NCUWM 2020 | Schedule

Networking Dinner - Table Host Assignments

Table # Host Host Biography
Margaret (Midge) Cozzens, Rutgers University
Margaret Cozzens, better known as Midge, is currently Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Associate Director for Education at DIMACS, the Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science Center at Rutgers University. She has been engaged in education for over 50 years, from teaching high school math to serving as chair of Northeastern University’s Mathematics Department, Division Director for ESIE at NSF, Provost at the University of Colorado Denver, and President of the Colorado Institute of Technology. She has led curriculum development projects in BioMath and Computational Thinking and Sustainability, and she is the PI for the Computational Thinking Online Professional Development project and the Planning for a Sustainable Future project. She is the author of nearly 100 research publications including five books and four book chapters in areas of graph theory, biomath, cryptography, and math psychology.
Trachette Jackson, University of Michigan
Trachette L. Jackson is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan, who specializes in Computational Cancer Research or Mathematical Oncology. With an eye toward addressing critical challenges associated with cancer therapeutics, much of Jackson’s research aims at developing multiscale mathematical models that optimize the use of anticancer agents that specifically target active molecular pathways that cancer cells use to promote their growth and survival. Jackson is an award-winning educator and scholar who has been honored for her accomplishments in both areas. In 2003, she became the second African American woman to receive the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Award in Mathematics; in 2005, she received the James S. McDonnell 21st Century Scientist Award; and in 2008, Diverse Magazine honored her as one of the year’s Emerging Scholars. In 2010, she received the Blackwell-Tapia Prize, which biannually recognizes a mathematician for both their research achievements and their contributions to addressing diversity in mathematics. Jackson has built her career on collaborative research and educational activities that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and she envisions that this type of team science will eventually change the face of cancer research.
Katie Benson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Katie Benson earned her bachelor’s degree from Luther College, as a double major in mathematics and religion. She earned both her master’s and doctorate from the University of Iowa. She is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her research area is in graph theory. While Benson worked on radio labeling for her dissertation research, she also has worked on research relating to zero forcing and power domination in graphs. Recently, she has also begun working with collaborators on research involving relationships between graphs and coding theory.
Laura Escobar Vega, Washington University in St. Louis
Laura Escobar Vega is an Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on the interplay between combinatorics and algebraic geometry. She has developed combinatorial models to understand the geometry of varieties. Previously, she served as a J.L. Doob Research Assistant Professor at University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign. Escobar Vega was also an Einstein fellow at TU Berlin and a postdoctoral fellow at The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. She earned her doctorate from Cornell University.
Judith Hill, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dr. Judith Hill is a computational scientist and the group leader of the Scientific Computing Group at the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She is also the program manager for the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program at the Leadership Computing Facilities at ORNL and ANL. Prior to joining ORNL, Hill was a member of the Computation, Computers, Information and Mathematics Center at Sandia National Laboratories from 2005 to 2008. She specializes in the development, implementation, and application of numerical methods for massively parallel computers to a variety of applications in computational fluid dynamics. Her interests include multiphysics and multidomain coupling methods, implicit interface methods, and large-scale PDE-constrained optimization. Hill earned her Ph.D. in computational science and engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Erica Klampfl, Ford Motor Company
Erica Klampfl leads global Supply Chain Analytics at Ford Motor Company, handling material planning and logistics, vehicle order to deliver process, and complexity management. Previously, she was the director of Greenfield Labs, where she launched a human-centered design organization tasked with building new products and services for Ford Smart Mobility. This builds on her prior role as the Global Mobility Solutions Manager at Ford, defining Ford’s near, mid, and long-term mobility strategy that laid the groundwork for the Ford Smart Mobility initiative. Klampfl started her career at Ford in Research and Advanced Engineering, working over a decade in developing and applying operations research and other analytics techniques to inform business strategy, strengthen environmental sustainability, and improve manufacturing efficiency. She received a Ph.D. in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University and served on the Industrial and Operations Engineering Department advisory board at the University of Michigan, and on the Board of Governors for the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, and she is a former mentor of Techstars Mobility Detroit, a start-up accelerator program.
