Faculty Mentor Biographies

Jennifer McLoud-Mann Dr. Jennifer McLoud-Mann, Professor

Principal Investigator Jennifer McLoud-Mann is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington Bothell. She is an American Indian and a first-generation bachelor’s graduate. Since 2003, she has had the opportunity to introduce many students to mathematical research mostly in the area of knot theory. Each undergraduate research student has traveled to conferences with her to present their research and has been involved in a culminating writing process. There have been numerous presentations and publications from her work with undergraduates. Dr. McLoud has taken students to regional conferences, giving them the confidence in their ability to succeed, and sparking interest in student research. Her commitment to undergraduate research and other student activities earned her the 2008 Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to Students from the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America and the 2010 Henry L. Alder Award given by the Mathematical Association of America for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Faculty. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity award at UW Bothell in part for the discovery of the 15th type of convex pentagon to tile the plane with colleague Casey Mann and alumn David Von Derau.

Dr. McLoud has taken advantage of mentor training opportunities. As a Project NExT fellow in 2003 and 2008, she attended Aparna Higginss Project NExT presentation “Undergraduate Research How to Make It Work, which discusses how to help undergraduates choose projects and how to mentor them. She also benefited from an MAA PREP (Professional Enhancement Program) workshop on knot theory taught by Colin Adams in the summer of 2003 aimed to enable college and university teachers to teach an undergraduate course, do research, and direct student research in knot theory; it allowed her to more readily involve undergraduates in her research, as knot theory has a wide range of difficulty and plenty of accessible problems for students.

 

Casey Mann Dr. Casey Mann, Professor

Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Co-PI Casey Mann was a first-generation college student, giving him a special understanding of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. His first exposure to the concept of research came in 1994 when, as an undergraduate, he participated in the McNair Scholars Program at East Central University in Ada, OK. The McNair Scholars Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is purposed to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue graduate and doctoral studies by introducing them to research and aiding them with application to graduate programs. That experience was critical in encouraging Dr. Mann to attend graduate school and consider research a feasible career path. He understands the benefits of these experiences and how they affect first-generation college students and other groups for whom the very ideas of graduate school and research are completely foreign.

Dr. Mann is a 2002-2003 Project NExT Fellow, which exposed him to many talks and seminars on good practices for conducting undergraduate research. He has established himself as an expert in fields of tiling theory and knot theory and has published multiple research articles in both areas. Dr. Mann has engaged undergraduate students in research in each year of his career as a university professor, starting in 2001, and he is committed to engaging undergraduate students in research and scholarly activity as part of his long-range career goals. Over the years, his students have produced 7 jointly authored research articles for publication, given 5 poster presentations at the Joint Meetings (and several more at regional and local meetings), and presented several talks at professional mathematics meetings. In 2010, Dr. Mann received funding (as co-PI) from NSF for an REU site at the University of Texas at Tyler (DMS-1062740), a site whose past success and future promise was recently awarded another round of funding. In the UT Tyler REU, Dr. Mann mentored three very productive groups of students. In 2013, Dr. Mann moved to a new job at the University of Washington Bothell, where he is contributing to strengthening a new and rapidly growing culture of undergraduate research.

 

MLoreto photo Dr. Milagros Loreto, Assistant Professor

Faculty mentor Dr. Loreto is a Native Latina and first-generation college graduate. Her first exposure to the concept of research was when she worked as undergraduate research student for Dr. Lesly Guenni at the Center of Statistic and Software Mathematics (CESMa), Simon Bolivar University (USB). A technical report titled Space-time Modeling of Monthly Rain-fall for Climate Impact Studies in Venezuela, was the result of that project. Working in this environment with research professionals encouraged Dr. Loreto to attend graduate school and to continue working as graduate research student assistant at CESMa. After finished her PhD in 2006, she was involved in several research projects as faculty at the University Central of Venezuela, some of them with undergraduate students. Also, Dr. Loreto was a postdoctoral assistant researcher at Duke University in 2007.

In 2011 Dr. Loreto presented a poster at the Workshop for Young Researchers in Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI),Ohio State University. This workshop was focussed on new researchers and included panels and discussions oriented to prepare young undergraduate researchers to continue their paths to graduated levels. This experience inspired Dr. Loreto to encourage undergraduate students to start a career as researchers. Dr. Loreto was Assistant Professor at Florida Memorial University (2009-2013), a traditional African American School with some Latin representation. FMU serves students facing particular situations such as: first college student generation, parenting and studying, international students living alone, students with serious economic limitations, among others; these situations made a challenge to engage students in undergraduate research projects. Dr. Loreto was able to involve some of these underrepresented students in her research area, including a remarkable success story where a senior project from a undergraduate student [57] ended up as a poster presentation at the 2012 Informs Optimization Society Conference, University of Miami. The same work was awarded as the 1st place at the FMU Research and Performing Arts Day. Dr. Loreto received funding (as co-PI) from the NSF for the Noyce Scholarship Program in 2013, a project intended to help minority groups to advance in their teaching profession. In 2014, Dr. Loreto became faculty at the University of Washington Bothell, where she is bringing her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to support undergraduate students.

 

Thomas Humphries

Dr. Thomas Humphries, Assistant Professor

Dr. Humphries received his Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Prior to that he completed a BMath (Joint Applied Math and Computer Science) at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He began work as an Assistant Professor at UW Bothell in Fall 2015, following postdoctoral appointments in the math departments at Oregon State University and Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Dr. Humphries primary research interest is tomographic image reconstruction, particularly iterative methods for CT and SPECT imaging. He has worked on developing techniques for reconstruction of dynamic images in SPECT, and reconstruction from polyenergetic and sparse-view data in CT. While at Memorial University he also worked on derivative-free optimization techniques applied industrial problems, which continues to be a topic of interest to him.

UW Bothell STEM Professor Pierre Mourad.Dr. Pierre Mourad, Professor

Dr. Mourad’s Professorship lies within a variety of departments whose clinical interests are defined by brain disorders (Neurosurgery; Radiology) and whose research interests support his development of devices useful for diagnosing or treating brain disorders (Engineering and Mathematics; Bioengineering; Applied Physics Laboratory). All his scholarly activities involve collaborations between medical doctors, scientists, engineers, and students, with a common goal of improving clinical practice. Importantly, these teaching and research activities include basic research as well as applied research, development and commercialization. Dr. Mourad has directly mentored nearly sixty undergraduate students within his laboratory, counting only those who have spent an appreciable length of time in his lab. All students focus on those aspects of projects that target patient care. Indeed, several students have contributed to patent applications and most students have contributed to published papers.

 

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