Research in Mathematics and Statistics

Research Opportunities at Grinnell

Current Grinnell College students will find a list of research opportunities on the Science Division GrinnellShare site (login required). You will find descriptions for research projects with professors on campus, as well as a number of off-campus opportunities.

Faculty Research Areas

  • Jeffrey Blanchard: applied mathematics, applied and computational harmonic analysis, wavelets, compressed sensing.
  • Marc Chamberland: research intersects with several mathematical disciplines, including differential equations, dynamical systems, classical analysis, and number theory. Over the last two decades, he has adopted the tools of experimental mathematics (use of a computer algebra system to find patterns, construct counterexamples, and identify structures for proofs) in his research projects, including those with students. He also seeks to show mathematics to a more general audience, his current project being a book about the number Pi.
  • Christopher French: primary research focuses on algebraic combinatorics, and specifically the theory of association schemes. On the side, he is interested in finding ways to use immersive technologies to help students better understand geometric concepts that appear in mathematical curricula. French has worked with research students in both of these areas. Most recently, he worked with a group of students to better understand the historical development of vector fields in physics, and to build VR experiences designed to help newcomers explore vector fields and develop a better intuition for the tools used in their study.
  • Christy Hazel: research interests in algebraic topology with a focus on equivariant homotopy theory. She explores computational problems using equivariant cohomology theories.
  • Pratima Hebbar: works on problems arising from random phenomena. Projects with undergraduate student researchers include studying and analyzing long term behavior of stochastic processes with tools from mathematical analysis and computer simulations.
  • Jeff Jonkman: meta-analysis, inference for nonlinear models, analysis of observational studies, composite sampling.
  • Jennifer Kenkel:  My research is in commutative algebra, in particular determinantal rings and local cohomology modules. Past research with students has centered around polynomial rings and quotients of polynomial rings.
  • Shonda Kuiper: experimental design, statistics education, statistical consulting.
  • Joseph Mileti: works on interactions of mathematical logic (computability theory, set theory, model theory) with algebra and combinatorics. Mileti recently completed his textbook Modern Mathematical Logic, published by Cambridge University Press in September 2022. He has worked with MAP students to prove that regular patterns must always exist in large structures and that rings can have exotic computational properties.
  • Ryan Miller: works on a variety of applied statistical problems including inference for penalized regression models, false discovery rate estimation and control, and applications of statistical methods and machine learning in impaired driving research.
  • Jennifer Paulhus: works on problems in arithmetic geometry, elliptic and hyperelliptic curves, Jacobian varieties, representation theory, and automorphism groups of Riemann surfaces. Paulhus’ research with students primarily revolves around adding data to parts of a huge collaborative mathematical database. She recently spent three months in Chile as a Fulbright Scholar, working with numerous research colleagues there, talking with graduate students, and giving a couple of short lecture series.
  • Karen Shuman: analysis, harmonic analysis, iterated function systems.
  • Jonathan Wells: research interests include mathematical statistics, random matrix theory, high-dimensional data analysis and statistical modeling, inference for spatial stochastic processes.
  • Royce Wolf: algebraic topology, combinatorial group theory, knot theory, spherical virtual knot theory, quandles.

Faculty Awards, Grants, and External Opportunities

  • Jennifer Kenkel. MAA Project NExT Fellows. 2023-2024.
  • Christy Hazel. MAA Project NExT Fellows. 2022-2023.
  • Pratima Hebbar. MAA Project NExT Fellows. 2022-2023.
  • Joseph Mileti. Modern Mathematical Logic.  Cambridge University Press. September 2022.
  • Shonda Kuiper. Janet Andersen Lecture Award.  Midstate Consortium for Math and Science. 2022.
  • Jennifer Paulhus. Decomposable Abelian Varieties. Fulbright Scholar to Chile. Spring 2022.
  • Shonda Kuiper. Student Engagement in Statistics Using Technology: Making Data Based Decisions. Co-PI.  National Science Foundation DUE IUSE: Exploration and Design Tier for Engaged Student Learning. 2017.
  • Shonda Kuiper.  Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Selected in 2017.
  • Marc Chamberland.  Single Digits: The Wonders of One to Nine.  An invited talk at the national Museum of Mathematics in New York in their “Math Encounters” series. Sept. 7, 2016.
  • Shonda Kuiper. Developing an Inquiry-Led Data Science Curriculum in the Liberal Arts. A grant awarded through the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. 2016
  • Marc Chamberland.  Single Digits: In Praise of Small Numbers. Princeton University Press. 2015.
  • Jeffrey Blanchard. Large-scale Algorithm Analysis and GPU Implementations for Compressed Sensing and Matrix Completion. National Science Foundation, Research in Undergraduate Institutions. August 2011–July 2014.
  • Shonda Kuiper. Playing Games with a Purpose: A New Approach to Teaching and Learning Statistics. National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in Statistics. May 2011–May 2014.
  • Shonda Kuiper. The 2012 MERLOT Classics Award in Statistics. This award is given once a year for the best peer reviewed online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning. 2012.
  • Jeff Blanchard. MAA Project NExT Fellows. 2008-2009.

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