First Endowed Professor Position in Department
New Visiting Professor
Third Grant Received to Improve Math Teachers in Grades 7-12
2010 Elections to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi
Summer 2010 Undergraduate Research Programs
Winner of 2010 Mina S. Rees Scholarship in Sciences &
2009 Putnam Competition
NSF Grant Awarded to Faculty Member
Summer 2009 Industrial Modeling Workshop
Student in NSF Funded Summer 2009 Research Program
Putnam Competition Winner
New NSF Scholarships for Hunter Students
New Computer Lab BioSAM
New Programs in Bioinformatics
Kolchin Seminar in Differential Algebra
Student Research Publication
Two Consecutive NSF Scholarship Grants, 2001-2007
Student at International Conference
Past Visiting Professors
Honorary Degree for Robert P. Moses
Special AMS Session on Occasion of 60th Birthday
Faculty NSA Grant
Chancellor Goldstein Teaches a Course
Endowed Professor Position in Department
Through a gift by the Dolciani-Halloran Foundation, the
Department of Mathematics and Statistics now has its first endowed faculty
position, the Mary P. Dolciani Professor position. After
an international search, Dr. Olga Kharlampovich was selected
in Spring 2010 as the Mary P. Dolciani Professor of Mathematics. She is
currently a tenured professor at McGill University. O. Kharlampovich is
at the top of her field of research in mathematics – group theory.
M. Dolciani was a Hunter alumna and earned her PhD at
Cornell University. She also pursued study at the Institute for Advanced
Study at Princeton and at the University of London. She joined the Hunter
faculty in 1955 after teaching at Vassar College for eight years. At Hunter,
M. Dolciani served as Chairperson of the Department of Mathematics
and as Associate Provost, and in 1974 she became University
Dean for Academic Services at the City University of New York.
In 1976 she returned to teach at Hunter, continuing until she became very
seriously ill. M. Dolciani developed at Hunter the first multi-media mathematics
learning laboratory in CUNY, a laboratory which over the years has grown
extensively in size and in the diversity of its operations. It is now
known as the Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center. Mary
P. Dolciani directed many NSF institutes and NY State Education Department
institutes for mathematics teachers. She published a series of
mathematics textbooks that have been translated into French and
Spanish and have sold more than 50 million copies around the world.
The Mary P. Dolciani Professor, Olga Kharlampovich,
combines the ability to solve extremely difficult old problems with an
inventiveness and creativity for posing and solving new problems. In collaboration
with Alexei Miasnikov, she has solved the famous Tarski Problem
in free group logic, posed in the 1940’s by Alfred Tarski, which
remained an open problem for over 50 years. She is one of the world’s
leading specialists in algorithmic problems in algebra and in
the theory of action of groups on trees, rather new flourishing
fields of research. O. Kharlampovich has also demonstrated an exceptional
skill at organizing international conferences, workshops and special topics
semesters. She holds the Canadian equivalent of an NSF grant for
2008-2013, and she is editor of the International Journal
of Algebra and Computation. In summary, she has earned an overwhelming
international reputation as a leading researcher in group theory. Over
the years, O. Kharlampovich has been invited numerous times to give lectures
throughout the U.S. She has collaborated with many researchers connected
with the well-known New York Group Theory Seminar, housed
at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. O. Kharlampovich
will join the Hunter faculty in Fall 2011.
On December 4, 2010, five of our mathematics majors participated in the
annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. They were Thomas
Flynn, Sharma Goldson, Lamteng Lei, Alexander Taam, and Stephanie Zarrindast.
The Putnam Competition is a six-hour contest for undergraduates administered
by the Mathematical Association of America throughout the United States
and Canada since 1938. The five contestants prepared for the competition
by meeting regularly with Professor Clayton Petsche of
For 2010-2011, the Department is host to Visiting Professor Roger
S. Pinkham, Professor Emeritus at Stevens Institute of
Technology. R. Pinkham earned his PhD from Harvard University;
his research interests are in statistics, probability, numerical analysis,
and analysis. He will be giving a few lectures at Hunter during his stay,
as well as possibly teaching a special topics course in Spring 2011.
