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Alumni News

photo of Jordan Michael Culp

Jordan Michael Culp ('21 PhD Math.) holds a post-doctoral position in the Nicola Computational Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of Calgary, funded by the Pacific Institute of the Mathematical Sciences. He researches novel techniques for analyzing inherent dynamics in the neural data from the McGirr lab at the University of Calgary. This involves many big data problems, so Jordan's current research involves first applying a variety of mathematical and statistical methodologies to decompose, approximate, and cluster the data in lower dimensional space before standard analytical approaches can be applied. When not working on post-doctoral research, Jordan likes to scour local record shops for new vinyl records to add to his collection as well as scour local pizza shops for his new favorite slice. He also likes to frequent Banff National Park for a good day-hike. After completion of this post-doctoral appointment in 2023, he would like to pursue a tenure-track academic position at a university in the United States or Canada. He was advised by Xueying (Snow) Wang.

photo of Debasmita (Deb) Das

Debasmita (Deb) Das ('21 PhD Statistics) has accepted a position as a Senior Scientist Biostatistician with Merck in Rahway, New Jersey. She was advised by Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta.

photo of Sylvia Madrid

Silvia Madrid ('21 PhD Math.) accepted a visiting professor position with Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She was advised by Sandy Cooper and Will Hall.

photo of Damilola (Dami) Omolola

Damilola Omolola ('21 PhD Math., '20 MS Statistics) is a senior scientist clinical pharmacometrician at Astrazeneca. When she isn't working she enjoys spending time with her husband and her dog Kai and exploring the New England area. She was advised by Xueyinjg (Snow) Wang and Marc Evans.

photo of Adebowale (Adebo) Sijuwade

Adebowale (Adebo) Sijuwade ('21 PhD Math., '21 MS Statistics) has accepted a position with the Energy Information Administration under the Department of Energy as a mathematical statistician. The position will allow him to work remotely from any location. His dissertation title is "Fractional Integral Operators," which serves as an extension of classical harmonic analysis and Calderon-Zygmund theory. His PhD advisor was Charles Moore and his master’s advisor was Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta.

photo of Mostafa Rezapour

Mostafa Rezapour ('20 PhD Math., '19 MS Statistics) earned a doctoral degree in applied mathematics, advised by Tom Asaki, and a master's degree in statistics, advised by Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta. He holds a position at Wake Forest University as a teacher-scholar postdoctoral fellow. He is interested in optimization, machine learning, deep learning and numerical linear algebra. He has served as a graduate committee member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Wake Forest University and is also an organizer of the Machine Learning Group, as well as a mentor in the National Math Alliance for Doctoral Studies in Mathematical Science. He is currently utilizing machine learning methods to analyze the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative effects on several communities including healthcare workers. Additionally, he is mentoring students in research. More information about Mostafa and his research may be found on his Wake Forest webpage at

photo of Ryan Lattanzi

Ryan Lattanzi ('19 MS Math.) "I had no idea where a master's degree would take me, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. What I have found to be vital is continuous learning both by myself and by seeking out solid mentor relationships. After graduating from WSU, I worked with Kevin Vixie for about 6 months on a really cool financial tech problem where I learned so much, in particular coding. From there, I went to Tampa, Florida, to work as a data scientist for the government. I realized that the power of data science was backed by data engineering, which is closer to software engineering than mathematics. Since I found that my passion for coding and software engineering was growing, I switched roles to become a data engineer. I have learned so many cool things and have been hired by the Detroit Lions. I thank WSU for the amazing program and people that catapulted me into industry and set me up for success!"

photo of Vlad Oles

Vlad Oles ('19 PhD Math.) holds a postdoc position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where he works primarily with data analytics, including the analysis on networks. In his spare time he tries to develop and continue his research about the Gromov-Hausdorff distances. Vlad moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in August 2021, and enjoys the opportunity to wear summer shorts in the wintertime. He misses Pullman immensely. He was advised by Alex Panchenko.

photo of Henry Riely with his wife and two young children

Henry Riely ('19 PhD Math.) is a math lecturer in the Mathematics Department at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Although a pure mathematician, he will be pursuing a master's degree in computer science in the near future at Georgia Tech. He lives with his wife and two sons in Acworth, Georgia, and in his spare time he likes to play guitar and piano and study machine learning. He was advised by Charles Moore.

