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Math leaders

You love math — and here you will learn from faculty and staff who are just as passionate about it as you are. They’ll challenge you to think differently and introduce you to new math interests, research projects, and special events. Faculty and staff enjoy working closely with you inside and outside the classroom, and they have dedicated office hours so you’ll feel supported in many ways.

Their advisors and faculty care about every single student and want to help you out even if you are not in their class. Sometimes that support is exactly what you need to get you to succeed. UWEC Math department is the epitome of caring and helpfulness.

Kathryn Litzau | Mathematics Liberal Arts Major
Alex Smith
  • Ph.D., University of California Berkeley (Mathematics)
  • B.A., Oxford University (Mathematics)
  • B.S., New Mexico State University (Mathematics and Physics) 
  • Department Chair 
  • Program Director for UWEC Data Science


Mohammad Aziz
  • Ph.D., Bowling Green State University (Statistics) 
  • M.Sc., University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Statistics) 
  • B.Sc., University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh (Statistics)
Research Interests
  • Skew-Symmetric and Skew-Elliptical Distributions 
  • Applied Statistics 
  • Biostatistics 
Chris Ahrendt
  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Mathematics)
  • M.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Mathematics)
  • B.S., Dakota State University (Mathematics and Computer Science)
Research Interests
  • Analysis on time scales
  • Differential and difference equations
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning 
  • M.S.T. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Mathematics Education)
  • B.S. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Mathematics, Liberal Arts)
Research Interests
  • Recreational Mathematics
  • Magic Squares 
Charles Bingen
  • Ed.D., University of South Dakota (Adult Higher Education)
  • M.A., University of South Dakota ( Mathematics) 
Dani Brake

Ph.D., Colorado State University (Mathematics)

Teaching Interests

Applied mathematics
Mathematics - general
Scientific computing
Algorithms and applications

Research Interests

Numerical algebraic geometry
Machine learning applications
3D printing
Implementing algorithms
Template metaprogramming

Abra Brisbin
  • Ph.D., Cornell University (Applied Mathematics)
  • M.S., Cornell University (Applied Mathematics)
  • B.A., Carleton College (Mathematics)


Research Interests
  • Statistical Genetics
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 
Christopher Davis
  • Ph.D., Rice University (Mathematics)
  • B.A. Westminster College of Salt Lake City 
Research Interests


Herschel Day
  • B.S., Luther College (Statistics, Management Information Systems) 
  • Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)
  • Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)
Research Interests
  • Health care 
  • Instructor for Elementary Statistics, Foundations of Actuarial Science, Contingent Payment Analysis, Loss Models and Credibility, and Introduction to the Actuarial Career
  • Advising coordinator for actuarial science program 
Colleen Duffy
  • Ph.D., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Mathematics)
  • B.A., University of St. Thomas (Mathematics, Spanish) 
Research Interests
  • Noncommutative algebra
  • Ethnomathematics 
Jennifer Harrison
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University (Mathematics Education)
  • M.Ed., The Ohio State University (Mathematics Education)
  • B.S., The Ohio State University (Mathematics) 
Research Interests
  • Pre-Service Teacher Preparation
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  • Formative Assessment 
  • Lead Advisor 
Ryan Harrison
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University (Mathematics Education)
  • M.Ed., The Ohio State University (Mathematics Education)
  • B.S., The Ohio State University (Mathematics) 
Research Interests
  • Learning Progressions
  • Formative Assessment
  • Teacher Knowledge 
  • M.S. New York University (Mathematics)
  • B.S. SUNY Binghamton (Mathematics)
Chris Hlas
  • Ph.D. University of Iowa (Mathematics Education)
  • B.S., University of Iowa (Mathematics)
  • B.S., University of Iowa (Computer Science) 
Research Interests
  • Teaching through problem solving
  • Motivation in mathematics
  • Using technology to enhance instruction 
Fariba Khoshnasib-Zeinabad

Ph.D.(Pending), University of Texas at Dallas (Applied Mathematics)
M.S. , University of Texas at Dallas (Engineering Mathematics)


Teaching Interests

- Developmental Mathematics
- Undergraduate Mathematics( Calculus,Geometry, Differential equations, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis,...)
- Statistics
Math is a fun language to learn! It opens our minds to a new world with many horizons!

