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Celebrating women in Math; our SMU-Math alumni

Originally Posted: March 6, 2018

In honoring women’s accomplishments in Math and Sciences, several professional organizations are highlighting stories in different venues. The March issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society showcases 27 outstanding mathematicians. On behalf of the SMU Department of Mathematics, I would like to recognize some recent alumni who earned a BS or PHD degree in Mathematics and have started a new journey with varied and exciting possibilities. While there is much work to be done on increasing female representation in STEM, we share our pride of these young SMU alumni and wish them continuing success.

I also want to take this opportunity to reach all of our alumni and invite them to share their journey and how your Math degree has helped you reach your milestones.

Keep in touch!

Alejandro Aceves

Chair, Department of Mathematics
Southern Methodist University
Tel:           (214) 768-4907
Fax:          (214) 768-2355


Journey Hu BS 2017
Hu did two REUs at U. Michigan. Worked on research with department faculty Weihua Geng and co-authored a scientific paper. She is currently applying to top PhD programs in Applied Mathematics. To date she has been accepted at U. Michigan, Michigan State University and Duke University.

Jasmine Kim BS 2017
Currently enrolled in a Design Innovation in Engineering MS program at Northwestern University.

Nicole Hartman BS 2016
Currently a PhD student, Physics at Stanford University.

Haley High, BS 2016
Currently a J.D. candidate at The University of Texas School of Law.

Side note: From time to time we have outstanding local HS students taking Math courses at SMU. A recent case, Laura Wilson who graduated from Highland Park High School and took our Math2343 with us in 2016. Here is what she wrote me in a recent e-mail:

Hi Professor Aceves!

School is going really great. I ended up choosing Harvard, and currently I’m planning to study applied mathematics specializing in economics. I’m having such a blast, and the classes are so great. So good to hear from you!


Alyssa Pampell Manis, PhD 2013
After her PhD she had a postdoctoral position at Taxas A&M Galveston, Maritime Systems Engineering and Ocean Engineering, where she studied Tsunamis in the Gulf Coast.

Currently: Orbital Debris Scientist at HX5, NASA Johnson Space Center (here is a recent post from her Alma Mater).

Claudia Castro-Castro, PhD 2017
Currently on a postdoctoral fellowship with the group of Prof. Andrea Alu, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas Austin. The postdoc is funded by the Mexican Science Foundation agency (CONACYT). It was one of only 10 fellowships awarded in all Science and Engineering disciplines for recent Mexican nationals PhDs.

Jean Sexton, PhD 2017
Postdoctoral researcher
Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering
Computational Research Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Zheng Wang, PhD 2015
She has been a data scientist since July 2017 in Vital Data Technology, LLC. .

It is an excellent position in a promising IT company in CA that does data
processing in health-care.

Zheng also participated in one of the Kaggle data science competitions and won 2nd place out of 925 contestants. As people who do data science know, the difficulty and quality of Kaggle competitions is very high. Winners need to be both experienced and creative. This is why a Kaggle prize is well-regarded in the IT industry.