Faculty

We are proud to introduce the outstanding faculty participating in the Michigan Math and Science Scholars Summer Program. These members of the University of Michigan faculty have experience teaching high school students and several faculty have received the LS&A Excellence in Education Award.

 

chen  

Zhan Chen

Zhan is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and did his postdoctoral research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research in his group at the University of Michigan is focused on the molecular level characterizations of complicated surfaces and interfaces, such as polymer surfaces, polymer interfaces, and interfacial proteins using advanced analytical techniques. Such research provides in-depth understanding of molecular mechanisms of biocompatibility, biofouling, and polymer adhesion. Zhan received his National Science Foundation Career Award in 2004, and his Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2003. He was named as a Dow Corning Assistant/Associate Professor between 2003 and 2006. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.
conger   Mark Conger

Mark Conger Mark is a Lecturer and program developer in the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP.) He received his B.A. degree from Williams College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In between his M.A. and Ph.D., he spent several years working as a professional computer programmer, and did lots of programming for fun as well. His research interests are in enumerative combinatorics and probability, but he considers himself a mathematical generalist. His recent work has focused on the mathematics of card shuffling and dealing. For fun he does woodworking and computer hacking.
conger  

Jen Cummings

Jen is a Lecturer in the Biopsychology area of University of Michiganís Psychology Department, and teaches classes ranging from Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience to Hormones and Behavior and Sex Differences in Brain and Behavior. After earning her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2006, she began working as a research scientist at UMís Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute examining the role of hormones on reward-related circuitry in the brain, and the effects of motherhood on drug addiction. In 2013, Jen joined the Psychology Department to focus on teaching full-time, and has since developed a number of courses spanning all levels of undergraduate education at UM. While she finds there is much to enjoy about teaching, Jen is particularly passionate about making neuroscience understandable and accessible for students of all ages. When not molding young minds, Jen enjoys running, knitting, reading, and fly fishing.

debacker   Stephen DeBacker

Stephen is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He did his undergraduate work at Santa Clara University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, he had appointments at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is interested in using geometry and analysis to answer certain questions which arise in number theory. He spends nearly every mathematical free moment with his family; but in his spare time, he fixes his house – be sure to ask for amusing stories about this.
  Glenn Fox

Glenn is a Lecturer in the Division of Anatomical Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan. Glenn teaches Gross Anatomy (M1), Head and Neck Anatomy (DENT 545), and Human Anatomy (ANAT 403). His research focuses on pedagogical approaches to anatomy, and he has a special interest in the the evolution and ecology of squamate reptiles (specifically snake evolution and origins). In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, nature photography, travel, and spending time with his wife, sons, and their two dogs.
hochster   Mel Hochster

Mel Hochster is the Chair of the Department of Mathematics here at the University of Michigan, the Jack E. McLaughlin Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard and received his Ph.D. from Princeton. His research interests might be described as studying solutions of a large number of equations in a large number of unknowns, including their geometry, by techniques related to number theory. He has five children. Somehow this does not leave a lot of time for recreation, but his hobbies include bridge and cryptic crossword puzzles.
huterer   Dragan Huterer

Dragan Huterer is a theoretical cosmologist and professor of Physics. His research is focused on trying to understand the nature and properties of "dark energy", a mysterious component that makes up about 75% of energy in the universe and makes its expansion accelerate, and whose understanding presents major unsolved problem in astrophysics and cosmology. Huterer grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia) and received his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was awarded UM’s Henry Russel Award for “exceptional scholarship and conspicuous ability as a teacher”.
huterer  

Trachette Jackson

Trace is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington. Trace's research interests involve developing models of tumor structure, growth, and chemotherapeutic control strategies. In addition to mentoring students on career opportunities in math and science, Trace likes hiking, gardening and cooking.

