banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Mathematics & Statistics

People

We have some news from the past few months.

  • Milé Krajcevski helped organize the annual Florida Section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, which met at Polk State College in Lakeland on February 15 & 16. The MAA met jointly with the Florida Two-Year College Association and the meeting featured four plenary speakers, 46 contributed sessions, a panel discussion, and two contests. (Professor Krajcevski is the Vice President for Programs for the Florida Section.)
  • Clarivate Analytics (the publisher of the Web of Knowledge), lists Wen-Xiu Ma as one of the 90 most Highly Cited Researchers in mathematics worldwide. Research Fronts 2018, a publication of Clarivate Analytics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, reported that “Research on nonlinear evolution equations continues to be a hot Research Front,” particularly “Solutions for typical nonlinear evolution equations and their applications.” They report that Professor Ma and his team published nearly half of the core papers in this field, including seven of the ten most-cited papers.
  • Manoug Manougian received the 2018/19 NASA-sponsored Florida Space Grant Consortium's $1,000 award. The funds will support the USF Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry. Recently, Manoug was interviewed by CNN-International concerning his space program in the early 1960s at Haigazian University in Beirut, where he taught Math and Physics and initiated the Lebanese Rocket Society. During 1961–1966, he and his students produced and launched twelve one-, two- and three-stage rockets. Three of these crossed the Karman Line. In February 2018, CNN International aired the interview throughout the Middle East and beyond.
  • We regret to report the passing of Wai Cheung (Stephen) Suen, a good friend and colleague, on February 6, 2019. Stephen came to USF in 1993 and retired in 2016. He was educated in the United Kingdom, receiving his doctorate from the University of Bristol in 1985 under Geoffrey Grimmett. He then taught at the City University of Hong Kong and later Carnegie-Mellon University, before coming to USF in 1993. His research area was combinatorics and algorithms, and he specialized in applications in the “probabilistic method” in which, for example, one demonstrates the existence of an object by proving that in a certain experiment, there is a nonzero probability of finding it. He was one of 511 mathematicians worldwide to have co-authored a paper with Paul Erdös (“On the size of a random maximal graph,” published by Random Structures and Algorithms), and therefore have an “Erdös number” of 1. He was a revered teacher: one of his students said, “Stephen Suen once told me that he believed that by being a professor and educating students he was able to contribute positively to the world in general and that it made him feel fulfilled in a sense. Anyone who knew him would probably agree that he did indeed made a difference.” Another wrote that, “He was able to explain complex problems with passion and bring so much fun to it! [We] used to joke that only Dr. Suen can give you five problems for homework that take sixty hours to do… But we were so happy we went through that experience!” In 2014, he assumed the position of associate chair, and the Department is grateful for his service. He retired in 2016. Stephen is survived by his two sons, Daniel and Johann.