New Faces In Mathematical Sciences

June 27, 2017

Meet the members of Clemson’s Mathematical Sciences family who came on board during the past year.

Sharon Evans and her husband moved from Georgia to Seneca, SC a year ago to enjoy life on Lake Keowee. Their five grown children live in CA, NC, NY and GA so they do a bit of traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, biking and CrossFit. She is currently coordinating STAT 3090. Prior to coming to Clemson as a Lecturer, she taught for five years at Perimeter College at Georgia State University as well as various high schools in GA, PA and OH. While at Perimeter College, she developed online courses in statistics and calculus as well as a precalculus course for the University System of Georgia.

Jenna Gettings is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the Mathematical Sciences Department as part of a team of researchers working to create mathematical models for several zoonotic canine vector-borne pathogens. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2012, worked in private practice for 4.5 years, and graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2016. She is excited to be working with a truly multi-disciplinary research group and to be actively applying the One Health concept. Her mentors in the department are Chris McMahan and Robert Lund, supported through their grant from CAPC (Companion Animals Parasite Council).

Carlos Nicolas Gomez is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education jointly appointed in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Mathematical Sciences. His research interests center on issues of mathematics teacher development. Specifically, he focuses on the emotional experiences of teachers as they form their identities as teachers-of-mathematics. He is also interested in teachers learning to conduct argumentation and developing professional learning communities. Carlos received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia Department of Mathematics and Science Education. Prior to this he taught mathematics for five years at Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia.

Qi Ke is a Visiting Scholar in the Mathematical Sciences Department from June 2016 to July 2017. He is an associate professor in the School of Computer Science at Guangzhou University in China. His research interests are wireless sensor network security, watermarking, steganography and steganalysis, and coding theory. He is working with Shuhong Gao in the field of information hiding with lattices.

Hiram H. Lopez Valdez received his Ph.D. Degree in Mathematics from CINVESTAV-IPN, in Mexico City, May 2016. Under the supervision Dr. Rafael H. Villarreal, he worked on coding theory from a commutative algebra point of view. His earlier degree is from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico. During his Ph.D. program, Dr. Lopez had research visits at IMPA (Rio de Janeiro, Basil), at University of Uberlandia (Brazil), and at University of Neuchatel (Switzerland). He is a Postdoc/Visiting Scholar with us, working with Felice Manganiello and Gretchen Matthews. He is partially supported by a personal postdoctoral grant from the Mexican national science foundation (CONACyT). Dr. Lopez likes and has research papers in Commutative Algebra, Coding theory and Pattern recognition (the last one is a topic of computer science).

Ling Ma is a new Assistant Professor in the Statistics and Probability subfaculty. She earned her PhD from University of Missouri, Columbia in 2014 and then joined the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a postdoctoral fellow before coming to Clemson. Her research interests include survival analysis of interval-censored data, joint modeling of longitudinal and time-to-event data, and statistical methods with applications to reproductive and environmental epidemiology. In her free time, she likes to cook, listen to music and watch movies.

Julie McKenzie started working in our department in June of 2016 as the Student Services Coordinator. Julie grew up in the nearby town of Seneca. She still resides there with her two daughters, ages 13 and 17, and with her two cats. Julie started attending Clemson University in 1988 as an undergraduate student, and was very active in the Pi Beta Phi sorority, the Baptist Student Union, and was even a member of the 1990 Homecoming Court.   She graduated with a Bachelor degree in 1991, and a Masters degree in 1996, both in Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, Julie began teaching for the School District of Oconee County where she taught for 23 years. She enjoys reading historical novels, doing crafts, swimming, horseback riding, walking, college football, 80s rock music, and spending time with friends and family. Julie has a goal of obtaining a PhD degree in Education from Clemson University.

Tony Nguyen earned a master’s degree in our department and for the past year has been a full-time Lecturer in math sciences and a part-time PhD student in engineering and science education. His research interests in post secondary education include how the learning and understanding of mathematical concepts occurs, the connection between problem solving and problem representation, and mathematics self-efficacy and identity. During free time, Tony enjoys playing Ultimate, running, playing board games, cooking, and drawing.

Chris Wilson graduated from Clemson University in December 2016 with a PhD in mathematical sciences (advisor Pat Gerard). He is a Post Doctoral Fellow and his responsibilities are to work alongside researchers in our department and Greenville Health System’s Department of Pediatrics to assist in designing studies as well as analyzing and reporting data. His research interests are statistical applications and analytical methods for interdisciplinary collaborations. Additionally, he is working towards expanding the relationship between Greenville Health System pediatric researchers and Clemson’s School of Mathematical Sciences faculty and students. His mentor is Billy Bridges.

Honghai Xu joined the undergraduate subfaculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor after completing his PhD in mathematical sciences from Clemson University in 2016, with advisor Wayne Goddard. His research interests lie primarily in the area of graph theory. In his free time, Honghai enjoys spending time with his family, watching soccer, and listening to music.

Shuhan Xu received her PhD from our department under the advisement of Hyesuk Lee and was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department during the 2016-2017 academic year. Dr. Xu has taken a position as an Assistant Vice President in Compliance Quantitative Operations for Bank of America in Charlotte.

Fei Xue is a new Assistant Professor in the department, working in the Computational Mathematics subfaculty.  His research interests are Development and analysis of numerical methods for solving large-scale algebraic system of equations, and in particular linear and nonlinear eigenvalue problems arising from a variety of applications. Dr. Xue came to Clemson from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was an assistant professor. After earning a PhD from the University of Maryland, Dr. Xue was a visiting assistant professor at Temple University for three years.

Boshi Yang, another new Assistant Professor, received his PhD from the Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences program at the University of Iowa in 2015. Prior to joining Clemson, he was a postdoctoral fellow in Operations Research at the Tepper Business School of Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in mathematical optimization and operations research. In particular, he focuses on solving quadratically constrained quadratic programs (QCQP) with semidefinite programming and conic programming techniques. He is also interested in finding convex hulls/convex relaxations for nonconvex problems and mixed-integer problems. He, along with other researchers with similar interests, claims that their ultimate goal is to #convexify the world.

Oleg Yordanov is a Visiting Scholar from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia who came to Clemson to work with Elena Dimitrova. His research interests include statistical physics and stochastic processes, fractal-like structures and scattering/transmission of waves by such structures, and nonlinear and chaotic phenomena.