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

SHIELD team member explaining testing protocol. Photo by Fred Zwicky, UI Public Affairs.

UIUC receives APLU award for COVID-19 testing program


The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received the inaugural Research Response to Community Crisis Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) for its COVID-19 testing program.

The university’s SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell program combined a campus-developed saliva-based COVID-19 testing protocol with statistical modeling and a mobile app for rapid results reporting and contact tracing. Students and employees were tested multiple times per week to maintain campus building access.

“We are so proud of our innovative faculty, staff and students who mobilized to create the comprehensive SHIELD platform and ecosystem in record time,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Susan Martinis. “We are grateful for the APLU and our peer institutions who helped us think creatively about the resources, partners and enormous intellectual capacity that we could harness in Champaign-Urbana to protect our campus and greater community.”
Learn more →



Fall 2021 COVID-19 Update

Earlier this month, the university provided updated guidance and protocols for students, faculty, and staff regarding vaccine/testing requirements, classroom capacities, and more for Fall 2021.
Read the massmail →

As always, for the latest news and updates regarding the university's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the university's COVID-19 website.

Department of Mathematics Impact Award

The Department of Mathematics Impact Award recognizes faculty, staff, and graduate students in the Department of Mathematics for work which has substantially improved the welfare of members of our community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to our recipients:

Learn more →

Math Times – Summer 2021

The latest issue of our department newsletter, Math Times, is currently being printed and will be heading to mailboxes soon. In the meantime, view the digital version and get a first look of the summer issue.
View the Summer 2021 issue →

2021 Annual Report: Empowering Extraordinary

Earlier this month, the University of Illinois System released its annual report, highlighting achievements of all three universities during the past year. 
View the report →



Graduate orientation

We are looking forward to a (mostly) in-person orientation for incoming PhD and MS students during the week of August 16. Please watch for opportunities to meet and welcome the new students!

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. 



Update regarding Amazon purchases

Starting July 15, the university will no longer be allowing the Business Office to reimburse employees for purchases from Amazon. There is currently not a time frame on when these will be allowable again as there are some contractual issues with Amazon that must be resolved first. As always, please contact the Business Office before making any purchases to see if there a university-approved vendor in iBuy that can be used.

Research Support Awards

Applications for the next round of Research Support Awards from the Campus Research Board are due August 25, 2021. These awards support research assistant salaries and PI and student travel expenses up to $30,000. Any tenure track faculty that hasn’t received an award in the last two years is eligible.
Learn more →



Staff update

Luke Leisman has joined the department as the new project developer for the Internship Network in the Mathematical Sciences (Inmas). As project developer, Luke will be working with a wide range of companies and other organizations to create new internship opportunities for graduate students in the mathematical sciences, serving as a liaison between industry and academia. Luke comes from Valparaiso University, where he was an assistant professor in Physics and Astronomy, studying radio waves from extreme galaxies, using a range of mathematical and data analysis techniques. Before working at Valpo, he received his BS from Calvin University, and his PhD from Cornell University. When he’s not working on astronomy or math, Luke enjoys kayaking, reading, playing the violin, and hanging out with friends.



James Holzhauer (BS ’05)

James Holzhauer (BS ’05) has joined the sports-based website “The Athletic” as a new sports betting contributor.
Learn more →

Holzhauer, who is also one of four featured trivia titans on ABC's “The Chase,” appeared on a recent episode of the baseball-inspired "Starkville" podcast with “The Athletic” hosts Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville to talk about his new column, betting strategies, and some “Jeopardy!” memories (starting at approximately the 24:55 mark).
Listen to the podcast →



IGL-Uni High Summer Program

The Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL) ran five projects for talented University Laboratory High School (Uni High) students during this year's IGL-Uni High Summer Program. Now in its fourth year, this annual program, which runs for for weeks during the summer, introduces Uni High students to the possibilities of advanced mathematical research. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this summer's research teams met virually again this year. 
Learn more and view the projects →

Juneteenth Chimes Concert

In honor of Juneteeth, Altgeld chimesmaster Tina Horton held a celebratory concert that rang across the UIUC campus.
Watch the recording →



Department Town Hall Meeting

Our next department town hall meeting will be held Friday, Aug. 6, 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

COVID-19 Briefing Series: Fall 2021 Operations for Faculty & Staff

Several campus leaders will discuss some of the frequently asked questions concerning our Fall 2021 operations at the university's next COVID-19 briefing on Monday, July 19, at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Watch the livestream →

Fall Statistics & Mathematics Career Forum

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to attend the fall career forum on Sept. 21 to meet and network with various companies who may be hiring for full-time, part-time, or internship work. Be on the lookout for more details.

Homecoming 2021

Save the date for this year's homecoming, "Close or Apart, We’re Illini at Heart," Oct. 4-9. Learn more about this year’s plans, events, and updates on the university’s Homecoming website.

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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