2023 Faculty

Pat Boland :

Pat Boland

Pat is a Lecturer of Mathematics at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. Before receiving his BA from Providence College, he studied number theory and combinatorics in Budapest, Hungary. He later earned a PhD from the University of Massachusetts in geometry and topology. Pat came to the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral scholar in 2009 and has had the opportunity to teach a wide variety of undergraduate (and some graduate) math courses. One of his favorite courses to teach is Math 389 (Explorations in Mathematics). This course gives him the opportunity to guide young math researchers. Pat is proud to have given several talks to students in area high schools, including those affiliated with the Wolverine Pathways program. He currently enjoys researching interactions between number theory and hyperbolic geometry, is mildly obsessed with the Markoff numbers, and is interested in learning more physics.

In his free time, when not in the company of his wife Julee and Boston Terrier Henry, Pat enjoys rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, weight lifting, researching certain topics in ancient numismatics, and partaking in the art of automobile maintenance.

Leandro Beraldo e Silva :

Leandro Beraldo e Silva

Leandro is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Astronomy. His research is focused on trying to understand how galaxies (and their different subcomponents) are born, evolve and interact with each other. In the broad field of Galactic Dynamics, he has investigated the problems of how self-gravitating systems relax towards stationary states, different scenarios for the formation of the Milky Way's thin and thick discs, the role of galactic bars in shaping photometric features through resonances and the propagation of density waves in galactic discs. He is currently exploring stellar populations in the Milky Way's halo to constrain its shape. Leandro grew up in São Paulo (Brasil) and received a B.S. and his Ph.D. from the University of São Paulo. He has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Central Lancashire (UK).

Zhan Chen :

Zhan Chen

Zhan is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and did his postdoctoral research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research in his group at the University of Michigan is focused on the molecular level characterizations of complicated surfaces and interfaces, such as polymer surfaces, polymer interfaces, and interfacial proteins using advanced analytical techniques. Such research provides in-depth understanding of molecular mechanisms of biocompatibility, biofouling, and polymer adhesion. Zhan received his National Science Foundation Career Award in 2004, and his Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2003. He was named as a Dow Corning Assistant/Associate Professor between 2003 and 2006. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.

Mark Conger :

Mark Conger

Mark Conger Mark is a Lecturer and program developer of the Douglass Houghton Scholars Program. He received his B.A. degree from Williams College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In between his M.A. and Ph.D., he spent several years working as a professional computer programmer, and did lots of programming for fun as well. His research interests are in enumerative combinatorics and probability, but he considers himself a mathematical generalist. His recent work has focused on the mathematics of card shuffling and dealing. He is the recipient of the 2019 Golden Apple Award, the only teaching award at the University of Michigan given by students.  He has been teaching in MMSS since 2002.

Miranda Nicole Cosman :

Miranda Nicole Cosman

Miranda Nicole Cosman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. She has taught introductory courses concentrating in biological anthropology on the topics of osteology, comparative anatomy, and human skeletal health. She has taught a small format class focused on developing student research skills and understanding of the methodologies employed by biological anthropologists. Her research focuses on how age related changes in locomotion of non-human apes are reflected in their trabecular and cortical bone across ontogeny. When not in CT labs or museum collections, she is hiking, bird-watching, or playing with her cats.

Jen Cummings :

Jen Cummings

Jen is a Lecturer in the Biopsychology area of University of Michigan's Psychology Department, and teaches classes ranging from Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience to Hormones and Behavior and Sex Differences in Brain and Behavior. After earning her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2006, she began working as a research scientist at UM's Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute examining the role of hormones on reward-related circuitry in the brain, and the effects of motherhood on drug addiction. In 2013, Jen joined the Psychology Department to focus on teaching full-time, and has since developed a number of courses spanning all levels of undergraduate education at UM. While she finds there is much to enjoy about teaching, Jen is particularly passionate about making neuroscience understandable and accessible for students of all ages. When not molding young minds, Jen enjoys running, knitting, reading, and fly fishing.

Stephen DeBacker :

Stephen DeBacker

Stephen is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He did his undergraduate work at Santa Clara University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, he had appointments at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is interested in using geometry and analysis to answer certain questions which arise in number theory. He spends nearly every mathematical free moment with his family; but in his spare time, he fixes his house – be sure to ask for amusing stories about this.