Evelyn Lamb, Freelance writer
Evelyn Lamb is a freelance math and science writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned a doctorate in math from Rice University in 2012. Shortly after graduating, Lamb spent the summer working for Scientific American through a AAAS-AMS Mass Media Fellowship. She worked as a postdoc at the University of Utah before leaving academia to pursue writing full time. She writes the Scientific American blog “Roots of Unity,” and her work has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including Quanta, Nature News,, Slate, Nautilus, and the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. Lamb hosts the Lathisms podcast, featuring interviews with Hispanic and Latinx mathematicians, and cohosts the “My Favorite Theorem” podcast.
Amanda Ludes, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies
Amanda Ludes graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Master of Arts in Mathematics in 2014. For her master’s thesis, she studied the dynamics of heterogenous Boolean networks. During her time at UNO, Ludes also taught physics labs and college algebra courses. After her graduation in 2014 she began working in the pricing department of Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies, where she uses machine learning and other modeling techniques to help guide pricing decisions. Her projects involve investigating topics such as how qualities of an insurance risk impact its propensity for incurring losses. In her free time, she trains in Goju-Ryu karate; cares for her pets (a cat, two birds, three lizards, and three snakes); and plays Dungeons and Dragons with friends.
Swatee Naik, National Science Foundation DMS
Swatee Naik is a program officer in the Division of Mathematical Science (DMS) at the National Science Foundation. Her research interests are low dimensional topology and knot theory. At NSF she works with the disciplinary programs Geometric Analysis and Topology. Naik’s additional responsibilities include DMS-Infrastructure, Workforce, NSF-CBMS Conferences, Research Training Groups, and Focused Research Groups in Mathematical Sciences. Prior to joining NSF in 2015, Swatee was a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. She completed her Ph.D. in 1994 at Indiana University.
Calandra Tate Moore, U.S. Department of Defense
Dr. Calandra Tate Moore is a data scientist at the U.S. Department of Defense. She received her Master of Science and doctorate in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland College Park and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Xavier University of Louisiana. Previously, Tate Moore spent a number of years in both academia, as a mathematics professor in the Department of Mathematics at City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, and, prior to federal service, as a mathematician on the Multilingual Research Team at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Visiting Scientist Chair at the U.S. Military Academy. She has conducted research on a wide range of mathematical and statistical applications, but currently focuses on human language technology evaluation as a researcher in the Video, Image, Speech, and Text Analytics Group.
Simone Westermayer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Simone Westermayer is employed with the Department of Homeland Security at the National Records Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Westermayer received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Central Missouri. She received her Master of Science in mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Nicki Boardman, Oklahoma State University
Nicki Boardman is a fifth-year graduate student at Oklahoma State University and is preparing to graduate this spring. She is studying partial differential equations and fluid dynamics and is advised by Jiahong Wu. Boardman received her bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011 and a master’s in mathematics from Oklahoma State University in 2013. As an undergraduate, she participated in a Pre-REU at Texas A&M University and an REU at UNL. After completing her master’s degree at OSU, Boardman worked as a data analyst for a consulting firm and for an electric cooperative before returning to graduate school to pursue her Ph.D. Attending NCUWM as an undergrad was extremely helpful to Boardman and she is excited to return and help continue to impact female mathematicians. In her spare time, Boardman enjoys drawing, working on cars, and weightlifting.
Angie Davenport, Florida State University
Angie Davenport is a fourth-year graduate student at FSU working on models of cancer treatment efficacy. She is advised by Dr. Nick Cogan. Davenport earned her Bachelor of Science in both mathematics and statistics from James Madison University in 2016. In her free time, she enjoys teaching puppy training classes and competing in agility competitions with her black lab, Marley. Davenport attended NCUWM as an undergrad and is very excited to share the knowledge she has gained these last four years in graduate school.
Kathryn Mulholland, University of Notre Dame
Kathryn Mulholland is a sixth-year graduate student at the University of Notre Dame studying cluster algebras and Poisson geometry, advised by Dr. Michael Gekhtman. She received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from California Polytechnic State University in 2014. Mulholland loves teaching and college pedagogy. As a graduate associate of the Notre Dame Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, she designs and delivers workshops; writes practical, research-based blogs; and encourages the adoption of practices that enhance learning. Outside of academics, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and playing sports. Her most recent culinary adventure has been making homemade sourdough bread, and her most recent backpacking trip was Denali National Park in Alaska.