Grant Received to Improve Math Teachers in Grades 7-12
Professor Barry Cherkas of our Department is the Project
Director for a grant that provides scholarships to 40 NYC mathematics
teachers, grades 7-12, specifically targeted to earn an MA in Pure Mathematics,
Applied Mathematics, or Mathematics Education. The grant is a Title
IIB Mathematics Science Partnership grant between the NYC Department of
Education and Hunter's Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
The grant, awarded by the NY State Education Department, is in the amount
of $720,000 for 2010-2013. This is the third in a series of three Title
IIB Partnership Grants received by B. Cherkas. Previous 3-year grants
provided scholarships to NYC teachers in grades K-12 to strengthen their
math skills. The Grant Administrator, Alan Lichman, was
a mathematics staff developer at the elementary school level. This series
of grants is part of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act of Congress.
Elections to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi
Three mathematics majors were elected to Phi Beta Kappa in Spring 2010:
Kwang Cha, Kathleen McGovern, and Richard
Joseph Quinn, a BA/MA mathematics student, was elected
to Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
2010 Undergraduate Research Programs
Alannah Bennie, a BA/MA mathematics student, was selected
to participate in the Summer Math Institute at Cornell University,
a residential program whose major focus was an advanced undergraduate
course in analysis. Participants also worked on projects in other areas,
in groups of 3–5, in a research-like setting, under the direction
of a project supervisor, culminating in a public presentation.
Kathleen McGovern, a double major in mathematics and
physics with a concentration in quantitative biology, was selected for
the Harvard Medical School / MIT joint summer program
in biomedical optics and photonics. Kathleen was placed
in Dr. Seok H. (Andy) Yun’s laboratory for the duration of the program.
The Yun Lab focuses on developing new optical technologies and applying
them to solve biological questions and medical problems. To realize this
goal, expertise in physics, photonics, and various engineering disciplines
is integrated with biomedical needs and curiosities.
Alexander Taam, a BA/MA mathematics student, and
Rodney Weiss, a June 2010 graduate with a double major in mathematics
and computer science, participated in the 2010 Summer Research
Program funded by an NSF Research Training Grant. The topic was
Zeta Functions of Quadratic Fields. The program is for
undergraduates at Columbia, CUNY, and NYU to explore and investigate open
research problems in algebraic and analytic number theory. Professor
Karen Taylor, 2008-2010 Visiting Assistant Professor at Hunter
College, mentored a group of four students, including Alex and Rodney
Alannah Bennie, a BA/MA mathematics student, went (cost-free)
to MathFest 2010, held in Pittsburgh, PA on August 5-7. MathFest is the
annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA),
consisting of lectures, mini courses, and numerous student activities.
Alannah was given this opportunity because during 2009-2010, she administered
the National Problem Solving Competition held locally at Hunter
College. She posted problems, corrected solutions submitted,
and advertised the local competition. The winner of the contest at Hunter
was Shi Lin Su, a Teacher Academy BA/MA mathematics student,
but she was unable to attend MathFest.
of 2010 Mina S. Rees Scholarship in Sciences & Math
Joseph Quinn, a BA/MA mathematics student, was selected
by Hunter’s Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences to receive the
2010 Mina S. Rees Scholarship in Sciences and Mathematics. This prestigious
award is given to graduate students, enrolled or about to enter a CUNY
Ph.D. program, who show promise of scientific professionalism, potential
as a teacher, and breadth of intellectual interest. Joseph began his doctoral
work in mathematics at the CUNY Graduate Center in Fall 2010.
Mina S. Rees (1902 - 1997) was a Hunter alumna with a
Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago who began her teaching
career in 1926 as a member of the Hunter College Department of Mathematics.
In addition to her more than 35 years at the City University, M. Rees
served with the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during
World War II. She was acclaimed for the important role she played in mobilizing
the resources of modern mathematics for the national defense during World
War II, for helping to direct the enormous growth and diversification
of mathematical studies after the war, for her influence in initiating
federal government support for the development of the earliest computers,
and for helping to shape national policy for all basic sciences and for
graduate education. In 1969, she became the first president of the CUNY
Graduate Center, serving until her retirement in September 1972. The Graduate
Center Library has been named in honor of Mina S. Rees.
Three of our mathematics majors participated in the 70th annual William
Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition on December 5, 2009. They were
Sharma Goldson, Ze Li, and Alexander
Taam. The Putnam Competition is a six-hour contest for undergraduates
administered by the Mathematical Association of America throughout the
United States and Canada since 1938. The three contestants prepared for
the competition by meeting regularly with Professor Clayton Petsche
of our Department.
