Biosketches of Invited Speakers and Chairs:

WINRS, Mid-Atlantic Region:

a meeting of Mathematical’s minds


Lauren CHILDS (Virginia Tech):

Dr. Lauren Childs is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Virginia Tech where she develops and analyzes mathematical and computational models to examine biologically-motivated questions. A main focus of her work is understanding the interactions within a host organism such as between an invading pathogen and the immune response and how these within-host interactions impact transmission of disease throughout a population.

Elizabeth DENNE (Washington & Lee University):

Elizabeth Denne grew up in Australia and graduated with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Sydney. She moved to the United States to complete a PhD in mathematics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Having held positions at Harvard University and Smith College, she is now an Associate Professor at Washington & Lee University. Her research interests are centered on geometric knot theory, using topological invariants to answer questions about the geometry of knots. Recently, she has become interested in using 3D printing to make mathematical models for use in both research and the classroom.

Elizabeth DENNE (Washington & Lee University):

Della Dumbaugh is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond. Her research interests are in the History of American mathematics, particularly algebra and number theory, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Her coauthored book Emil Artin and Beyond: Class Field Theory and L-Functions appeared in 2015.

Talia FERNOS (University of North Carolina at Greensboro):

Talia  Fernós is an Associate Professor at the University of NC, Greensboro. Her research examines infinite groups from both analytic and geometric perspectives.  Originally from  Puerto  Rico,  she moved to a  small town in Texas at the age of 14.  Culture shock and other circumstances led her to drop out of school shortly after.  Nevertheless,  she graduated high school second in her class at age 17. She then received her BS from the Evergreen State  College in  Washington  State and later her  MS  and  Ph.D.  from the  University of  Illinois at  Chicago in  2006.  For her thesis work on relative property (T), she was awarded a  National  Science  Foundation  Postdoctoral  Fellowship.  Before joining  UNCG  in  2011,  she had appointments at  UCLA,  MSRI,  the  Hebrew  University of  Jerusalem,  and the Henri Poincaré Institute (IHP). Since arriving at UNCG, her research has been recognized by internal university grants and awards, as well as by the NSF through a standard research grant,  and the  IHP  and  MSRI  with visiting scholar positions.  Since grad school,  Talia has been active in helping women and other underrepresented groups in their pursuit of careers in math.  She was a  co-founder of the  AWM  Student  Chapter at  UIC,  as well as the faculty sponsor of the chapter at UNCG. In  2014  Talia ran  “Geek  Open  Mic:  Science and  Math  Showcase”  where topics were presented to a general audience. She is also a yoga and acroyoga enthusiast. 

Rebecca FIELDS (James Madison University):

Rebecca Field is an Associate Professor at James Madison University.  Her undergraduate degrees were in Mathematics and Studio Art and she received her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 2000.  Through post-docs at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the University of California - Santa Cruz, and visiting positions at Bowdoin College and Reed College, she gradually transitioned from algebraic geometry to algebraic topology.  She just finished a year's sabbatical as a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia where she went to lots and lots of math talks.  Her main research interest is in equivariant versions of generalized cohomology theories, but she also has work in string theory/dynamics, sudoku, and math/art/3D printing.  She has been out (openly gay) in the classroom since graduate school.

Constanze LIAW (University of Delaware):

I joined the University of Delaware in 2017. I have been a member of Baylor University’s CASPER research group since 2015. From 2012-2017 I was an Assistant Professor in the Math Department at Baylor University. Prior, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University for three years where I worked with A. Poltoratski and R.G. Douglas. I received my Ph.D. in 2009 from Brown University under S. Treil, and completed my undergraduate studies at the Universität Stuttgart in 2004 under T. Weidl (undergraduate thesis advisor).

My mathematical interests revolve around topics in harmonic and complex analysis. Rank one and finite rank perturbations are a favourite of mine. Much of my work is motivated by mathematical physics and the spectral theory of self-adjoint operators.

When I am not working (almost never), I spend time with my family. My husband is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware Mechanical Engineering Department. We have two children. I like to play table tennis, listen to music, and swim. I absolutely love the mountains and downhill skiing.

