News

5/18/2022

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As it turns out, mathematics can be a soft science: soft as a cozy quilt.  A group of University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences students and their professors demonstrated that concept when they patched together an award-winning quilt with a color scheme based on group theory. 

“Our group is part of the UK Math Lab,” said Kate Ponto, associate professor of mathematics in UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. "The Math Lab coordinates undergrad research in math, but in addition to that we want to create low-stakes entry points for other students. We want opportunities for students who

4/22/2022

By Jennifer Haynes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2022) — Eleven university faculty and teaching assistants were recognized by the University of Kentucky with the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Awards on Thursday, April 21, in the J. David Rosenberg College of Law Grand Courtroom. 

This annual award program recognizes faculty and graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate special dedication and outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory. Recipients were selected via nomination and reviewed by a selection committee based in the UK Provost’s Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

Each winner received an award certificate, a commemorative engraved gift and a cash award

4/19/2022

By Elizabeth Chapin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2022) — Two undergraduates have been selected as the first recipients of the University of Kentucky’s new Beckman Scholars Program, Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship (SUCCESS).

Elaf Ghoneim, a neuroscience major in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Lewis Honors College, and Parker Sornberger, a mathematics and chemistry major in the College of Arts & Sciences will begin their independent, laboratory research this summer.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation’s 

4/13/2022

By Ryan Girves

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program

Fellowships are awarded in recognition of outstanding academic performance, a demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Founded in 1984 by a gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK’s campus. 

UK’s 12 new Gaines Fellows are:

Ellie Browning, community and
2/15/2022
By Mallory Profeta

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2022) — Now in its third year, the University of Kentucky’s SPARK (Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky) Program gives an introduction to health equity research to students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in research. And there’s something extra special about its newest cohort of participants — it includes students not only from UK but also from Kentucky State University. Among the students selected are three majors in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

“From our first two cohorts, we had proof of concept and strong feedback on what was successful or not. We felt it was a good time to grow,” said SPARK Director Nancy Schoenberg,  who also directs

10/28/2021

By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research has announced the fourth annual 5-Minute Fast Track student research competition finalists. These undergraduates competed in the competition’s two preliminary rounds and were selected as Top 10 finalists to present their research during the final round on Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema.

Finalists will present their research in five minutes in front of a panel of five judges and a live audience using only a single static slide. This challenges students to develop their academic, presentation and research communication skills while also allowing them to showcase their research in a captivating way.

The goal of this

10/20/2021

Three alumni and one faculty member were inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at a ceremony on campus Oct. 15. Among them was  Paul Eakin, Department of Mathematics

Paul Eakin was born in New Orleans in 1942 and grew up in central Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University, where he earned a B.S. in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1968, both in mathematics. Following a postdoctoral year at the University of Rochester, he joined the UK math department in 1969 and spent the 1970s on teaching, research and working with graduate students in mathematics.

He became chair in 1980; in that role, he saw that the math department had a statewide responsibility to support Kentucky mathematics teachers. Since Kentucky had hundreds of math teachers (spread all over the state) and, at that time,

10/11/2021

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three assistant professors in the University of Kentucky’s Mathematics Department in the College of Arts & Sciences have received National Science Foundation grants, demonstrating how the College’s junior faculty are pursuing research and outside funding. The professors are Khrystyna Serhiyenko, Duc Nguyen and Ding Lu. 

 “Congratulations to Khrystyna Serhiyenko, Duc Nguyen and Ding Lu on these wonderful achievements,” said Uwe Nagel, chair of the Mathematics Department. “Every institution of higher education has a department of mathematics. As a consequence, competition for external funding is very, very

9/13/2021

By Jesi Jones-Bowman

UK undergraduate researchers Bridget Bolt and Gretchen Ruschman. Students are encouraged to explore undergraduate research opportunities at the Research + Creative Experience Expo.

At the University of Kentucky, undergraduates have access to outstanding research and creative work activities led by world-class faculty and staff that promote self-discovery, experiential learning and lifelong achievement.

Explore exciting undergraduate opportunities at the first annual UK Research + Creative Experience Expo 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, around the Gatton Student Center’s Social Staircase.

“The goal of the Research + Creative Experience Expo is to introduce undergraduates to the diversity of research and creative work conducted at UK,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the

6/3/2021

By Trey Conatser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2021) — Of its many effects, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about rapid innovations in teaching. Courses were redesigned for a range of delivery modes to in-person and remote students (often at the same time) and the conversation about active learning, class community and belonging took on new urgency as the challenges of the pandemic amplified the barriers — systemic and discrete — to student engagement, motivation and success.