photo of Yunfeng Hu

Yunfeng Hu ('18 PhD Math.) works as a research scientist at Amazon Web Services (AWS) World Wide Revenue Organization (WWRO). His job focuses mainly on customer churn and recommendation systems, and he works remotely from home in Kirkland, Washington. He joined AWS in January of 2020, after working as a data scientist at EMSI in Moscow, Idaho. He was advised by Kevin Vixie and Bala Krishnamoorthy.

photo of Cameron Sweet

Cameron Sweet ('18 PhD Math., '16 MS Statistics) is a tenure-track assistant professor of mathematics at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, where he teaches courses in statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and the university’s core ethics curriculum. In the summer of 2019, he traveled to Langfang, China, to teach calculus courses at Saint Martin’s sister school, North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering, and returned to the program online the following two summers. His PhD advisor was Libby Knott and his master’s advisor was Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta.

image of Thomas Cameron

Thomas Cameron ('16 PhD Math.) is a tenure-track assistant professor of mathematics at Penn State Behrend. During the summer of 2022 he will visit the University of Sorbonne to work with Stef Graillat on the use of compensated arithmetic to perform high precision computations without the use of a higher-precision floating-point format. In his free time he enjoys playing hockey with his son who is now 6, riding horses with his daughter who is now 3, and backpacking with his wife, Katie. He was advised by Michael Tsatsomeros.

image of Stan Swierczek

Stan Swierczek ('16 MS Math.) defended his PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Arizona in July 2021. His graduate research concerned regional biogeochemical ocean modeling in the Southern Ocean. Prior to completing his PhD he completed a master's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2018. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi before taking a position this spring as an associate model risk analyst for M&T Bank. Although M&T Bank is located in Buffalo, New York, the position allows him to live anywhere and work remotely. His graduate adviser was Alex Panchenko.

photo of Jared Aurentz

Jared Aurentz ('14 PhD Math.) met a lovely young Spanish woman while working at the University of Oxford and left his postdoc position early to move with her to Madrid. They were married in 2017 and are happily expecting their second child. He holds a tenure-track position with the University of Huelva in the south of Spain, and recently began advising graduate students of his own which "makes me think back to those four wonderful years I spent at WSU." He was advised by David Watkins.

photo of Pietro Paparella

Pietro Paparella ('13 PhD Math., '03 MS Math.) is an associate professor of mathematics (2020–present) in the Division of Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Washington Bothell (UWB). From 2013 to 2015, he was a visiting assistant professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at the College of William and Mary (WM). He held the position of assistant professor of mathematics at UWB from 2015 to 2020. His research interests include combinatorial matrix theory; the geometry of polynomials; matrix analysis; and nonnegative matrix theory. He has worked extensively on the nonnegative inverse eigenvalue problem with frequent collaborator Charles R. Johnson (WM). His Erdős number is 3 (Erdős & Cameron, Cameron & Johnson, Johnson & Paparella). He was advised by Judith J. McDonald and Michael Tsatsomeros.

Photo of Blake

Blake Peterson ('93 PhD Math., '90 MS Math.) joined the faculty of the Mathematics Department at Oregon State University in a mathematics education position after completing his doctoral degree. Blake and his wife Shauna started their time in Pullman in 1988 with one child and had their fourth child five days before moving to Corvallis in July of 1993. In 1996, he moved to Provo, Utah to continue his teaching and research at Brigham Young University. From 1996 to 2000, he was in the Department of Mathematics but in 2000 a new Department of Mathematics Education was created in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Blake became a member of that department where he advanced to full professor and served as the department chair from 2014 to 2020. His research interests include mathematics teacher education in Japan where he spent 2 months at Ehime University studying student teaching in 2003. More recently he has focused on understanding effective ways to identify and build on teachable moments in the mathematics classroom and hopes to continue that work by studying how teachers learn to do that. In addition to his research, he loves to teach and in 2015 received a national award from the Association of Mathematics Teacher Education for excellence in teaching. His hobbies include mountain biking, basketball, gardening, and spending time with his family which now includes spouses of his 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Blake’s advisor was James Jordan.

Information about other alumni may be found on the News About Our Graduates page.

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