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Alumni Highlights

Our alumni have used their applied math training to go on to do rather noteworthy things. Here are a few of our esteemed alumni.

Mario Banuelos (Ph.D. 2018)
Mario grew up in Delano, California and completed his undergraduate degree at California State University, Fresno. Mario began his PhD in Applied Mathematics at UC Merced in Fall 2013. His research area was in mathematical and computational biology with a special focus on genomic variants. He developed mathematical models to study the distribution of repetitive sequences and developed optimization methods for variant detection. While completing his PhD Mario was first author on 8 publications with other applied mathematics graduate students, Prof. Roummel Marcia, and his advisor Prof. Suzanne Sindi. Immediately after graduating from UC Merced, Mario began a Postdoc at MSRI with the MSRI-UP program and in Fall 2018 he joined his alumni institution, California State University, Fresno, as an Assistant Professor. Mario's time at UC Merced and his commitment to higher education in California's Central Valley were featured in UC Merced News.

Johannes Brust (Ph.D. 2018)
Johannes is from Germany. Prior to his graduate studies at UC Merced, he was a software developer in the financial industry. For his doctoral research, he developed optimization methods for large-scale problems under the supervision of Prof. Roummel Marcia. He spent the summer of 2017 on an internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working with Dr. Cosmin Petra. Johannes received the Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowship for the Spring, 2018 semester. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory for the Mathematics and Computer Science Division. His research interests are in optimization, numerical linear algebra, and algorithm development.

Lasith Adhikari (Ph.D. 2017)
Lasith is from Sri Lanka. During his Ph.D. studies, he developed novel nonconvex sparse-promoting algorithms with applications to medical imaging, signal/image processing, and computational genomics. Lasith published 19 peer-reviewed manuscripts with his adviser Prof. Roummel Marcia. He was awarded the Graduate Student Opportunity Program Fellowship 2015 and the School of Natural Sciences Dean’s Distinguished Scholars Fellowship 2017. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Medicine, University of Florida. His current research work has focused on applying techniques in applied mathematics and statistics to modeling, signal processing, and machine learning in order to develop intelligent, accurate, and robust real-time systems that serve to improve patient care in perioperative environments.

Elizabeth Owens (M.S. 2015)
Elizabeth is from Visalia, CA and entered UC Merced's Applied Mathematics program to pursue a Master's degree. Elizabeth completed a Master's thesis with Prof. Suzanne Sindi where she developed mathematical models of evolutionary biology. She has a strong commitment to education and while UC Merced decided she wanted to pursue a career in academia. After finishing her Master's degree she joined the mathematics faculty at Las Positas College where we are confident she is continuing to inspire future scholars.

Daniel Thompson (M.S. 2011)
Daniel received his B.A. from Willamette University in Mathematics and his M.S. in Applied Mathematics from UC Merced under the supervision of Prof. Roummel Marcia.  As a graduate student, Daniel published three peer-reviewed IEEE conference papers on sparse signal recovery algorithms for image reconstruction.  After graduating, he worked as a systems engineer and imaging scientist with Boeing and the AMOS observatory in Maui, Hawaii.  His work covered research topics in image processing, algorithm development, and analysis of large data sets, and his responsibilities included project development, research, software development, analysis of imagery, and system and software maintenance.  He is currently working as a modeling and simulation engineer for Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California. 

David Hambley (M.S. 2009)
David is a long time Merced resident who joined the Applied Math Graduate program when it first opened in 2006. He lived through the tribulations of our first years and graduated with a Masters degree. Since then, he has been a lecturer at UC Merced, where he acts as the coordinator for Math 5, the largest class on campus. His works reaches over a thousand student every year! You can find him on campus in the Academic Office Annex, Room 174.

Paul Tranquilli (B.S. 2009, M.S. 2011)
Paul was part of the first class to attend UC Merced. He joined our major in 2005 and graduated 4 years later. Paul stayed to get a Masters with Prof. Tokman, before moving to Virginia Tech for his Ph.D. in Computer Sciences, which he obtained under the supervision of Prof. Sandu in 2014. As of the summer of 2018, he was a post-doctoral researcher working with Prof. Barton in the Process Systems Engineering Laboratory at MIT.