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Research in the Mathematical Sciences department at WPI plays a vital role toward solving complex problems facing our world today. Many of our research areas are internationally recognized, with grants and awards coming from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Security Agency, and several corporations.

Mathematical Sciences Research Seminars

The WPI Mathematical Sciences Department hosts several research seminar series. We invite you to take a look at what seminars are currently scheduled. For further information regarding Mathematical Sciences seminars please contact the main office at 508-831-5241 or

The Mathematical Sciences faculty members are currently involved in a wealth of diverse research projects, both fundamental and applied:

Algebra/Discrete Mathematics

Fehribach, J., Humi, M., Martin, W., O Cathain, P., Servatius, B.

  • Cryptography
  • Discrete Geometry
  • Graph Theory and Combinatorics
  • Group Theory
  • Linear Algebra
  • Matroids
  • Symmetry and Lie Groups


Capogna, L., Fehribach, J., Larsen, C., Lurie, K., Mosco, U., Peng, G., Volkov, D.

  • Calculus of Variations   
  • Fractals
  • Partial Differential Equations

Applied Mathematics

Arnold, A., Bernardi, F., Blais, M., Fehribach, J., Humi, M., Larsen, C., Lui, R., Lurie, K., Olson, S., Peng, G., Sarkis, M., Servatius, B., Song, Q., Sturm, S., Tang, D., Tilley, B., Wang, F., Vernescu, B., Volkov, D., Walcott, S., Weekes, S.,  Wu, M., Zhang, Z.

  • Fluids
    • Computational Biofluid
    • Energy-Fluid-Chemical Transport Through Porous Media
    • Interfacial Phenomena of Fluid Mechanics
    • Microfluidics
  • Mathematical Biology
    • Biomechanics
    • Computational Bioengineering
    • Image-Based Modeling for Vulnerable Plaques
    • Image-Based Ventricle Models
  • Mathematics of Materials Science
    • Defect Evolution
    • Defect Structure
    • Dynamic Materials
    • Geothermal Energy Harvesting
    • Optimal Material Design
    • Porous Electrodes
    • Soft Biological Tissue
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Numerical Analysis/Computational Modeling
    • Domain Decomposition
    • Finite Element Methods
    • Numerical Methods
    • Scientific Computing
  • Probability and Stochastic Analysis

Financial Mathematics

Blais, M., Song, Q., Sturm, S., Wang, F., Wang, G., Zhang, Z.,

  • Computational Finance
  • Mean Field Games
  • Option Pricing and Hedging
  • Portfolio Selection and Investment
  • Systemic Risk


Nandram, B., Paffenroth, R., Peiris, B., Sales, A., Wang, F.,  Wu, Z., Zou, J.

  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
  • Biosurveillance and Spatio-temporal Statistics
  • Compressed Sensing
  • Causal Inference
  • Network Analysis
  • Time series and Financial Statistics
  • Unsupervised Machine Learning

Penetrating the Fog, Lifting the Veil from Algorithms

In 2005, Homer Walker received the WPI Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. His research and teaching interests include, among other things, computational and applied mathematics. He is internationally known for his role in the analysis and development of algorithms for computing solutions of systems of linear and nonlinear equations. 

Investigating the Relationship Between Fractal Geometry and Energy

Umberto Mosco says that the relationships between shape and sound and shape and color have always fascinated him. In fact, they have guided his life’s work. A world-renowned expert in mathematical analysis, he uses these simple terms to illustrate the complex mathematics that describe the relationship between an object’s geometry and energy. 

math fractures research

Predicting Cracks in Materials

Christopher Larsen studies applied analysis and materials science. Currently, he is captivated by research in the field of fracture mechanics, particularly predicting crack sets in physical materials.

lurie illustration

Breathing New Life into Materials

Having pioneered the field of optimal material design, Konstantin Lurie is shaking up the materials world again. He wants the world to begin to think of materials in a new way. Instead of substances with constant properties, he has shown that materials can be entities whose properties can change—in space as well as time. 

From "Useless Math," Powerful Security

Useless Math

Sensor networks are made up of devices with the tiny processors and meager power supplies, which limit their ability to run the strong cryptosystems that are used to protect data in more robust computing environments. William Martin has drawn on mathematical systems that were once thought to have no practical use to help make public key cryptography run effectively on such devices.

Studying Arterial Blood Flow to Save Lives

Better Prediction of Heart Attacks and Strokes

Without warning, arterial plaques can rupture, releasing debris and blood clots that can cause heart attacks or stroke. Large plaques can be removed, but Dalin Tang, professor of mathematical sciences and biomedical engineering, says the surgery may be over-prescribed. He has made it his life's work to develop tools to predict which plaques are likely to rupture.

Using Matroid and Graph Theory for Diverse Applications

Brigitte Servatius is a discrete, or finite, mathematician, and her major tools are matroid and graph theory. Matroid theory is essential in developing and speeding up algorithms that are used to power the Internet and implement GPS tracking technology, among other applications.