3 PhD Students Profile picture and Kirwan Hall

Students Outdoors 02082019 6393

When you think of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, you think of excellence. The department has a history of countless Banneker/Key Scholars and Goldwater Scholars, successful alumni (including a Nobel laureate), and award-winning faculty members. The department also runs highly ranked graduate programs in mathematics and mathematical statistics and is a major participant in the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) interdisciplinary graduate program. Below, meet a Ph.D. student from each program.


A professor who also works at the U.S. Census Bureau gets to explore both theory and application in his dual career

The national Census—that government survey every American household received in April—only comes around once a decade, but the U.S. Census Bureau never stops collecting data about how Americans live. Every month, the bureau surveys millions of individuals, households and businesses about education, employment, internet access, transportation and other topics that reveal the social and economic needs of communities. 

Eric Slud is one of the mathematicians who helps make sense of all that data. Slud is the area chief for mathematical statistics in the Center for Statistical Research and Methodology, a research unit within the U.S. Census Bureau. He is also a professor of mathematics at UMD. 

Karin Melnick photo

An expert in differential geometry finds beauty and harmony in mathematics.

Growing up, Karin Melnick never imagined herself as a mathematician. The daughter of an accountant and an airline pilot with a background in electrical engineering, she was no stranger to the importance of math, but she saw it more as a tool for other fields of study, a prelude to a career as an ecologist or a medical doctor.

That changed during her undergraduate years at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, when the pull of geometry, calculus and theoretical proofs drew her in, and she realized pure mathematics was the field for her.

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