ResearchFaculty research is in the forefront of the following areas of current global interest:
- Mathematical modeling in fluid mechanical, cellular biological, and population epidemiological systems
- Optimization problems on high performance computing environments, with non-smooth functions, and integer programming
- Partial differential equations in materials research, microwave heating, and inverse problems
- Matrix algebra including both computational and theoretical analyses
- Mathematical education research associated with teacher preparation, use of technology, and culturally relevant pedagogy
- Discrete mathematics that includes cryptography, combinatorics and number theory
- Environmental mathematics such as contaminant transport in groundwater, population ecology, and predator-prey problems
- The Analysis + Data Group working at the interface between pure analysis disciplines and data science.
- Geometric analysis with applications to data analysis (Center for Geometric Analysis and Data).
- Statistics related to bioinformatics and large data, multiple comparisons, experimental design, linear models, change-point problems, quality control, engineering reliability and risk analysis
- Probability including martingale methods, stochastic differential equations, stochastic simulation, and extreme value theory
Faculty collaborate with researchers from other disciplines within Washington State University, other academic institutions and federal research laboratories. These collaborations have been extremely productive in generating joint research publications and research funding. Faculty have authored and co-authored research papers that have been published in various top-tier mathematics journals and in disciplines other than mathematics.
Extramural funding to support research and scholarly activities comes from various federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes for Health, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate students collaborate with faculty members on research and some are supported through these research funds.
Faculty are also active in undergraduate training and research. The department has hosted an NSF-funded REU site program (Research Experience for Undergraduate) and a CompuResearch program funded by the Boeing Company. Some faculty members work with undergraduates in partnership with faculty researchers in the School of Biological Sciences, to provide students with research training in mathematics and the biosciences. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and enrichment programs such as the annual Math Modeling Contest, which faculty members coach.
Interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research collaborations extend beyond the United States. Several faculty have established research collaborations with international researchers and spend professional leave working at academic institutions in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In return, researchers from abroad have visited the department for extended periods of time for collaborative research. Some of these international research activities have been supported by the National Science Foundation (for Sri Lanka and France) and the European Union (for Greece). The department has a Memorandum of Understanding with Mahidol University (Thailand) that allows for collaborative research and student training. Many former doctoral (international) students have returned home and now hold various academic positions at universities in their native countries.