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Department of Mathematical Science at IUPUI adds four new instructors

INDIANAPOLIS — The Department of Mathematical Sciences at IUPUI adds four new faculty to its roster this fall, including a new director of the campus Math Assistance Center.

Joining the School of Science in the math department are Kevin Berkopes, academic specialist and director of the Math Assistance Center; Daniel Ramras, assistant professor; Maxim Yattselev, assistant professor; and Rui Yu, lecturer.

“We have hired two talented assistant professors with exceptional breadth of knowledge and strong connections with leading experts in the field from across the world,” said Jyoti Sarkar, interim chair of the math department. “Also, our new MAC director is passionate about creating an environment in which the students not only learn but also enjoy the process of learning.

“Finally, we are very fortunate to add a highly qualified and dedicated lecturer who will nurture our very young program for those students with a concentration in actuarial science,” he added.

Berkopes soon will complete his Ph.D. in mathematics education from Purdue University. He also has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Purdue and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.

His primary research interests include mathematics knowledge-for-teaching, teacher preparation and educational reform. He said he will focus on enhancing the training and tutoring that takes place at the Math Assistance Center — which serves an estimated 2,000 mathematics students a week across all disciplines on the IUPUI campus — and preparing the next generation of mathematics teachers.

“I have been given charge of a learning center that is unique to IUPUI’s campus in its scope, budget and departmental support. We believe this can grow to be the model for mathematical learning centers at the post-secondary level,” he said.

Ramras joins the department from New Mexico State University. His research interests include geometry and topology and the connections between geometry and algebra in a variety of contexts.

“Indiana and the Midwest have a great deal of mathematicians with research interests close to my own,” said Ramras, who earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Cornell University. “As a mathematician, I am excited to be grouped with other sciences that rely on and interact with mathematics.”

Yattselev joins the math faculty from his position as the Paul Olum Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oregon, where he taught discrete mathematics, calculus and courses on differential equations. His research interests include Approximation Theory, orthogonal polynomials and Random Matrix Theory.

“I’m very excited to explore opportunities to continue my research program in a supportive environment as well as extend it through collaborations with other members of the department,” Yattselev said.

He earned his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University, where he also served as a visiting scholar in its Center for Constructive Approximation. He earned master’s degrees in mathematics at Vanderbilt and a master’s and undergraduate degree in mathematics from Dnepropetrovsk National University in his native Ukraine.

Yu will strengthen the department’s actuarial program. She earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of South Carolina and undergraduate and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from the Dalian University of Technology in China.

“I’m excited to have the chance to help students prepare for their actuarial exams and build an actuarial club on the IUPUI campus,” Yu said.

Yu served as a teaching fellow at the University of South Carolina, where she taught courses in calculus, finite mathematics and basic algebra. She also served as a research assistant while there, studying Fibonacci Sets in Discrepancy Theory and numerical integration.

About the School of Science at IUPUI

The School of Science is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana’s effort to expand and diversify its economy.