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Du Named Willaman Professor of Mathematics

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Qiang Du, professor of mathematics, has been named Willaman Professor of Mathematics in the Eberly College of Science. The Willaman Professorships were established in 1999 by Verne M. Willaman, a 1951 graduate of Penn State. The professorships provide a supplemental source of support for outstanding faculty members to provide them with the resources necessary to further their research, teaching, writing, and public service.

Du studies applied mathematics and scientific computation. He is developing innovative computational algorithms to solve a broad spectrum of scientific and engineering problems ranging from understanding the dynamics of quantized vortices — a problem in modern fluid mechanics — the evolution of microstructures, the deformation of biomimetic membranes, to model reductions and data mining. He uses numerical simulations based on mathematical modeling to complement physical experiments and analytic investigations.

Du currently is on the editorial boards of leading computational mathematics journals, such as the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Journal of Numerical Analysis. He also is on the editorial boards of interdisciplinary journals, including Applied Mathematics Research eXpress, Discrete and Continuous Dynamic Systems, Journal of Information and Computational Science and the Chinese Journal of Computational Physics. From 2000 to 2006, he also served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computational Mathematics and Communications in Pure and Applied Analysis. He has served on as a reviewer for several private research foundations and for government agencies, including the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Austrian Science Foundation, the Portugal Science Foundation, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Hong Kong Research Grant Council, and the Israel Science Foundation. In 1999, he was appointed chief scientist for the largest state-funded basic-research project on scientific computing in China.

Du’s scientific contributions have been recognized with a Feng Kang prize in scientific computing in 2005, a Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Outreach and Extension at Iowa State University in 2000 and a Frame Faculty Teaching Award at Michigan State University in 1992.

Prior to joining the Penn State faculty in 2001, he was an associate professor and professor at Iowa State University from 1997 to 2001, and was an associate professor and professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 1996 to 2001. He was a visiting associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in 1993, and an assistant professor and associate professor at Michigan State University from 1990 to 1996. From 1988 to 1990, he was the L.E. Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago. He was a research assistant in 1988 and participated in faculty research in 1989 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Currently, he holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State.

Du earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of Science and Technology of China in 1983. He earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics and a doctoral degree in mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1986 and 1988, respectively.

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