News and updates for UIUC Department of Mathematics alumni and friends
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[ Alumni + Friends Math Monthly | January 2021 ]
 Professor Jeremy Tyson, department chair
Dear Alumni and Friends,

I’m pleased to share the first issue of Math Monthly, our new electronic circular for alumni and friends of the Department of Mathematics. It has been an eventful year. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous changes to university and department life. At the same time, the department is thriving with new faculty hires, new workforce and infrastructure programs, and prestigious national recognition for our programs. We’re also looking forward enthusiastically to the rapidly approaching start of a major renovation of Altgeld Hall. I hope you enjoy these brief snapshots of life in the department, and I encourage you to visit our website to learn more.

Jeremy Tyson signature
Professor Jeremy Tyson

Chair, Department of Mathematics

U of I partners with other universities to form math and statistics institute
Altgeld Hall 

The National Science Foundation has awarded $15.5 million to four universities in Illinois, including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, to create an institute to bring powerful mathematical ideas to bear on key contemporary scientific and technological challenges.

Researchers at the new Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI), which will be hosted by the University of Chicago, will build a platform that accelerates the translation of applied mathematical and statistical techniques into solutions for urgent scientific and societal problems. 

In addition to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IMSI will include a collaborative group of mathematicians and statisticians from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The $15.5 million grant will be provided by NSF over five years.
Learn more →

Regional Internship Networks in the Mathematical Sciences
Inmas, Internship Network in the Mathematical Sciences 

Richard Laugesen, professor of mathematics at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Fadil Santosa, head of applied mathematics and statistics at Johns Hopkins University, recognized the vast need to provide training and career experiences to graduate students that prepare them for mathematically meaningful career paths in BIG. Thus, Inmas—the Internship Network in the Mathematical Sciences—was conceived.
Learn more →

Illinois receives 2020 CAS University Award
Illinois Risk Lab 

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of four winners of the 2020 CAS University Award from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), a leading international organization for credentialing and professional education. The annual CAS University Award Program is designed to celebrate and honor universities that are committed to fostering the development of the next generation of property and casualty actuaries. This is the second time the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been recognized with this honor, previously receiving one of the program's inaugural awards in 2016.
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Faculty emeritus recognized as influential mathematician
Bruce Berndt 

Professor Emeritus Bruce Berndt was recently named one of the ten most influential mathematicians today by Among his many recognitions, Berndt received the Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition from the American Mathematical Society in 1996. Berndt retired from the department in 2019 after 52 years of service. 
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Samperton receives NSF EAGER grant
Eric Samperton 

J.L. Doob Research Assistant Professor Eric Samperton has been awarded an EAGER (Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). His project, “Detecting knottedness with quantum computers,” investigates the extent to which quantum computers might solve problems in topology more efficiently than classical computers. Samperton submitted the proposal in response to NSF’s Quantum Algorithm Challenge to find new realms of applications for quantum computers.
Learn more →

Oanh Nguyen, assistant professor 

Get to know Oahn Nguyen, an assistant professor who joined the Department of Mathematics in August. Nguyen taught MATH 447: Real Variables in the fall. 
View the Fast Five Q&A →

Alumni Bill and Linda Perry honor a former professor and Altgeld Hall
Bill and Linda Perry 

For Bill and Linda Perry, Altgeld Hall is about mathematics—and so much more.

The couple arrived at U of I in fall 1967; Bill had a graduate assistantship in mathematics and Linda had a teaching position at Urbana High School. The May 1967 mathematics graduates of 500-student Park College in Parkville, Missouri, arrived in awe of 30,000-student University of Illinois. Bill (PhD, ‘72, mathematics) and Linda (MS, ’71, mathematics) knew they would need to find a small, connected community at Illinois, and they did.

The mathematics faculty and staff were welcoming and supportive. “From the moment we arrived, we felt accepted and valued,” said Bill and Linda, in a joint recollection provided to LAS. And when Bill was accepted as a doctoral student by professor T.W. Ting of the Department of Mathematics that feeling of acceptance deepened.

Bill and Linda’s gratitude for their experience at Illinois led them to make a donation to the Campaign for Altgeld and Illini Halls, which is supporting the renovation Altgeld Hall and the construction of a new building on the site of Illini Hall.
Learn more →

Share your alumni news!

Have news you would like to share with your fellow alums in an upcoming issue of Math Monthly? Submit your items using our online form.
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“Celebrating a Campus Landmark: The History and Impact of Altgeld Hall”

During LAS Impact 2020, historians and department faculty shared transformative stories of the past, present, and future of our beloved Altgeld Hall, including some of the impactful changes that are expected in the upcoming renovation.
Watch the recording →

COV-Course: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Pandemic

Throughout the fall semester, the university offered a free multidisciplinary course taught by experts at the U of I to broaden the understanding of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All 14 COV-Course presentations are now available for viewing on both YouTube and MediaSpace.
Learn more →

Chimes Centennial Concert

The Altgeld Chimes celebrated 100 years of ringing with its Chimes Centennial Concert on Oct. 30, featuring the Marching Illini.
Watch the recording →

Altgeld Hall 

Altgeld Hall has been an iconic building of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus for decades, having the unique distinction of being a building that nearly every U of I student visits at least once during their college career. Let's see how much you know about our beloved home in our inaugural monthly trivia question. 
Test your knowledge →

Seminar & Event Calendar

View all the upcoming seminars, colloquia, and events hosted by the department at

University of Illinois Calendars

View a variety of Illinois event, academic, and programming calendars at


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