Anastasia Nathanson, San Francisco State University
Anastasia Nathanson is a first-year master’s student at San Francisco State University with plans to go onto a Ph.D. program. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in math in 2019 at San Francisco State University. Nathanson is heavily involved with the gender equity club at SFSU. As for research, she may have solidified the topic of her research will be by the time you are reading this, but for now she only knows that it will be something to do with algebraic structures and geometry. Outside of math, she enjoys hiking through California’s beautiful nature as well as travelling outside of California. On the smaller scale, she enjoys tea and Russian classical and modern philosophical literature.
Matea Santiago, University of California, Merced
Matea Santiago is a fifth-year graduate student at the University of California, Merced, studying computational fluid dynamics and advised by Shilpa Khatri. She received her Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics at Sonoma State University in 2015. Aside from math she enjoys cooking, walking her dogs, and going to concerts.
Ana Wright, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ana Wright is a third-year graduate student at UNL studying low-dimensional topology and advised by Drs. Mark Brittenham and Alex Zupan. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and Spanish from Willamette University in 2017. Wright attended the conference as an undergraduate in 2017, and she is excited to participate again as a graduate student. In her free time, she likes to watch movies, play games, paint, and spend time with her fellow graduate students.
Laura LeGare, University of Notre Dame
Laura LeGare is a first-year mathematics graduate student at the University of Notre Dame. She graduated in 2019 with her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in music from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she also sang as a member of The Concordia Choir. LeGare is interested in doing her doctoral research in topology with the goal of earning her Ph.D. and working as a college professor. Her hobbies and interests include singing, calligraphy, bicycling, and growing in her Catholic faith.
Karin Leiderman, Colorado School of Mines
Karin Leiderman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Colorado School of Mines. Prior to joining the faculty at Colorado School of Mines in 2016, she was an Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California Merced from 2012-2016. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University (2010-2012) and received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Utah in 2010. Leiderman’s research is aimed at understanding biological systems through the use of mathematics, mathematical modeling, and numerical computation. For her Ph.D. thesis, she developed a spatial-temporal mathematical model of the formation of blood clots under flow and was awarded the SIAM student paper prize for this work. For her postdoc, she worked on developing numerical methods for fluid/structure interaction problems involving low Reynolds numbers fluid flow in periodic and complex domains. Leiderman has interests and expertise in computational modeling of blood clotting, biological fluid dynamics, biomechanics, biochemistry, flow through porous materials, and scientific computing.
Alex Zupan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Alex Zupan is in his fifth year on the NCUWM organizing committee. His research is in geometry and topology. In particular, he studies 3- and 4-dimensional manifolds and the theory of knots in these dimensions. Before arriving at UNL, he earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa and held an NSF postdoc position at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). He has supervised a number of undergraduate research projects at both UNL and UT.
Michelle Homp, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Michelle Homp earned her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997 in applied mathematics. Having earned a bachelor’s in mathematics secondary education from Concordia University in Nebraska (in 1991), she has spent much of her career designing and teaching courses for mathematics teachers of all grade levels. Homp joined the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education (CSMCE) faculty as a Research Assistant Professor in 2005. She has played a lead role in several NSF grants which focus on partnerships with K-12 schools and professional development for mathematics teachers. Homp is the primary coordinator of the online Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree program at UNL, directs the Greater Nebraska Math Teachers Circle, and coordinates summer graduate courses for teachers through the Nebraska Math and Science Summer Institutes. She currently holds a joint appointment with the Department of Mathematics and the CSMCE and serves on the MAT committee and on the First-Year Task Force, where she focuses on promoting student active engagement mathematics courses. Recent outreach efforts to strengthen mathematics education led her to teach courses for elementary teachers in Senegal, Africa, in 2018 and in 2019.
Abigail Raz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abigail Raz is an Edith T. Hitz Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow at UNL. Her research is focused in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics, particularly random graph theory. She originally hails from the greater Philadelphia area and received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wellesley College. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. in mathematics from Rutgers University under the direction of Jeff Kahn. At Rutgers she served on the graduate liaison committee. Raz currently serves on the undergraduate activities committee at UNL, helping to organize and run events for the UNL Math Club.