Grant Awarded to Faculty Member
Assistant Professor Clayton Petsche of our Department
received a prestigious and competitive NSF grant in the amount of $120,343
for a project entitled "Algebraic Dynamics over Global Fields:
Geometric and Analytic Methods." This award was effective
August 1, 2009 and expires July 31, 2012.
Jordi Navarrette, a BA/MA mathematics student, participated
(cost-free) in MathFest 2009, held in Portland, Oregon on August 6-8.
MathFest is the annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association
of America (MAA), consisting of lectures, mini courses, and numerous student
activities. Jordi had this opportunity because he posted problems for
the National Problem Solving Competition held locally at Hunter
College during 2008-2009, corrected solutions submitted, and
helped publicize the contest. Sharma Goldson, a mathematics
major, was the winner of the local competition, but he was unable to go
2009 Industrial Modeling Workshop
Mario Morales, one of our graduate statistics students,
was accepted at the Summer 2009 Industrial Mathematical &
Statistical Modeling (IMSM) Workshop for Graduate Students. The
objective is to expose graduate students in mathematics, engineering,
and statistics to challenging and exciting real-world problems arising
in industrial and government laboratory research. Students get experience
in the team approach to problem solving. Mario selected the topic "Dosing
predictions for the anticoagulant Warfarin.”
in NSF Funded Summer 2009 Research Program
Joseph Quinn, one of our mathematics
majors, was selected for the undergraduate Summer 2009 program of the
recently NSF funded multi-year Research Training Group (RTG) in
Number Theory taking place jointly at the three universities:
Columbia, CUNY, and NYU. The program is for undergraduates
at Columbia, CUNY, and NYU to explore and investigate open research problems
in algebraic and analytic number theory. The program takes place at the
CUNY Graduate Center. The purpose of the RTG in Number Theory is to make
the New York metropolitan area a premier world center and model for the
study of number theory.
Three mathematics majors participated in the 69th annual William Lowell
Putnam Mathematical Competition on December 6, 2008: Arkady Etkin,
Sharma Goldson, and Jordi Navarrette. The Putnam Competition
is a six-hour contest for undergraduates administered by the Mathematical
Association of America throughout the United States and Canada since 1938.
The contestant Arkady Etkin is listed among the top participants
(those ranked 1-473). Arkady is the only student in CUNY with this achievement.
The rankings go from 1 to 2771.5. There were 3627 contestants. For several
months before the competition, our three students worked on problems together
with Nikita Miasnikov, a doctoral student at the CUNY
Graduate Center and an adjunct lecturer in CUNY.
NSF Scholarships for Hunter Students
The Catalyst Scholarship Program has been established
at Hunter with an award from the National Science Foundation, shared among
the departments of Geography, Computer Science, Mathematics and
Statistics, and Physics. The main objectives are to recruit,
mentor and support talented students majoring in established or emerging
fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
through degree completion. The program awards each recipient a $6,475
annual scholarship, renewable for a period of two years. The plan is to
have a cohort of 20 students for the period Fall 2009-Spring 2011 and
another cohort of 20 students for the period Fall 2011-Spring 2013. Information
about the program and an application form are available at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/catalyst.
Computer Lab BioSAM
The BioStatistics and Applied Mathematics (BioSAM)
Computer Lab is located in room 930 HE. While the BioSAM lab
was created in connection with Hunter College's unique interdisciplinary
program in quantitative biology (www.hunter.cuny.edu/qubi),
it is open for use by all students in our Department, both undergraduate
and graduate, as well as by any other member of the Department. The lab
is equipped with six high-end Dell Precision workstations that users may
access both locally at the terminals and remotely via a secure shell connection
Programs in Bioinformatics
In the years since the draft of the human genome was published
in 2001, biology has increasingly been evolving from a mainly experimental
science performed at the bench to one in which large databases of information,
statistical methods and computer models play a significant role. In order
to effectively extract, model and analyze this enormous amount of data,
various computational tools and statistical models are taking rapidly
expanding roles in biomedical research.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Hunter now has 1) a new
concentration within the mathematics major for
Bioinformatics, 2) a new Bioinformatics sequence within
the statistics major and 3) a new Bioinformatics track
in the master's program in statistics and applied mathematics.
Information on the curriculum for these new programs is available on the
MAJORS and GRADUATE
pages of this web site, as well as at www.hunter.cuny.edu/qubi.