Cohort members include Ruth Brown, senior lecturer Hispanic Studies; Anushka Karkelanova, lecturer, Statistics; Katherine Paullin, lecturer Mathematics; Elizabeth Williams, assistant professor, Gender and Women’s Studies; and Heather Worne, assistant professor, Anthropology. 

Innovation, of course, is a long-term project whose

5/10/2021

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 10, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 10 students and recent graduates have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. In addition, a UK doctoral student and four alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF. Among them were several College of Arts & Sciences students.

As part of the five-year fellowship, NSF Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees for a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or

2/17/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2021) — Nathaniel Stapleton, an assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The award honors early-career researchers.

Stapleton is one of 128 researchers across the U.S. and Canada “whose creativity, innovation and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of scientific leaders,” according to the foundation.

"I am honored and very thankful to have been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship," Stapleton said. “I'm grateful for the recognition of my hard work and dedication to mathematics research. However, mathematics

11/30/2020

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Yuan Zhou, assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, has received a $179,768 grant from the National Science Foundation through July 31, 2023.

The grant is titled Collaborative Research: Next-Generation Cutting Planes: Compression, Automation, Diversity, and Computer-Assisted Mathematics.” Zhou is researching  the interface of global optimization, computational semialgebraic geometry, computer-assisted theorem proving and software verification in ways that promise to improve “the training of undergraduate and graduate students in computational mathematics and research skills, as well as development of high-quality open-source research software.”

“Students will increase their proficiency with the real-world programming language Python and with software

10/1/2020

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2020) — Instructors in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky are combining technology, learning techniques honed by experience, and human interaction to provide multifaceted learning environments for their students.

The goal, as always, is to keep students engaged with hands-on instruction methods even if the current pandemic limits face-to-face class time.

“Students learn by working on problems, not just by listening,” said Alberto Corso, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Mathematics. “That’s what I tell all of my students. We all like to watch our favorite basketball teams play, but we can’t play with them unless we practice. We need to be on the court and practice

9/21/2020

By Richard LeComte

Benjamin Braun, associate professor of mathematics in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research geometric objects called polytopes.

Examples of polytopes are two-dimensional polygons; three-dimensional cubes, pyramids and prisms; and higher-dimensional extensions of these objects. Polytopes are used to find solutions for transportation problems, model possible outcomes of elections and investigate biological phenomena. Geometric properties of polytopes help planners model problems using computers and thus solve complicated problems. For example, volumes of polytopes can be used to compute the chance that a voting paradox will happen for a voting system.

“Polytopes have been studied

6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

4/27/2020

By Richard LeComte

The College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding TA Awards recognize excellence in undergraduate instruction by teaching assistants. Fifteen teaching assistants were recognized for the 2019-2020  academic year .

Eligible students are current A&S graduate student teaching assistants in at least their second year of graduate work and must be responsible for instruction in some or all of a course offered by the College. The TAs recognized this year taught in courses offered through A & S departments and interdisciplinary programs. 

“Graduate Teaching Assistants are fundamental to the high-quality education that the College of Arts & Sciences provides to undergraduate students,” said Sarah M. Lyon, A&S associate dean for graduate studies. “I am routinely impressed with their hard work and the contributions they make to pedagogical

4/13/2020
A picture of the Gaines Center building.

By Gabriela Antenore

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program.

The Gaines Fellowship is presented in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Founded in 1984 by a gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK’s campus. The Gaines Center is designed to enrich the study of the humanities at the University of Kentucky.

4/3/2020
An outdoors photo of Yuke Wang.

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that sophomore  Yuke Wang has received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The UK College of Arts & Sciences student is among 396 students nationwide selected to receive the 2020-21 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,343 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 461 of the nation's colleges and universities.

Wang, who calls Lexington home, is pursuing majors in physics and mathematics in the 

3/25/2020
This Living Learning Program gives freshmen a mentored head start on the way to majoring in the sciences and mathematics

By Richard LeComte

Started in 2015, the STEMCats Living Learning Program has helped students majoring within the many and varied areas of the sciences or mathematics find their way to success at UK. And STEMCats peer mentors are a big part of that effort. 

“I have a group chat with my mentees about how things are going,” said Keanu Exum, a STEMCats peer mentor majoring in biology and neuroscience. “I want to make myself known to my mentees — that I am a resource for them.” 

Getting students situated in STEMCats is having a positive effect on the academic careers of the participants, says a study conducted by Carol D. Hanley of International Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. STEMCats is a program

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