News and updates for the Department of Mathematics faculty and staff
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[ Faculty + Staff E-News | April 2021 ]

2021 Mathematics Alumni Award Recipients: Danyel Graves Larsen, Michael Stillman, Judy Leavitt Walker

Three alumni awarded 2021 Department of Mathematics Alumni Awards


Each year, the Department of Mathematics recognizes exceptional alumni who have have made significant contributions through outstanding professional achievement in academia, research, and industry. This year, the Department of Mathematics Alumni Awards Committee has selected three inspirational alumni as 2021 alumni award recipients.

Danyel Graves Larsen (BA, ’04, mathematics) of Oregon, Ill., has been named the recipient of the 2021 Alumni Humanitarian Award for her excellence and impact in the field of mathematics education.

Michael Stillman (BA, ’78, mathematics) of Ithaca, N.Y, has been named a recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for his outstanding professional career and significant contributions in computational algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.

Judy Leavitt Walker (MS, ’92, mathematics; PhD, ’96, mathematics) of Lincoln, Neb., has been named a recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for her outstanding professional career and her leadership and contributions to the advancement of mathematics and inclusion. 
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Mathematics undergraduate receives Goldwater scholarship

Department of Mathematics sophomore Ariel Lerman is among this year's recipients of the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship; the scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors from the U.S. with the potential to contribute to the advancement of research in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering.
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New model shows how to make smart homes more frugal

Rich Sowers has developed a smart home model that uses real-time energy pricing data to save money. The system crunches hourly market prices, spot prices, and day-ahead prices to predict the cheapest time to schedule residential loads such as dishwashers, washers, dryers, and the charging of electric vehicles.
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Everybody Eats initiative

Everybody Eats is a campus-wide initiative to ensure that those in our Illini community have access to a hot meal and are provided with adequate nutrition. Currently, Everybody Eats has two programs under its umbrella, Bevier Café (College of ACES) and University Housing, each with a different meal offering. If you have any students that would benefit from this, please direct them to for more information.

Old chair reveals how Altgeld Hall was once the campus seat

With help from an archival photo, an architect involved with the Altgeld and Illini Halls project determined that a chair in a current professor's office belonged to U of I President Andrew Draper from 1897-1904.
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Department chair search update

Four Q&A sessions with the finalists will be held as we move forward with the search for the next chair for the Department of Mathematics:

Zoom links to the individual sessions will be sent out soon. The search committee will also seek feedback about the finalists through anonymous survey forms following the Q&A sessions. If you have comments and/or questions about the Department of Mathematics chair search process, please contact Jeff Douglas, search committee chair and associate chair for the Department of Statistics, at



Kay Daly retires

The Department of Mathematics Undergraduate Office would like to announce the retirement of Office Administrator Kay Daly, who has served the department for many wonderful years. Kay began in the main office, where she was a bit nervous about doing mathematical typesetting, but figured if the ladies already there could learn it, she could, too. She then moved to the undergraduate office and has provided consistent, excellent, and caring service to students, parents, faculty, and staff. One of Kay's particular strengths has been her empathy for those working with our office, including frazzled parents of students who showed up to convocation without prior sign-up and sometimes without cap and gown! She will no longer be answering work-related emails, but please send a kind personal note to
Send Kay an email →

More undergraduate office staff updates

Staci Walker, recently hired as our office manager, is coordinating this year's virtual convocation, in addition to taking over many of Kay's other duties, with some assistance from Extra Help employee Dwayne Barnes.



Graduate Papers & Publications webpage

Graduate students are invited to submit a request to have their publicationsjournal pubs, conferences, ArXivadded to our department's Graduate Papers & Publications web page. This page was created to showcase and celebrate graduate student papers, publications, and research. 



COVID-19 Briefing Series: Budget and Finance

Last month, the university provided an updated look at how we are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and how we are planning for the future.
Watch the recording →

2021 Department Awards Program

Earlier this week, we celebrated our Department of Mathematics students, faculty, staff, and alumni at our department's virtual awards program. 
Watch the recording →



Evan Glazer (BS ’93, MS ’94)

Evan Glazer (BS ’93, MS ’94) has been named the fifth president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). He currently serves as the head of school for Avenues: The World School in New York, a grades N-12 independent school with 1,700 students and five schools. 
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Graham Evans (1942–2021)

Professor Emeritus Graham Evans passed away on March 20, 2021. Evans joined the department in 1972 and retired in 2004. While a member of the department, he served as managing editor of the Illinois Journal of Mathematics (1994-98) and as director of undergraduate studies (2000-04).
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Department Town Hall Meeting

Our next department town hall meeting will be held Friday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. CT virtually via Zoom. The recordings of all our town hall meetings are available on the department’s channel on Illinois Media Space at

In Recognition of Teaching Excellence Awards

The College of LAS will be recognizing the recipients of the 2020 and 2021 LAS teaching awards, including 2020 Department of Mathematics recipients Zoi Rapti (Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching) and Elizabeth Field (Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for Graduate Teaching Assistants), on Tuesday, April 20, at 4 p.m. CT.
Register today →

LAS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture

Join Professor Rana Hogarth from the Department of History as she presents “Slavery, Science, and the Eugenic Impulse: Re-Examining Charles B. Davenport’s Race-Crossing Studies,” the next installment of the LAS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture, on Thursday, April 29, at 4 p.m. CT.
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Join the university-wide online celebration, Saturday, May 15, at noon CT. This year's celebration will feature inspiring music, congratulatory messages from the chancellor, provost and deans, and the conferral of degrees by the president of the University of Illinois System.
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SIM Camp 2021

This year's Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp aims to provide 8th–12th grade campers with a creative and hands-on online learning experience in fun and engaging mathematics. SIM Camp Epsilon will held June 7–11 (for rising 8th through 10th graders) and SIM Camp Delta is June 21–25 (for rising 10th through 12th graders).
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24th International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with partner universities, the Pennsylvania State University, Ulm University, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) will host the the 24th International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics (IME), the largest international meeting dedicated to exploring current trends and research in actuarial science and the insurance and finance industries, July 5–9, 2021.
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Seminar & Event Calendar

View all the upcoming seminars, colloquia, and events hosted by the department at Virtual event? View the weekly calendar of meeting coordinates.

University of Illinois Calendars

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


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