 

jones  

Michael Jones

Michael A. Jones earned his B.S. degree from Santa Clara University and M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Northwestern University. After a 3-year position at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a 1-year visiting position at Loyola University in Chicago, he taught for 10 years at Montclair State University in New Jersey. In August 2008, he became an Associate Editor for Mathematical Reviews, a division of the American Mathematical Society based in Ann Arbor. His research interests include the development and application of mathematics to analyze the social sciences, including economics, political science, psychology, and law.  He is the editor of the Mathematical Association of America’s Mathematics Magazine.

konrath   Sara Konrath

Sara is a researcher at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor at Indiana University. She received her PhD and MS at the University of Michigan in Social Psychology. Her research examines implications of egotism and altruism for health and well-being, which includes their relationship to stress and bonding hormones. She directs a research lab called The Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research (iPEARlab.org). She is an award-winning mentor who loves working closely with undergraduate students. In her spare time she enjoys biking, baking, reading fiction, and traveling with her family.
konrath   Anton Lukyanenko

Anton is a postdoctoral assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics. He earned his B.S. and M.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the geometry of fractals and spaces with constrained motion. He is interested in applications to robotics and biology, as well as mathematical visualization and 3D printing. His hobbies include fencing, dancing, and e-sports.

konrath   Maire Malone

Maire is a PhD Candidate in Biological Anthropology in the University of Michiganís Department of Anthropology. She received her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at the University of Michigan she has taught introductory and advanced courses in biological anthropology, focusing variously on human osteology, comparative primate anatomy, forensic anthropology, and paleontology/paleoanthropology. Her research uses the structural and chemical makeup of dental tissues to investigate growth, diet, and life history in primates, past and present. When she is not sequestered in the Paleoecology Lab or the Skeletal Biology Lab, she is scampering around Ugandan fossiliferous sites in search of teeth from early Miocene apes. She goes home often to Chicago in order to pretend she is still in a band by singing in 9-part harmony with her extended family.

 

Daniel Mayerson

Daniel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the String Theory Group at the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. He holds Master degrees in Theoretical Physics from the University of Leuven (in Belgium) and the University of Cambridge, and a PhD cum laude from the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include trying to use string theory to understand black holes and their interior. Daniel grew up in Belgium and will gladly enlighten you as to why Belgian chocolate is the best in the world. Outside of physics, Daniel’s hobbies include fencing, piano, and cooking.

mcneil  

Anne McNeil

Anne McNeil grew up in Buffalo, NY. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1999 with a BS in Chemistry. Her graduate work was with Dave Collum at Cornell University where she earned her PhD in 2005. She did a post-doc with Tim Swager at MIT from 2005-2007. She joined the faculty at UM in summer 2007. She is the proud mom of two beautiful children Ė Evie and Emily. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the outdoors and learning something new.

michner   David C. Michener

Dr. Michener is the Associate Curator at the UM Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens and is active in the Program in the Environment as well as Museum Studies. David's professional responsibilities are for the endemic to exotic living plant collections and related landscapes managed by the "Arb and Gardens." His work has taken him from Brazil to the Russian Far East. David is active and published in the management of living collections according to museum standards. Currently, he is working to make the institution's rich resources digitally available to students and researchers. David has been with the University of Michigan since 1990. His undergraduate degree is in botany from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in botany are from the Claremont Graduate School / Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. He spent six years on a NSF-funded postdoctoral position at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. David's outside interests include gardening, fishing with friends, and travel.
mitchell  

Lon Mitchell

Lon received a Bachelors of Music from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas.  Lon also studied carillon playing at KU, is a Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, and continues to play in his spare time at the University of Michigan, which boasts two large instruments.   Previous appointments include the University of Toronto and Virginia Commonwealth University; he is currently an Associate Editor for the American Mathematical Society at Mathematical Reviews. 

 

nolta  

Kathleen Nolta

Kathleen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. While she trained as a classical biochemist, she has taught a wide variety of courses across the fields of biology and chemistry. Over the past two decades, she has been helping University of Michigan students appreciate the art of organic chemistry and the enormity of biochemistry.

