WPI Announces New Heads for Its Mathematical Sciences and Management Departments

Mathematical Sciences Department head Luca Capogna was a professor of mathematics at the University of Arkansas; Management Department head Joseph Sarkis was interim dean of the Graduate School of Management at Clark University
September 19, 2013

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced the appointment of new heads for two of its 14 academic departments. Luca Capogna, most recently professor of mathematics at the University of Arkansas and associate director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, has been named professor and head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Joseph Sarkis, most recently professor and interim dean of the Graduate School of Management at Clark University, has been named a professor in the School of Business and head of the Department of Management.

"We are delighted to welcome Professors Capogna and Sarkis to our faculty," said WPI Provost Eric Overström. "As outstanding scholars and educators who have had considerable success leading important academic and research enterprises, they bring valuable skills and experience that will benefit our Management and Mathematical Sciences departments and the greater university."

Luca Capogna's research interests include partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, and geometric analysis. The author of 33 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and the co-author of two books, he has received several grants for his research from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including a 2002 CAREER Award, the agency's most prestigious award for young faculty members. He has also organized or co-organized 12 NSF-sponsored workshops and conferences and has advised four PhD dissertations.

In addition, he is the lead project director for the U.S. component of an international outreach program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission. Called Atlantis, the program supports and manages the transoceanic mobility of mathematics graduate students and faculty from three American and four European universities.

Since 2011, Capogna has served as associate director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), which is located at the University of Minnesota, where he was also a visiting professor in the School of Mathematics. Founded in 1982 as one of eight NSF Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, IMA has grown to become one of the most influential math institutes in the world. As associate director, Capogna oversaw the day-to-day operations of the institute and served as the interface between the organization's administration and its research mission.

Capogna earned a BS in mathematics at Second University of Rome, Italy, and a PhD in mathematics at Purdue University. He held postdoctoral research positions at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1996.

Joseph Sarkis, internationally recognized for his research in green supply chain management and operations sustainability, has published more than 300 publications, including more than 175 papers in internationally recognized peer reviewed journals; among them is a recent article in the journal Science ("Measuring China's Circular Economy," Vol. 339, No. 6127). He is currently editor of Management Research Review, departmental editor for IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and associate editor or editorial board member for a number of other journals.

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, among other organizations. Over the past eight years, he has accepted invitations to serve as a visiting scholar at universities in China, Finland, Hungary, Spain, and Wales. He is also an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow.

Sarkis received a BS in civil engineering and an MBA and a PhD in management science from the State University of New York at Buffalo before joining the management faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1991 as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 1995, and in 1996 he accepted a position in the Graduate School of Management at Clark. As interim dean of the graduate school from August 2010 to June 2012, he led the development of a strategic plan for the school, instituted principles of responsible management education, and helped the school earn a ranking as one of the top 16 schools for a "green" business degree and inclusion as one of the top 100 schools on the Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" rankings.