Research Interests

- Integrable Systems
- Dynamics of rigid body motion
- Lie Algebra and Symplectic Geometry


- Instructor of Developmental math, Elementary Statistics, Complex Variables 

Marie-Claire Koissi-K.
Research Interests
  • Actuarial Science: Longevity Risk, Risk Assessment, Fuzzy Logic Applications to Risk Assessment. 
  • Numerical Methods.
Jessica Kraker
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Statistics)
  • M.S., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Statistics)
  • B.A., University of Minnesota - Morris (Mathematics) 
Research Interests
  • Penalized Regression
  • Cross-validation
  • Data Mining 
  • Updating, teaching, developing, and fine-tuning course material on a variety of statistical topics. 
  • Participating as a member (or chair) of deparmental committees. / Advising students within the statistics emphasis. 
  • Mentoring student-faculty research projects within statistics. 
  • Supporting university endeavors via committee membership, curricular development (via programs such as Living Learning Communities and bundles), and summer advising. 
  • Contributing to the larger statistical community via peer journal review and conference and journal-authorship participation.
Dandrielle Lewis
  • Ph.D., SUNY Binghamton University (Mathematics)
  • M.S., University of Iowa (Mathematics)
  • B.S., Winston-Salem State University (Mathematics with minor in Computer Science) 
Research Interests
  • Finite Group Theory
  • Lattices and Subgroup Lattices
  • Direct Products and Products of Groups
  • Centralizer-Like Subgroups 
  • Mathematics Professor 
  • Sonia Kovalevsky Day Project Director 
  • Somali Immersion Facilitator
aBa Mbirika
  • Ph,D., University of Iowa (Mathematics)
  • M.A., University of Iowa (Mathematics)
  • B.A., Sonoma State University (Mathematics)
Research Interests
  • Combinatorics 
  • Commutative algebra 
  • Combinatorial representation theory 
  • Algebraic combinatorics 
  • Lattice point geometry 
  • Graph labelings 
  • Complex reflection groups
  • Link to Personal Webpage 
Carolyn Otto
  • Ph.D., Rice University (Mathematics)
  • M.S., Rice University (Mathematics)
  • B.S., University of WIsconsin-Eau Claire


Research Interests
  • Low dimensional topology, specifically knot and link theory in relation to concordance. 
Nicole Owen

A.S., Marketing, Chippewa Valley Technical College 

  • Support for students, faculty and staff 
  • Oversee all Departmental Events 
  • Assist the Department Chair
Michael Penkava
  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis (Mathematics)
  • M.A., University of California, Davis (Mathematics)
  • B.A. Raymond College, University of the Pacific (Liberal Arts) 
Research Interests
  • Noncommutative Geometry
  • Deformations of Algebras 
  • Teaching of undergraduate courses in mathematics
  • Research with undergraduate students
  • Research in my area of expertise
  • Service to the department, university, community and profession 
Kris Presler
  •  M.S., University of North Dakota (Applied Mathematics)
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mathematics)
  • Fellow of the Society of Actuaries
  • Member of the American Academy of Actuaries 
Research Interests
  • Actuarial Science 
James Roden


Sam Scholze

Ph.D., Texas A&M University (Mathematics, Expected August 2017)
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Mathematics)

Research Interests

Computational Harmonic Analysis
Functional Analysis
Operator Theory

Anand Sharma
  • Ph.D., Texas A&M University-College Station (Agricultural Engineering)
  • M.S., University of Hawaii-Honolulu (Agricultural Engineering)
  • B.Tech. (Hons.)., Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (Agricultural Engineering) 
Debra Smieja
Andrew Swanson
  • Ph.D., Cornell University (Applied and Engineering Physics)
  • M.S., Cornell University (Applied and Engineering Physics)
  • B.S. California Institute of Technology (Applied Physics) 
Research Interests
  • Origami 
  • Math lab director
Diana Thomson
  • Ph.D, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Mathematics)
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Mathematics)
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Mathematics)
Research Interests
  • Artificial neural networks
  • Applied algebraic geometry
Simei Tong
  • Ph.D. Oklahoma State University (Mathematics)
  • M.S. University of Central Oklahoma (Applied Mathematics)
  • B.S. Tong Ji University (Mathematics)


Research Interests
  • Functional Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics and Art & Design 
  • Teaching
  • Research  
  • Advising
  • Committees (awards, DPC, search, text book search)
  • Volunteer (math meet, math retreat, major fair, STEM recruitment, Univ Women Asso.)
  • Professional conferences (JMM, MAA, International Conference on Geometry and Graphics)


James Walker
  • D.A., University of Illinois at Chicago 
Research Interests
  • Teaching
  • Research
Vicki Whitledge
  • Ph.D., State University of New York-Stony Brook (Applied Mathematics)
  • M.S., State University of New York-Stony Brook (Applied Mathematics)
  • B.S., Long Island University-Southampton (Marine Biology)


Research Interests
  • Analyzing the behavior of and relationships among groups of geysers 
Tom Wineinger
  • AB, Grinnell College(Mathematics)
  • MS, Iowa State University(Mathematics)
  • PhD, Iowa State University(Mathematics)


Research Interests
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Discrete Mathematics 
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