Erica Hopkins, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Erica Hopkins is a fourth-year graduate student at UNL studying commutative algebra, advised by Alexandra Seceleanu and Mark Walker. She received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2016. While an undergrad, Hopkins was part of the Director’s Summer Program at the National Security Agency and did an REU at MSRI in Berkeley, California. She returned to the NSA the summer after her first year of graduate school for an internship. Hopkins was greatly impacted by attending NCUWM as an undergrad. She is excited to now be able to give back to the conference and help it continue to impact female mathematicians. This is her second year serving on the NCUWM organizing committee.
Marla Williams, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Marla Williams is a sixth-year graduate student studying topology under Dr. Alex Zupan and Dr. Mark Brittenham. She graduated in 2013 from Willamette University, where she majored in mathematics and minored in American ethnic studies. Aside from math, she enjoys reading, running, and knitting. This is her second year on the NCUWM organizing committee.
Aimee Kessell, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Aimee Kessell is a third-year graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the interdisciplinary program Complex Biosystems. She uses constraint-based modeling and dynamical systems to look at microbial community metabolic networks. Prior to this, Kessell completed her undergraduate degree in biotechnology with minors in chemistry and mathematics, along with her master’s in mathematics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. When she isn’t working on mathematical endeavors, she either finds herself reading a good book with a cup of tea or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe.
Bridget Tripp, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Bridget Tripp is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Complex Biosystems, an interdisciplinary program bridging the gap between the computational and life sciences. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Old Dominion University, and her Master of Science in bioinformatics from Georgetown University. She applies probabilistic graphical models and statistical bioinformatics to the integration of heterogeneous biological data, and elucidation of molecular mechanisms of disease under the mentorship of Hasan H. Otu (Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering). Tripp’s current research, in collaboration with researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, aims to identify the multiomics signatures of delirium.
Emily Robinson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Emily Robinson is a third-year graduate student and statistical consultant in the Department of Statistics at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Statistics and Secondary Mathematics Education from Winona State University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she attended NCUWM and enjoyed the opportunity to speak with graduate students at that time, eventually becoming a UNL graduate student herself. As a graduate student, she has gained experience teaching calculus-based introductory statistics and consulting and collaborating with researchers from departments across the university. Robinson’s research interests include design of experiments and student success in higher education. She has completed internships at John Deere and worked as a research assistant during her summers. Robinson is passionate about communicating statistics, whether she is teaching and mentoring students or working on a research project with domain experts. After a day in the office, she can often be found working at a local coffee shop or at the climbing gym on campus.
Amanda Laubmeier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Amanda Laubmeier received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 2014 and her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2018. Since then, she has been a postdoc (professor-in-training) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and this fall, she will become an assistant professor at Texas Tech. In her work, Laubmeier combines mathematical models, data, and her collaborators’ biological expertise to understand a variety of ecosystems. She found her field with the help of exceptional mentors every step of the way (including while away from her home institutions for summer research) and supportive networks through SACNAS and the AWM. She also enjoys comics and roleplaying games.
Katie Tucker, Northrup Grumman
Katie Tucker started work as a mathematician in a research in development group with Northrop Grumman after receiving her Ph.D. in mathematics from University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2014. She works in a variety of areas, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and space weather, and is currently investigating applications of topology. When she’s not working, she enjoys knitting and crocheting, much to the enjoyment of her cat.
Katharine Shultis, Gonzaga University
Katharine (Kat) Shultis completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and chemistry from Scripps College in Claremont, California. After pondering her possible career paths and applying to doctoral programs in both mathematics and chemistry (and some tears at SFO), she decided to begin her graduate studies in mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. Upon completion of her master’s degree, she decided that she wanted to pursue her doctoral degree with a specialty in commutative algebra and transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Shultis completed her Ph,D. in 2015 and is now an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. When she’s not teaching, doing research, or doing her best to inspire future generations of mathematically curious students, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Shark, and pursuing her many athletic interests – currently rowing and weightlifting.
Faculty Networking
Undergraduate Networking