COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Graduate Spotlight

See where some of our graduates are today. Read their story.

image of James Whitbread

James Whitbread
(B.S. Mathematics 2018)

Mathematics senior James Whitbread is the recipient of a WSU 2018 Top Ten Senior Award for Academics and the 2018 Knebelman Outstanding Senior in Mathematics Award. He graduates with a degree in theoretical math with minors' in biology, chemistry, and molecular biosciences, with a cumulative gpa of 3.993. Scoring in the 98th percentile of the medical college admissions test (MCAT), he will attend Johns Hopkins University Medical School in the fall of 2018 to become a cardiac-thoracic surgeon. Read more about mathematics major James Whitbread. Read this story about James' work to help raise mential health awareness on the WSU campus.

Jared Aurentz
(Ph.D. 2014)

Jared Aurentz has accepted a post-doctoral position with Professor L. N. Trefethen FRS who is the head of Oxford's Numerical Analysis Group. Professor Trefethen received his PhD from Stanford and has held positions at MIT and Cornell. His research interests include numerical linear algebra and approximation theory. Currently his group at Oxford is developing a software package called Chebfun, which is a collection of MATLAB subroutines for manipulating continuous functions with vector-like speed. Jared's official job title is "Research Associate in Algorithms Related to Chebfun" and he will extend the functionality of this first-of-its-kind software suite. He says, "I am very grateful to have been offered this position and wish to thank the WSU Math Department and my advisor Professor David Watkins for all that they've done. I most certainly could not have made it this far without their help and support."

See March 2018 SIAM news about Jared Aurentz and his advisor Dr. David Watkins, who received an Outstanding Paper Prize.

2018 Update: Jared Aurentz is currently working at ICMAT as a postdoctoral researcher.

Bonni (Kealy) Dichone
(Ph.D. 2011)

Bonni (Kealy) Dichone worked as an instructor and a teaching post-doctorate at WSU for a couple of years before accepting a position as assistant professor of mathematics at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. At Gonzaga she is helping to add, develop and offer applied mathematics courses at the undergraduate level, as well as recruit and mentor undergraduates in applied mathematics research projects for the Gonzaga mathematics department. While teaching and advising undergraduates of all disciplines is the main priority at Gonzaga, Bonni maintains an active research program in collaboration with her former advisor, Dr. David J. Wollkind, and colleagues Richard Cangelosi and Sergey Lapin. They have jointly published several papers in The Journal of Mathematical Biology on different ecological models involving the Turing pattern mechanism. For further updates on Dr. Dichone’s research, conference presentations, papers, courses, or Gonzaga activities, you may visit her website at

Andrew Stevens
(M.S. Mathematics 2009)

Andrew Stevens is the owner and Chief Scientist at OptimalSensing LLC ( From 2009 to 2017 he was a staff scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). While working at PNNL, he completed his PhD in electrical and computer engineering at Duke University (May 2018). Andrew works on compressive sensing and machine learning problems, especially in scientific imaging and electron microscopy. He has developed several new algorithms and imaging approaches (5 patents pending) that allow scientists to analyze materials and chemical processes at the atomic level. Many of the most important processes in materials engineering and biology/medicine occur by the movement of atoms—such as the storing of charge in Li-ion batteries and drug interactions with cells to cure disease. Understanding and controlling the way that atoms move will lead to new technologies that address the major global challenges of energy, defense, and human health.

Google Scholar:

His WSU graduate advisor was Dr. Sergey Lapin.

Kent Griffin

Kent Griffin
(Ph.D. 2006)

Kent Griffin is Director of the Core Research group of Symantec Research Labs in Culver City, CA overseeing the work of 7 full-time researchers (most of whom have a Ph.D. in computer science). Core Research led by Sanjay Sawhney, has projects in storage, backup, virtualization, web security, reputation or community based security, malware analysis, mobile device security, social network security and privacry and Data Loss Prevention. Most of the research is directly tied to an existing product or product line, but some is more speculative and can lead to entirely new products. Core Research has the longest time horizon of any research group in Symantec, and they work to develop the next-generation technologies for use in all areas of Symantec. They foster internal innovation and create intellectual property (patents) and publications to promote Symantec externally.

15 Patents

"The state of software patent reviewing is that it takes a long time for filed patents to actually be issued. The first patent I filed with Symantec has been issued and is US Patent number 7,774,470, "Load Balancing Using a Distributed Hash," but the others are still under review. I'm named on 15 filed, or soon to be filed patents which are in the following areas: browser security, automatic signature generation, reputation based security, buffer overflow prevention, reducing signature set size, and full disk encryption."

WSU Background

Kent Griffin received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from WSU in August of 2006. His advisor was Dr. Michael Tsatsomeros. The title of his dissertation was, "Solving the principal minor assignment problem and related computations," and his field of study was computational linear algebra.