WPI Names Head of Mathematical Sciences Department

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - May 14, 2003 - Bogdan M. Vernescu has been named the new head of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Vernescu rises to this position after 12 years at WPI, most recently as professor of mathematical sciences.

As head of the Mathematical Sciences Department at WPI, Vernescu will oversee more than 30 faculty members who focus on algebra and discrete mathematics, nonlinear analysis and differential equations, numerical analysis and computational modeling, computational and applied analysis, operations research, and probability and statistics. One of his primary goals will be to increase the national reputation and quality of the department's educational programs and research. He aims to do this by building on its current strengths and improving the visibility and funding of research.

Vernescu will also continue his teaching duties and research in the areas of homogenization, fluid mechanics, porous media and composites.

"We conducted an extensive international search for the new head of this very important department, but Bogdan Vernescu rose to the top of our final list of outstanding candidates," says John F. Carney III, WPI's provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Bogdan has been a key fixture of the department for some time, and has demonstrated a significant amount of leadership and initiative, especially in founding and overseeing the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics."

Since 1997, Vernescu has led the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics (CIMS) - an effort designed to integrate academic projects in mathematics and statistics with the corporate world. It has provided a coherent format for developing industrial undergraduate, graduate and faculty projects. The center has flourished and grown to more than 25 corporate customers and attracted significant funding from the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the GE Fund and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). As a result, the center has received national recognition, and its model has been adopted by other universities.

Vernescu has had more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific papers published, and is a frequent presenter at conferences and professional meetings in the Unites States and throughout Europe. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and SIAM. Vernescu has also held visiting positions at MIT and in France at the University of Metz, University of Nancy and University of Savoie.

Vernescu earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Institute of Mathematics in Bucharest, Romania, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs - including the largest industry/university alliance in North America - that have won it worldwide recognition.