Jack LOVE (George Mason University):

I started studying math in my late 20s, upon returning to school after a long break. Shortly thereafter I began working with kids through the San Francisco Math Circle, and helped found the San Francisco Math Circle Math Camp. I am currently finishing my PhD under Sean Lawton at George Mason University, where I coordinate Outreach for Mason Experimental Geometry Lab (MEGL). In the fall I will join the faculty at GMU and assume the role of Director of Outreach at MEGL. I really enjoy the unique challenge of designing and leading outreach activities that invite K-12 students into the rich world of mathematics that is rarely seen by non-mathematicians.

Keith PARDUE (National Security Agency):

Keith Pardue earned his PhD in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry with David Eisenbud at Brandeis in 1994. In his early career, he had postdoctoral fellowships at University of Toronto and Queen's University (Canada). He then joined the research staff of the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, and followed that with a stint as a visiting professor at Haverford College. Pardue has been an applied research mathematician at the National Security Agency since 2003, with most of his NSA career in the Mathematics Research Office.

Rebecca R.G. (George Mason University):

Rebecca R.G. is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2016, and was a postdoc at Syracuse University from 2016--2018. Her research is in commutative algebra, specifically the study of singularities of commutative rings using big Cohen-Macaulay modules and algebras. She also enjoyed teaching her classes using active learning methods and working with students.

Emily RIEHL (Johns Hopkins University):

Dr. Emily Riehl is an assistant professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, working on higher category theory, abstract homotopy theory, and homotopy type theory. Dr. Riehl was an undergraduate at Harvard University, completed Part III of the Maths Tripos at Cambridge, earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and was a Benjamin Pierce and NSF postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She has published over twenty papers and written two books: Categorical Homotopy Theory (Cambridge 2014) and Category Theory in Context (Dover 2016), both of which are freely available online. She been awarded an NSF grant and a CAREER award to support her work and has been recognized for excellence in teaching at both Johns Hopkins and at Harvard. She is currently advising somewhere between two and four PhD students and mentoring one postdoctoral fellow, and will be co-organizing an MSRI semester on Higher Categories and Categorification, which will take place in 2020.

In addition to her research, Dr. Riehl is active in promoting access to the world of mathematics. She has given interviews for the Association for Women in Mathematics, the radio program Science Friday, and the podcast My Favorite Theorem, and has been featured in the Girls’ Angle Bulletin. She has given countless talks and lectures, including at the Women in Topology workshop at MSRI and the Women in Math and Statistics Conference hosted by Gender Inclusivity in Mathematics at Harvard. She is also a co-founder of Spectra: the Association for LGBT Mathematicians and has presented on mathematical proof and queer epistemology in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Graduate Colloquium and Lecture Series at Johns Hopkins.

Heather RUSSELL (University of Richmond):

Dr. Heather M. Russell is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at University of Richmond. Born in Maryland, she earned Bachelors degrees in both Math and Computer Science from Washington College in Chestertown, MD in 2003. She received her doctoral degree in Mathematics from The University of Iowa in 2009. Her research examines diagrammatic algebra, combinatorics, and representation theory often motivated by the study of knots. She also focuses on broadening representation in STEM fields. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, traveling, seeing live music, and spending time with her dog.

Axel SAENZ (University of Virginia):

Axel Saenz received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2016, and then joined the Mathematics department at the University of Virginia as a Mary Ann Pitts Postdoctoral Fellow. His research lies in the intersection of mathematical physics and probability theory. Axel moved to Oklahoma form Mexico when he was 11 years old, and later on attended the Oklahoma School of Science and Math, a prestigious public boarding school. He then went on to Columbia University where he earned a B.S. in applied mathematics and also participated in the Budapest Semesters in Math. In his free time, Axel enjoys running and swimming.

Kimberly SELLERS (Georgetown University):

Kimberly Sellers, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, specializing in Statistics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC; and a Principal Researcher with the Center for Statistical Research and Methodology Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. A DC-area native, she completed her BS and MA degrees in Mathematics at the University of Maryland College Park, and then obtained her PhD in Mathematical Statistics at The George Washington University partly through support as a Gates Millennium Scholar (one of the inaugural cohort recipients). Prof. Sellers held previous faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) before her return to the DC area. Her research areas of interest and expertise are in generalized statistical methods involving count data that contain data dispersion; and in image analysis techniques, particularly low-level analyses including preprocessing, normalization, feature detection, and alignment. Meanwhile, she is an active contributor to efforts to diversify the fields of mathematical and statistical sciences, both with respect to gender and race/ethnicity. She is the 2017-2018 Chairperson for the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Women in Statistics, and an Advisory Board member for the Black Doctoral Network.