Dina Gohar :

Dina Gohar

Dina is a Lecturer II in the University of Michigan's Psychology Department who is currently teaching undergraduate courses such as Introduction to Social Psychology, Advanced Laboratory in Social Psychology, and an upper-level seminar on the Science of Happiness. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Harvard University, a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology, and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (and social psychology) at Duke University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in lifespan Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan's Mary. A Rackham Institute, where she subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Child Clinical Psychology at the University Center for the Child and the Family (UCCF) in 2018.
Dina is passionate about teaching and helping students better understand and apply psychology to their everyday lives, and she has won several competitive teaching awards for distinguishing herself in this regard. She also enjoys conducting research on improving teaching and learning in the classroom and continuing her interdisciplinary doctoral program of research examining the self-processes and behaviors that contribute to human flourishing, such as self-presentation and self-regulation, and how they can be optimized. When not molding young minds in the classroom or therapy office as a lifespan clinical psychologist in a small private practice in Ann Arbor, Dina enjoys traveling as a foodie, walking/playing with her therapy dog, live music, and musical theatre on Broadway as a native New Yorker.
Dragan Huterer :

Dragan Huterer

Dragan Huterer is a theoretical cosmologist and professor in the Department of Physics. His research is focused on trying to understand the nature and properties of "dark energy", a mysterious component that makes up about 75% of energy in the universe and makes its expansion accelerate, and whose understanding presents major unsolved problem in astrophysics and cosmology. Huterer grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia) and received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was awarded UM’s Henry Russel Award for “exceptional scholarship and conspicuous ability as a teacher”.

Michael Jones :

Michael Jones

Michael A. Jones earned his B.S. degree from Santa Clara University and M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Northwestern University. After a 3-year position at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a 1-year visiting position at Loyola University in Chicago, he taught for 10 years at Montclair State University in New Jersey. In August 2008, he became an Associate Editor for Mathematical Reviews, a division of the American Mathematical Society based in Ann Arbor. His research interests include the development and application of mathematics to analyze the social sciences, including economics, political science, psychology, and law. His 5-year term as editor for Mathematical Association of America’s Mathematics Magazine ended in 2019.

Daniel Mayerson :

Daniel Mayerson

Daniel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITF) at the KU Leuven in Belgium. He holds Master degrees in Theoretical Physics from the KU Leuven (in Belgium) and the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. cum laude from the University of Amsterdam. He was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan from 2015 to 2018, and at the Institut de Physique Théorique (IPhT) at CEA Saclay in France from 2018 to 2021. His research interests include using string theory to understand black holes and their interior. Daniel grew up in Belgium and will gladly enlighten you as to why Belgian chocolate is the best in the world. Outside of physics, Daniel’s hobbies include fencing, piano, cooking and board games.

Anne McNeil :

Anne McNeil

Anne McNeil is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science and Engineering, as well as an HHMI Professor. Her research is focused on methods to make polymers with precision over the length and sequence, as well as methods that take post-consumer polymer "waste" and convert it to useful materials. She has won several awards for excellence in both teaching and research. She is also the proud mom of two kids.

Lon Mitchell :

Lon Mitchell

Lon holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas, while his musical training includes a Bachelors of Music in Music Theory and Composition from Central Michigan University and graduate study in carillon performance at KU.   He is currently on the faculty at the University of South Florida and a Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  Previous appointments include positions at the University of Malta as a Fulbright Scholar, the American Mathematical Society, and as faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Toronto.

Kathleen Nolta :

Kathleen Nolta

Kathleen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. While she trained as a classical biochemist, she has taught a wide variety of courses across the fields of biology and chemistry. Over the past two decades, she has been helping University of Michigan students appreciate the art of organic chemistry and the enormity of biochemistry.

Mary Orczykowski :

Mary Orczykowski

Mary Orczykowski is a faculty member in Anatomical Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Biology and German at Oakland University in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine in 2017. At the University of Michigan, she has dedicated her time to guiding students (undergraduate, graduate, medical, and dental) in understanding and appreciating the inner workings of the human body. She has a special interest in training undergraduate teaching assistants to teach peers in the anatomy lab. She also enjoys creating colorful 3D models and illustrations to help demonstrate concepts and relationships in new ways. Outside of anatomy, she spends time in her Ann Arbor home with her family (husband, 2 cats, and hedgehog), exploring the natural world, building enclosures for rescued animals at the Creature Conservancy, training in aerial silks and sling, making friends with squirrels, and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

Jianming Qian :

Jianming Qian

Jianming Qian is the David M Dennison collegiate professor of physics at the University of Michigan. He received his BSc from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1985 and his PhD in physics from MIT in 1991. He joined the University of Michigan first as a postdoctoral research fellow in 1991, later as an assistant professor in 1993, and was promoted to professor in 2005. His research is focused on the understanding of the matter and their interactions at the smallest scale. His research accomplishments include the determination of three light neutrino species, the discoveries of the top quark and the Higgs boson. He received the distinguished faculty achievement award from the University in 2014 and was named the collegiate professor in 2015. He is currently a member of the ATLAS Collaboration, studying proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland. Beyond teaching and research, he enjoys travel, learning about history and culture, and exploring nature.

