Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
HHMI Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor
University of Minnesota Rochester
I received my Ph.D in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1990. My interests span undergraduate education, spatial dynamics in ecological communities, and population genetics. I have been at the University of Minnesota since 1996, first in the School of Mathematics, then the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior where I served as department head for five years, and now at our new campus in Rochester where I am the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and thus responsible for the development of academic programs. My current job allows me to realize my educational dreams of a science curriculum that integrates across the quantitative, physical, and life sciences and the humanities and social sciences. Having taught many undergraduate mathematics courses, I began to realize that the lack of context impedes student learning—students rightfully ask themselves why should they need to integrate arcsin x if they want to become a physician? With the integrated curriculum for a bachelor degree in the Health Sciences that we are developing at the University of Minnesota in Rochester we can engage students in meaningful learning experiences that facilitate mastering the basic sciences and mathematics. In my research, I have grown increasingly intrigued by the mathematics that governs ecological communities. My interest in the spatial dynamics of ecological communities has drawn me deeply into the fields of ecology and evolution. Most ecological models of communities do not take into account that individuals interact with each other in a spatial environment. I investigate how space affects community dynamics. Tools that work for addressing spatial problems in ecology are often also applicable in population genetics and help to develop statistical tools for investigating the genetic structure of populations.
I am a Masters student in the Computer Science department at the University of Minnesota. My areas of interest include data mining, recommender systems and user interfaces. In this project, I am focusing mainly on the presentation part.
I received my BE in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology Karnataka, India. After that I worked as a technical associate at Trilogy E-business Software for three years. I love working on new ideas and their implementation using cutting edge technologies. I am excited to be a part of this project where I see a good opportunity to accentuate my problem solving skills and apply the same in contributing back to the project.
I received my Bachelor of Engineering in Information Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India. Currently, I am a graduate student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Minnesota. Prior to this I was working as a systems software engineer at Hewlett-Packard System Networking and I/O Lab in Bangalore. My areas of interest span across Distributed Systems, Data Mining and Bio Informatics.
In the years to come, Biology will in all probability throw up the most challenging computational problems and questions that we computer scientists would love to solve, and this is what fascinates me the most. I am sure this project will serve as a great stepping stone in my endeavor to learn, understand and contribute in the areas of computational biology and bio-informatics.
I am a Masters student in Biostatistics. My studies focus on the design and analysis of Clinical Trials. My main task in this project is to create lesson modules aimed at Biology and Pre-Med undergraduates illustrating major concepts in Statistics in a way that is clear and intuitive.
I received a B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry from Iowa State University in 2002. I then spent a year and a half teaching English in China. Following that I worked towards an M.S. in Plant Biological Sciences, which I received in January of 2008 from the University of Minnesota. My thesis incorporated bioinformatics and focused on the rate of expression evolution in duplicate genes.
I am a PhD candidate in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior department at the University of Minnesota. I received two undergraduate degrees from Northern Illinois University (a BS in Physics and a BA in Philosophy) before working as a technical writer in Chicago for several years. During a two-week temporary position at a nature museum in that same city, I had the epiphany that set me on my current track – my love of science and my fascination with nature could both be satisfied in ecology! Although I am broadly interested in all aspects of ecology, I focus my studies on the causes and consequences of plant species diversity.
In my role as a teaching assistant over the last three years, I have come to appreciate the value of integrating math and statistics into our biology curriculum. Students respond to the “big ideas” conveyed by mathematical theory, especially when those theories are confronted by real data and the statistical methods that real data require. I hope to further that integration through my participation in this project.
I received my undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Biological Sciences. In the latter half of my undergraduate career, I served as a Teaching Assistant for Biology 2005: Animal Diversity Laboratory. After graduating, I have continued to teach Biology 2005 and enjoy every moment of it. Teaching has been an integral component of my life as both of my parents are educators and I would like continue this interest of mine at a higher level in the future. In addition to teaching, I am currently taking classes and applying to dental school.
In the summer of 2005, I served as a Research Assistant in the Department of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Medical School. I examined numerous kidney tissue biopsies and provided Nephrologists and Pathologists the basic tools in their route to potentially decipher therapies for renal failure and other kidney related problems. My research interest is to link together the fields of biology and mathematics. My main goal is to help other students and faculty understand the importance of math and statistics in biology and especially its relativity to the multifaceted health science field.
My research focuses on the evolution of learning and memory, and broadly I’m interested in how cognitive mechanisms interact with the evolution of behavior. I’m currently working on experiments with fruit flies and blue jays. I enjoy the challenge of teaching and especially in taking subjects that students find intimating and presenting them in ways that are approachable and interesting.
I have a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in History and English from The University of Memphis, and an M.S. in biology from Northern Arizona University, where I worked on social learning and spatial memory in Pinyon Jays. Somewhere in there, I also studied for two years at the University of Helsinki in Finland and worked for a year for a pharmaceutical company.
I received a BA in Biology from the University of Chicago in 1992. I then worked in immunology and virology laboratories for about 10 years, primarily studying the early onset of HIV infection. It was through this work that I became interested in applying more rigorous statistical methods to biological and biomedical research, especially with regards to experimental design. I am currently pursuing an MS in Statistics at the University of Minnesota.