News and updates for UIUC Department of Mathematics alumni and friends
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[ Alumni + Friends Math Monthly | March 2021 ]


A message from alumnus Bill Perry

 Bill Perry
University of Illinois Mathematics Alumni & Friends,

This is Bill Perry (MA ’68, PhD ’72) writing, chair of the newly formed Alumni Engagement Committee within the Mathematics Development Advisory Board (MDAB), a 12-member alumni board that helps garner support for the unit. You may have stayed more closely connected to the department, but I have recently reconnected and am excited to share some of the great things the department is doing and ways math alumni can stay engaged.

The Department of Mathematics will celebrate its 150th anniversary this year, reflecting on past achievements and looking forward to the future. With input from MDAB, the department continues to be on the cutting edge in different areas of development support. Following an MDAB initiative, the department has committed more than $500,000 to fund scholarships for over 100 of its best undergraduate students since 2010. Additionally, three endowed professorships have been created since MDAB was formed. Together with math faculty and staff, we continue to inspire support for these worthy initiatives and several others. To learn more about such initiatives, visit
Read more of Bill's message →




Study: Recent LAS graduates are successful at finding jobs and other opportunities

Alma Mater in a cap and gown. 

A study of the early career paths of recent University of Illinois graduates reveals that new alumni from the College of LAS are successful in finding jobs and other first destinations.

About 90 percent of new LAS alumni are securing jobs (including military service), continuing education, or volunteer/service positions, according to the Illini Success initiative, a university-wide effort to better understand the early career paths of new alumni.

Among the statistics detailed within the report, the average starting salary of new alumni grew significantly during the past year for several LAS categories, including mathematics and statistics, which grew from $77,523 in 2018-19 to $79,590 in 2019-20, the highest in the college.
Learn more →


Mathematics graduate student named semifinalist in 2021 Student Image of Research competition

Collage of 2021 Graduate Student Image of Research submissions 

Congratulations to Department of Mathematics graduate student Emily Shinkle on being named a Graduate Student Image of Research semifinalist!

Image of Research is an annual multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of graduate student research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It is organized by the Scholarly Commons of the University Library, the Graduate College, and supported by a generous gift from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The semifinalists were chosen by an interdisciplinary panel who judged entries on 1) connection between image, text, and research, 2) originality, and 3) visual impact. Semifinalists compete for first, second and third prizes, in addition to honorable mention and a People's Choice Award. Voting for the People's Choice Award is open through March 22. 
View the online exhibition and vote →


Risk Analytics Symposium goes virtual

Risk Analytics Symposium, March 27: Registration is live! 

New technologies generate many opportunities, but they also catalyze challenges. As the digital age brings changes to everyday life, the insurance industry must also respond with progression. The Risk Analytics Symposium 2021: Actuarial Innovations to Emerging Risks brings leading scholars and industrial professionals together to discuss latest industry trends and technology development. An all-day virtual event, this year's symposium on March 27 will feature six accomplished speakers from the academic community and insurance world who will present on topics ranging from autonomous vehicles to cyber resiliency, in addition to virtual networking sessions and forums featuring student research and recognition. 
Learn more and register today →


University to hold stage-crossing for 2020, 2021 graduates

UIUC graduate in a cap and gown 

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is planning an in-person individual, private stage-crossing experience for 2020 and 2021 graduates May 10–17 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

“We absolutely understand the importance of commencement at Illinois, and we are committed to doing everything we can to celebrate the success of Illinois graduates while working to maximize the health and safety of our community,” Chancellor Robert J. Jones said.
Learn more →


Celebrating the impact of AWM

Association for Women in Mathematics 

Since its founding in 1971, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has grown into a leading society for women in the mathematical sciences. AWM has played a critical role in increasing the presence and visibility of women in the mathematical sciences in its 50-year history.

Locally, the Illinois chapter of AWM provides a community for women students in the mathematical sciences, providing not only support, but opportunities for professional development, leadership, and community outreach to expand the future community of women mathematicians. In 2018, the Illinois Graduate Student Chapter of the AWM received the AWM Student Chapter Award for Community Outreach in recognition of the chapter's outstanding engagement with the local community.
Learn more about the AWM at UIUC →


We did it together: With Illinois campaign goal reached

Image of Altgeld Hall with "We did it together" text. 