Georg Raithel :

Georg Raithel

Georg is a Professor in the Department of Physics. Georg received his Ph.D. at the University of Munich. In his research, he employs laser-cooled rubidium atoms to study matter waves in optical lattices and in other atom trapping devices, and to investigate interaction processes involving cold, very highly excited atoms (Rydberg atoms) and cold plasmas. In his spare time and vacations, Georg enjoys bicycling, skiing, camping and sailing with his family.

Doug Shaw :

Doug Shaw

Dr. Shaw is a full professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. While he was at Michigan, he won the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. He's also won teaching awards at the Universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and Northern Iowa. He's published on the Collatz Conjecture, the teaching of calculus, and all sorts of other things including a problem that was discovered during an MMSS session. In addition to writing books on teaching calculus, a pre-calculus textbook, and collaborative creativity he is a combinatorist and a big fan of graph theory and game theory. He's directed an improv comedy troupe, a storytelling show, livestreams a puppet show, and loves action and games of many kinds.
Corey Stephenson :

Corey Stephenson

Corey received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. After conducting postdoctoral studies at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, he joined the Department of Chemistry at Boston University as an Assistant Professor in 2007. He was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in February 2013, and in July 2013, joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan as an Associate Professor. Research in the Stephenson group is focused primarily upon the development of new strategies and methodologies for the synthesis of natural products and biomass degradation with a particular interest in processes which utilize the redox chemistry of visible light activated metal complexes. Corey has been a recipient of several awards of the past seven years recognizing excellence in research and teaching including: the Boehringer-Ingelheim New Investigator Award (2010), an NSF CAREER award (2011-2016), the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2011-2013), the Amgen Young Investigator Award (2011), the Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry (2012-2015), the Eli Lilly Grantee Award (2013-2015), the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2013) and the EOS Best Reagent Award (2014).

Martin Strauss :

Martin Strauss

Martin is a Professor in the Departments of Mathematics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He received his A.B. degree from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, both in mathematics. He previously held positions at Iowa State University and AT&T Labs-Research. His research interests include fundamental algorithms, especially randomized and approximation algorithms; algorithms for massive data sets; signal processing and computational harmonic analysis; computer security and cryptography; complexity theory. He has developed an activity for the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum. For the past few years, has been leading the math club at a local elementary school, whose activities include competing in the Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools. In his spare time, he enjoys trail running.

Ramón Torres-Isea :

Ramón Torres-Isea

Ramón is an Adjunct Lecturer in Physics and Director of the Advanced Physics Laboratories at the University of Michigan. He is co-recipient (with Prof. Carl Akerlof, Univ. of Michigan) of the American Physical Society 2015 Jonathan Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Eastern Michigan University in 1980 and 1983, and quickly developed a career as an industrial physicist.  Since his return to academia at the University of Iowa in 1995, he has been dedicated to the improvement of teaching laboratories, concentrating exclusively in laboratories at the Intermediate and Advanced levels during the past 22 years. He has taught at the technical, undergraduate, and graduate levels for twenty-eight years. He also initiated and directed for many years the University of Michigan Physics Olympiad. 

For the past 16 years Ramon’s research efforts have been in the development and characterization of fast neutron detectors for the study of nuclear reactions, as a member of TWINSOL, a collaboration of the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame.  He has also performed research in optical depolarization in birefringent crystals, electrical arc physics, shape-memory alloys, and is co-developer of UM-DAS, a deuterated scintillator array for fast neutron detection.  He is also co-inventor of three U.S. patented technologies: actuators which couple shape-memory alloy thermal elements with magnetic elements; arc-suppressing current interrupters; and asynchronous magnetic-bead rotation for use in identifying and treating bacterial infections.  He is a member of APS, AAPT, IEEE, ALPhA, and PIRA.

Monica Valluri :

Monica Valluri

Monica Valluri uses numerical calculations and simulations to probe observed galactic phenomena in order to understand the physical processes that produce them. Her current focus areas are dark objects whose presence we learn about via their gravitational effects on stars: supermassive black holes and dark matter halos. She has been working to develop sophisticated tools to use the motions stars close to the centers of galaxies to measure the masses of their supermassive black holes and to understand how these black holes affect the properties of their host galaxies. She has also been working on using the motions of millions of ancient stars in the Milky Way's halo to determine the properties of dark matter and compare the properties with those from large simulations of the universe.