 

Janice Pappas

Janice received her BA, BS and PhD from the University of Michigan, with a MA from Drake University. She is a theoretical biologist and mathematical paleobiologist, conducting research on the evolution of organisms modeled by shape analysis and 3D surface morphologies. Some of the modeled organisms include diatoms, ostracods, mollusks, echinoderms, anthropods, and annelids. Modeling is accomplished using implicit functions and partial differential equations. She is also an aquatic ecologist with studies of the Great Lakes on board research vessels and in the lab, including fish distributions in coastal wetlands, effects of nitrogen on phytoplankton, and seasonal succession of phytoplankton. Other research interests include graph theory and morphospace analysis, fuzzy logic in systematics, biological symmetry, and geometric spaces in ecosystem analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys baking prize winning cakes for the Michigan State Fair, aviculture, antiques, sewing and being with friends and family.

grathel   Georg Raithel

Georg is a Professor in the Department of Physics. Georg received his Ph.D. at the University of Munich. In his research, he employs laser-cooled rubidium atoms to study matter waves in optical lattices and in other atom trapping devices, and to investigate interaction processes involving cold, very highly excited atoms (Rydberg atoms) and cold plasmas. In his spare time and vacations, Georg enjoys bicycling, skiing, camping and sailing with his family.
rothman   Edward Rothman

Ed is a Professor in the Department of Statistics and Director of the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland. Ed is a consultant with researchers throughout the University, a variety of corporations, and students. He assists people with the design of their study, the analysis, and the presentation of the results. He has been honored for his teaching of undergraduates.
    Corinna Schindler

shaw  

Doug Shaw

Doug is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his Ph.D. here, at the University of Michigan. While he was here, he won the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. He's also won teaching awards at the Universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and Northern Iowa. He's published on the Collatz Conjecture and the Teaching of Calculus, in addition to writing books on teaching calculus, and a pre-calculus textbook. He is a professional combinatorist and a big fan of graph theory and game theory. He directs an improv comedy troupe, and loves action, and games of many kinds.

stephenson  

Corey Stephenson

Corey received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. After conducting postdoctoral studies at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, he joined the Department of Chemistry at Boston University as an Assistant Professor in 2007. He was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in February 2013, and in July 2013, joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan as an Associate Professor. Research in the Stephenson group is focused primarily upon the development of new strategies and methodologies for the synthesis of natural products and biomass degradation with a particular interest in processes which utilize the redox chemistry of visible light activated metal complexes. Corey has been a recipient of several awards of the past seven years recognizing excellence in research and teaching including: the Boehringer-Ingelheim New Investigator Award (2010), an NSF CAREER award (2011-2016), the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2011-2013), the Amgen Young Investigator Award (2011), the Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry (2012-2015), the Eli Lilly Grantee Award (2013-2015), the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2013) and the EOS Best Reagent Award (2014).

strauss  

Martin Strauss

Martin is a Professor in the Departments of Mathematics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He received his A.B. degree from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, both in mathematics. He previously held positions at Iowa State University and AT&T Labs-Research. His research interests include fundamental algorithms, especially randomized and approximation algorithms; algorithms for massive data sets; signal processing and computational harmonic analysis; computer security and cryptography; complexity theory. He has developed an activity for the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum. For the past few years, has been leading the math club at a local elementary school, whose activities include competing in the Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools. In his spare time, he enjoys trail running.

torres   Ramón Torres-Isea

Ramón is an Adjunct Lecturer in Physics and Director of the Advanced Physics Laboratories at the University of Michigan. He is recipient of an award by the American Physical Society for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction. He received a dual B.S. degree in Physics & Mathematics, and his M.S. in Physics from Eastern Michigan University, and quickly developed a career as an industrial physicist. Upon return to academia he dedicated himself to experimental instruction in Physics. Over the years he has performed academic and industrial research in various fields; however, during the past decade he has participated in research in nuclear reactions at the Univ. of Michigan TwinSol facilities, located at the University of Notre Dame Nuclear Structure Laboratory, and focused in the development of deuterated scintillator arrays for fast neutron detection. He has taught for over 20 years at the technical, college, and graduate levels. He initiated and directed for many years the University of Michigan Physics Olympiads
winn   David Winn

Dave is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for research into the properties of top quark decays. Dave is a passionate fan of the game of hockey and spends most of his free waking moments pursuing the sport. When Dave is not teaching or skating he can be found testing his knowledge of "applied physics" by riding one of the many beautiful (and challenging!) mountain bike trails in Southeast Michigan.