Thanks to our extraordinary Illini Family, we've reached our ambitious With Illinois fundraising campaign goal. Together, we are shaping the student experience and helping our faculty find solutions to the world's greatest challenges.

But we are just getting started. With more than a year left in our With Illinois campaign, there is still an opportunity to make an impact for generations to come. 
Learn more →



Joey Palmer, J.L. Doob Research Assistant Professor 

Joey Palmer joined the Department of Mathematics last fall as a J.L. Doob Research Assistant Professor. He enjoys teaching “math reasoning” or “introduction to proofs” type classes because “it is fun to introduce students to what is it like to be a mathematician, and to encourage their curiosity and creativity.” When not in the classroom, Palmer enjoys hiking, running, traveling, staying home, board games, and hanging out with his cat.
View the Fast Five Q&A →




Connect with Bill


As he mentioned in his message, alumnus Bill Perry has enjoyed becoming more engaged with the department, not just through his leadership role in MDAB, but with the connections he has made with fellow math department alumni. Bill would welcome the opportunity to connect with alumni of the mathematics graduate program from 1967-72 to reminisce on grad school days, catch up on the days since crossing the stage, and share ideas on ways to engage alumni.
Email Bill →


Dixit receives Gabor Szego Prize


Atul Dixit (Ph.D ’12) has been awarded the 2021 Gábor Szegö Prize. This prize is awarded every two years by the SIAM Activity Group on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions (SIAG/OPSF) and is awarded to an early-career researcher for outstanding research contributions within 10 years of obtaining a Ph.D. An assistant professor of mathematics at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Dixit is also a co-organizer of the Special Functions and Number Theory seminar.
Learn more →


Duarte receives math+cs fellowship


Eliana Duarte (Ph.D. ’17) was awarded a grant by the Portuguese national funding agency for science and technology FCT (Fundação para Ciência e a Tecnologia), one of five acclaimed fellowships in the field of mathematics and computer science. For the next six years, she will work as a junior researcher at the Center for Mathematics at the University of Porto. Currently, Duarte is a postdoctoral researcher at the Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg.
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.
Send us your news →



IlliniFest 2021

Earlier this month, members of the Illini family celebrated how we are Powerful Together at this year's virtual IlliniFest.
Watch the recording →

December 2020 issue of IJM now available

The December 2020 issue (Volume 64:4) of the Illinois Journal of Mathematics is available online and in print, and recently accepted articles are now available online in advance publication. The April 2021 issue (Volume 65:1) will be published in late March.
Learn more →



Image of the Fighting Illini Men's Basketball "All In" March Madness Facebook 

Last Sunday, the Fighting Illini men's basketball team earned their third overall Big Ten Tournament title in an overtime victory over Ohio State. As our Everyday Guys (aka the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region) gear up for the NCAA Tournament, why not take a go at this month's trivia?
Test your knowledge →



Risk Analytics Symposium 2021 | March 27, 2021

This year, the Actuarial Science Club and Illinois Risk Lab are joining forces to bring together leaders from both the academic community and the insurance world to this year’s Risk Analytics Symposium 2021: Actuarial Innovations to Emerging Risks. General admission is $50; UIUC alumni receive a discounted rate of $20. Registration is now open.
Learn more →

LAS on Tap: Preserving the Storied Past of Altgeld Hall | April 16, 2021

Join Sheldon Katz, special advisor to the dean for the Altgeld Hall renovation, and Robin Whitehurst and Karla Smalley from Bailey Edward, the architectural firm overseeing this project, for a unique storytelling experience to explore how the hidden history of Altgeld Hall is being recaptured through restoration work and remarkable discoveries. This 5 p.m. virtual event is free to attend, but registration is required.
Register today →

24th International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with partner universities, the Pennsylvania State UniversityUlm 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.
Learn more →

Seminar & Event Calendar

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

LAS Alumni Events

View the upcoming alumni events hosted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at

University of Illinois Alumni Association Calendar

View all University of Illinois-sponsored alumni events and activities, including clubs, colleges, and departments at

University of Illinois Calendars

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


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