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

Image of a people sitting in the green space outside of Altgeld Hall.

UIUC is awarded second consecutive CAE designation

 Society of Actuaries Center of Actuarial Excellence logo

After a thorough review, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) has designated the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE), the highest level of recognition the SOA offers universities, for a second consecutive five-year term. In addition to fulfilling the criteria pertaining to curriculum coverage, faculty composition, graduates’ success, research contributions and the program’s connection to industry, the CAE evaluation committee highlighted the commendable role the Illinois Risk Lab plays in helping students assimilate theoretical concepts through hands-on applications. The program will continue to foster a fruitful synergy between academia and the industry through continuous upgrading of curricula to equip its graduates with needed skills in future actuarial roles.

The continuing designation will run through June 30, 2026.
Learn more about the CAE designation →



IDPH Phase 5 impacts

In response to the State of Illinois moving into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, the university provided updated guidance and reminders of university protocols regarding face coverings, building usage, testing, compliance, and more.
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.

CEI Annual Report now available

The Committee on Climate, Equity and Inclusion (CEI) has prepared an annual report summarizing the committee's activity during the 2020-21 academic year. Supplemental documents from the committee can also be found in the Box folder as well. Questions regarding the report can be emailed to the committee at
View the report →

MATCH program seeking participants

MATCH is a year-long program, directed by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) and sponsored by Mathematical Assocation of America (MAA) Tensor SUMMA, that pairs mathematicians interested in K-12 outreach with socioeconomically disadvantaged middle school classrooms. The program aims to improve historically underrepresented students’ attitudes and confidence about mathematics by providing engaging mathematical experiences and meaningful opportunities to interact with practicing mathematicians, or MATCH Fellows. 

The program, which was shared with us via alumna Katie Anders (MS ’10, PhD ’14), is currently seeking mathematicians to participate in the program. The priority deadline for applications is June 30. 
Learn more →

Inaugural Argo Group Diversity Scholarship awarded

Congratulations to Maya Ramahi on being named the inaugural recipient of the Argo Group Diversity Scholarship. This scholarship is a $10,000, merit-based two-year scholarship for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) students seeking a career in insurance and risk management whose ethnic or racial identity is traditionally underrepresented in the industry. This scholarship was created in 2020 as a partnership between Argo Group and the Spencer Educational Foundation, the most prominent provider of scholarships and grants for students of risk management and insurance. Maya is an outstanding student majoring in actuarial science at UIUC, having made the Dean's list two years in a row while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Maya is also an associate of the Illinois Risk Lab, working on a comparative study of various decentralized insurance business models including P2P insurance, mutual aid, and Takaful. 
Learn more →

The story behind the construction of Altgeld Hall

The story behind the construction of Altgeld Hall reflects some of U of I’s most rooted principles. Currently home to the Department of Mathematics, and with previous lives as the university library, administration building, and College of Law, the campus icon is marking the 125th anniversary of its groundbreaking on June 10, 1896.

The need for Altgeld Hall arose from a growing demand for books and study spaces in the 1890s. Students and faculty were insisting on a new library, as the University Hall Library had become overcrowded during a period of rapid expansion on campus. It was no easy journey to construct the new building, however.

Fortunately for campus, the governor of Illinois at the time was John Peter Altgeld, the son of German immigrants who brought him to America when he was three months old. A strong supporter of university education, and a powerful orator, Altgeld believed that a thriving state school could improve the overall quality of life in Illinois.  
Learn more →



Staff update

The Math Undergraduate Office is pleased to welcome academic advisor Kaitlin Burgess ( to our office. She will be training this summer in order to take over for advisor Ernesto Machado (, who is leaving Champaign for new adventures at the end of the summer. Before joining us, Kaitlin served as an adjunct instructor at the College of DuPage and elsewhere in the Chicagoland area. Please welcome Kaitlin at the June 25 department town hall or by email!



MS fall enrollment update

We are eager to meet the 46 new MS students who will be joining our department in the fall:

  • 24 in Actuarial Science and Risk Management
  • 12 in Mathematics
  • 8 in Applied Mathematics
  • 2 in the Teaching of Mathematics

These new students come from China, Ghana, India, Nigeria, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.

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. 



Reopening update

The Math Library will be reopening this summer starting Tuesday, July 6, 2021, for library services and study space. To access the library this summer, patrons will need to setup an appointment 24 business hours in advance by emailing library staff at Please include your preferred appointment date, time, and purpose.

Appointments will be available 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursdays, pending staff availability. Appointments are available for all library services including browsing the stacks, library space study activities, printing and scanning, and utilizing a computer workstation.

Per campus guidelines, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering and social distance inside all University of Illinois facilities.



“The College Tour”

In May, eleven UIUC students starred in an episode of “The College Tour,” sharing what they love about the university through their own stories.
Watch the episode →



Marta Civil (PhD ’90)

Marta Civil (PhD ’90) is a 2021 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors NCTM members who have exhibited a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education at the national level.

Marta is the Roy F. Graesser Endowed Professor at the University of Arizona, where she holds appointments in the department of mathematics, the department of mathematics education, and the department of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies.
Learn more →



Department Town Hall Meeting

Our next department town hall meeting will be held Friday, June 25, 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

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).
Learn more →

“Ready, Set, Flow” HRI writing retreat

The Humanities Research Institute (HRI) is sponsoring a free full-day virtual academic writing retreat for UIUC faculty and graduate students on June 28. Participants from all disciplines are encouaged to attend.
Learn more →

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.
Learn more →

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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