The departmental program directors are Professor Dana Draghicescu for
the undergraduate concentration and Professor Ronald Neath for the graduate
Seminar in Differential Algebra
The Kolchin Seminar in Differential Algebra meets most
Fridays at 10:30am at the Graduate Center. For the latest information,
please visit the Kolchin Seminar web site at http://www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/~ksda/.
Yevgeniy Milman, a math BA/MA graduate of June 2009,
while still an undergraduate, co-authored a paper, "A Buckling
Problem for Graphene Sheets," resulting from his Summer
2007 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University
of Akron. The paper appeared in Proceedings of CMDS 11, the 11th
International Symposium on Continuum Models and Discrete Systems, 2007.
Yevgeniy gave a lecture on the paper at Hunter in October 2007. (See the
Consecutive NSF Scholarship Grants, 2001-2007
Hunter College received two consecutive NSF grants for scholarships in
computer science and mathematics for 2001-2003 and 2003-2007.
Scholarship recipients were awarded a stipend and had the opportunity
to participate in research activities mentored by full-time faculty and
present their ongoing work at monthly seminars. The Principal
Investigator for both grants was Professor Ada Peluso
of our Department. The grant administrators were Anna
Marino and Ronnie Lichman, for the two grants, respectively.
Both Anna and Ronnie are Hunter alumnae. For many years, Anna was Director
of the Leona & Marcy Chanin Language Center at Hunter. Ronnie was
assistant to several chairpersons of our Department.
at International Conference
Joel Dodge, while a graduating senior in Spring 2006,
was invited to give a talk at an international conference in Lisbon,
Portugal on September 1-4, 2006, co-organized by the Forum for
Interdisciplinary Mathematics, the Department of Mathematics, New University
of Lisbon, and the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal. Joel was
invited because of his participation in Summer 2005 in the Research Experiences
for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the department of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Joel
did research on algorithmic combinatorics on words.
Since Spring 2005, the Department has been able to invite professors from
other universities to be visiting professors at Hunter for one semester
or more. The following have filled this position: 1) Stuart Margolis,
Professor of Mathematics at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel,
with a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, and an international reputation for his
research that spans the connections among semigroup theory, geometric
group theory, theory of automata and formal languages, logic, and topology;
2) Daniel Pasca, Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest,
Romania, whose research is in differential equations, Hamiltonian
systems, and variational methods; 3) Marc A. Scott, Associate
Professor in the Department of Humanities and the Social Sciences at New
York University, School of Education, a Hunter alumnus with a
Ph.D. in Statistics from New York University; 4) Karen Taylor,
Visiting Assistant Professor, with a Ph.D. from Temple University
and number theory as her field of research, who organized a very successful
semester-long undergraduate seminar on the Riemann Hypothesis, with the
goal of enabling participants to read Riemann’s seminal paper “On
the Number of Prime Numbers less than a Given Quantity.”
Degree for Robert P. Moses
At Hunter’s January 2005 graduation ceremony, an honorary degree
was awarded to Robert P. Moses, the civil rights leader and mathematics
educator. As is well-known, Mr. Moses developed the Algebra
Project, which concerns itself with teaching to middle school
students a broad range of mathematical skills that are important in gaining
access to college and math/science-related careers, as well as necessary
for mathematical literacy for economic access.
AMS Session on Occasion of 60th Birthday
At the 2005 Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical
Society (AMS) there was a Special Session on Homotopy Theory in
honor of the 60th birthdays of Martin Bendersky in our
Department and his collaborator Donald M. Davis.
Professor Lev Shneerson of our Department has been the
recipient of two consecutive National Security Agency (NSA) Mathematical
Sciences Research Grants, for 2003-2005 and 2005-2007. His field of research
is semigroup theory. The grant title was “Growth in Semigroup
Goldstein Teaches a Course at Hunter
In Fall 2003, the Department was honored to have Dr. Matthew Goldstein,
Chancellor of CUNY, as the instructor for a section of MATH 150 Calculus
with Analytic Geometry I. The class met on Saturday mornings.
Professor Alvin Baranchik retired in 2003. Al taught
statistics and mentored many graduate students for their master's projects.
Ms. Mary Small retired in 2004. Before coming to the
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Mary was with the Department
of Academic Skills/SEEK Program. Professor Jane Matthews
retired in 2007. Jane contributed greatly to the development of the MA
program in Adolescent Mathematics Education, a program sponsored jointly
by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics and the School of Education.
Professor Ada Peluso retired in January 2011 after having
served as department chair for eleven years. Ada is a member of the Board
of the Hunter College Foundation.