). In their words, "κρυπτοσ or kryptos, is a contest open to all undergraduate students. The theme of the contest is centered around the breaking, or cryptanalysis, of ciphers (secret writing)”. In addition, many thanks to Prof. Bill Martin for serving as faculty sponsor.

picture of Andrea Arnold and Francesca Bernardi holding grant awards

Andrea Arnold and Francesca Bernardi awarded two Women's Impact Network Grants

Congratulations to Andrea Arnold and Francesca Bernardi, for being awarded two individual grants from the Women's Impact Network that will help to support outreach activities that they will organize and host at WPI.

Andrea Arnold is the faculty advisor of our very active WPI Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) student  chapter. In honor of the first woman to obtain her doctorate in mathematics, Sonia Kovalevsky, the AWM group organizes Sonia Kovalevsky Day (SK Day) every spring (Link to SK Day 2023 - the 5th anniversary!). Up to 70 middle school girls with an interest in the mathematical sciences are invited on campus for the day to participate in activities to encourage them to continue to study and/or appreciate mathematics. This new award from WIN will provide funds to run the event in Spring 2024.

Francesca Bernardi is the co-founder of Girls Talk Math: Engaging Girls through Math Media - a free day camp for girls and non-binary high school students interested in Mathematics and Media, which is now hosted at UNC Chapel Hill, University of Maryland at College Park, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Girls Talk Math (GTM) at WPI ran for the first time in July 2022 (link to last year's press release) and will run again this July. This new award from WIN will provide funds to run the camp in Summer 2023 and for the first time, support for daily transportation to and from campus will be provided to participants.

picture of Vladimir Druskin

Vladimir Druskin receives 3-year award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research

This 3-year award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is titled "Reduced Order Model Algorithms for SAR Imaging in Multi-Scattering Dispersive Environment". Vladimir Druskin is the PI on this collaborative award with Mike Zaslavsky at Southern Methodist University (co-PI). In Vladimir's own words: The project scope includes the development and theoretical foundation of data-driven model order reduction imaging algorithms for the cases when conventional linearized approaches fail.

picture of Fangfang Wang

Fangfang Wang awarded tenure

Fangfang Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, has been awarded tenure. Fangfang Wang joined our department as an associate professor in August of 2019 and previously had positions at University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Connecticut, and University of Illinois at Chicago. She focuses her research on high dimensional inference with applications in financial econometrics and remote sensing satellite data. Fangfang has been an active member of the department, working with students and postdocs on various projects. She has also provided valuable service to committees, especially in her role chairing the undergraduate committee. In terms of Statistics courses, she worked collaboratively to revamp the Statistics Labs and recently developed the undergraduate experimental Time Series course. Fangfang has also been publishing in high impact journals and received collaborative funding from NASA.


picture of Min Wu

Min Wu awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor

Min Wu has been awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Min Wu joined our department as an assistant professor in August of 2017. Prior to WPI, Min completed a Postdoc at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a Visiting position at Northwestern University. Her research is at the intersection of computational mathematics and mathematical biology, with a focus on modeling tissue growth, morphogenesis, and cell walls.  At WPI, Min has been fully engaged in a variety of research-driven mentoring efforts, ranging from work with high school students to postdocs. Min has brought her research into the classroom through a special topics course on continuum mechanics, "Nonlinear elasticity: Theory and Application", at the graduate level and a co-taught seminar course in quantitative biology in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program. Her promise in research and teaching was recently recognized with an NSF CAREER Award.