Dear friends of the department,

Another school year started in West Lafayette, we have a new cohort of eager students, classes and extracurricular activities are in full swing, first exams have been taken.

The past months have brought a great deal of change to the university, in the college and in the department. As of January 1, we have a new president, Mung Chiang. He selected a new provost, Patrick Wolfe, formerly the Dean of the College of Science, and as of September 1, we have a new Dean, Lucy Flesch. Within the department we have a new Interim Director of the Center for Computational and Applied Mathematics (CCAM), Professor Zhiqiang Cai. Two of our professors, Andrei Gabrielov and Jie Shen received "Distinguished Professor" status from the Board of Trustees.

In the midst of change our commitment to our educational and research missions remains the same. We continue to teach approximately 10% of all credit hours on campus, and we do it well and with pride.

This edition of Purview includes even more departmental news including promotions, hires, accomplishments and awards from our family of Purdue mathematicians.


Isaac Harris was named the Barbara A. Kunze New Frontiers Assistant Professor of Mathematics effective January 1, 2023. This early career professorship, funded by Purdue Distinguished Alumna Barbara Kile (BS mathematics ’63), is designed to recognize an outstanding assistant or associate professor in Purdue’s Department of Mathematics.


Assistant professor Sam Nariman has received an NSF CAREER grant for his project titled New Directions in Foliation Theory and Diffeomorphism Groups. This project will apply a bundle theoretic point of view to a conjecture of Haefliger and Thurston on the cohomology of diffeomorphism groups..


Rodrigo Bañuelos, professor of mathematics, was named a 2023 fellow by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). He was recognized for pioneering and fundamental contributions in probability theory and analysis, and for fostering diversity in mathematics and education.


Jianxi Su, associate professor of statistics, is the new director of Purdue University’s renowned actuarial science program. The interdisciplinary program administered by the departments of mathematics and statistics has been ranked the #1 Best Actuarial Science Degree by CollegeChoice.net since 2017. In 2022 the Society of Actuaries (SOA) designated Purdue University as a Center of Actuarial Excellence.


The Joel S. Spira Faculty Teaching Awards recognize excellence in mathematics teaching. These awards are made possible by a generous donation by Purdue alumni, Ruth and Joel Spira, founders of the Lutron Electronics Company. The 2022-23 Spira Teaching Awards were presented at the April 27 meeting of the mathematics faculty.

  • Rolando de Santiago: Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring
  • Greg Buzzard: Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring
  • Birgit Kaufmann: Excellence in Graduate Service Teaching
  • Laszlo Lempert: Excellence in Graduate Teaching


Plamen Stefanov, professor of mathematics, is among the inaugural recipients of the Frontiers of Science Award presented at the First International Congress of Basic Science (ICBS), held in Beijing in July 2023. The award honors top research with an emphasis on achievements from the past five years which are both excellent and of outstanding scholarly value. Scientific works in both basic and applied research were chosen in 34 areas of the three basic science fields (mathematics, theoretical physics, and theoretical computer and information sciences) represented at the ICBS.


It was a full house on Thursday December 1, 2022 as colleagues, students, alumni, family and friends gathered to celebrate the retirement of Jeff Beckley, director of the actuarial science program.


Our commitment to teaching and research excellence is evident through the hiring of new faculty, some of whom are pictured here. See below for a complete list of new faculty hires
  • Allan Bickle, Lecturer
  • Zhiyuan Geng, Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Vaibhav Pandey, Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Daniel Johnstone, Professor of Practice
  • Rongjie Lai, Professor with Tenure
  • Heejong Lee, Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Brooke Max, Professor of Practice
  • Nicholas McCleerey, Assistant Professor
  • Jakayla Robbins, Senior Lecturer
  • Anurag Sahay, Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Yi Wang, Golomb Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Shuyi Weng, Professor of Practice


Sudhir R. Ghorpade (PhD’89) was elected a 2023 Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). A professor in the Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Dr. Ghorpade has made significant contributions to several areas straddling pure and applied mathematics, especially algebraic geometry and coding theory. His most noteworthy works include the following: Definitive answers to several questions of Abhyankar concerning Young tableaux and determinantal varieties, extension of Deligne’s inequality for arbitrary complete intersections over finite fields, an effective version of Lang-Weil inequality, proof of a conjecture of Lang and Weil, extensive study of linear codes associated to Grassmann, Schubert and Veronese varieties, settling the Tsfasman-Boguslavsky Conjecture in the negative and then proposing newer conjectures for the maximum number of zeros of systems of homogeneous polynomials of a given degree over a finite field, and proving these conjectures in many cases.

Trevor Mason (MS’94 MATH, MS’95 CS) came to Purdue from the Caribbean island St. Lucia after seeing a poster for the graduate program on the bulletin board of his undergraduate college, the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad. He says, “Graduate studies at Purdue were intense and enjoyable, just what I wanted. A special shout out to Real Analysis! I completed a MS In Math and a MS in Computer Science. My career focus has been on researching and introducing advanced systems related to processing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of data. I have worked with all computer technologies from mainframes to modern cloud environments and held senior Enterprise Architect positions at IRI, Nielsen, HealthPointe Solutions, and currently Advantage Solution. In all these cases helping to lead Transformation programs building large scale data processing, management, and analysis systems in the cloud.”


We'd love to hear from you! Send professional updates and achievements to mathexec@purdue.edu.