Mathematics Department Research

  • As an institution that focuses on undergraduate education by faculty members who are experts in their disciplines as well as expert teachers, IUP’s Mathematics Department faculty members have expertise on many areas in the mathematical sciences.

    Please note that faculty members are available to offer expert comment to media. To contact one of the experts on this list, please call Michelle Fryling, director of media relations and community affairs, at 724-357-2302 or via e-mail at

    Undergraduate students who are interested in working on a research project with a faculty member should see the list of undergraduate research projects and contact the appropriate professor for details.

    Francisco Alarcón joined the department in 1992 after receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa. His PhD dissertation examined the lattice of ideals of a commutative semiring. Alarcón was promoted to associate professor in 1996 and to the rank of professor in 1999. His published research has explored abstract commutative ideal theory, lattice of ideals of commutative semirings, finite semirings, and polynomials over semirings. Besides abstract algebra, Alarcón has been a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for over 25 grants that have brought more than $1,800,000 for various projects related to teaching mathematics with technology, professional development for K-12 teachers, and encouraging minorities to pursue higher education.

    In January 2008 he began serving as chair of the Mathematics Department at IUP. Besides teaching at IUP, Alarcón was an adjunct instructor for three years at Kirkwood Community College (Iowa City, Iowa) and a mathematics teacher for two years at Colegio Suizo Americano, a private high school in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

    Current interests for Alarcón are the use of technology in teaching mathematics, commutative semirings, and, more recently, the mathematics of the classic Maya culture.

    Kimberly Burch received her PhD in graph theory in 2002 from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include using chemical graph theory to predict physical properties of chemical compounds and determining which graphs satisfy the property of being matching covered. Professor Burch enjoys directing student research presentations whenever possible.

    John Chrispell received his PhD from Clemson University in 2008 where his research focused on numerical analysis and computational mathematics. Chrispell joined the Mathematics Department in fall 2011 after a three-year postdoctoral position at Tulane University in New Orleans. His scholarly interests include numerical analysis and mathematical modeling of Newtonian and viscoelastic fluids and their interaction with moving immersed structures.

    Alfred Dahma joined the department in fall 2009. He is expecting to receive his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in May 2009. His area of research is Functional and Real Analysis, in particular Lebesgue function spaces, frame theory, and the Schatten class of operators on Hilbert spaces.

    Yu-Ju Kuo joined the department in 2002 after graduating from Arizona State University with her PhD in the area of computational mathematics. Her scholarly interests range from classical applied mathematics to various applications in earthquakes, finance, and operations research. Kuo has directed undergraduate research projects and currently serves as a cocoordinator for the MS in Applied Math program.

    Charles Lamb joined the department in 2012 after doing his PhD work in spatially discrete differential equations at the University of Kansas. His research interests include the modeling, analysis, and the numerical analysis of both spatially discrete problems and biological phenomena.

    John Lattanzio received his BSEd in Mathematics Education in 1990 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001. His dissertation focused on the theory of graph coloring, in particular, the properties of critical vertices and critical edges in graphs. Lattanzio was promoted to the rank of professor in 2012.

    Lattanzio focuses his research efforts in finding solutions to unsolved problems in graph theory. He has devoted a significant amount of time working on the Erdős-Lovász vertex double-critical conjecture, which has remained unsolved since 1968. He has published five research articles and three Mathematica computer programs. Additionally, he has given several presentations of his research at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels. His current research interests involve applying algebraic methods to graphs. In particular, he studies how the group of automorphisms of a graph acts on the set of all partitions determined by a proper coloring of the vertices of the graph.

    Christoph Maier joined the department in 2001. He received his PhD from Oklahoma State University in applied statistics. Maier worked for nine years as a statistician in the QA/Manufacturing area of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Maier is an active member of ASTM Technical Committee E11 (Quality and Statistics). ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world—a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

    Maier’s research interests include statistics education as well as statistics applied to cancer research, to issues in analytical laboratories, to manufacturing, and to other real-world applications. He consulted with researchers in the Department of Urology and Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. This collaboration has recently led to several publications.

    Edel Reilly joined the Mathematics Department in 2007 after receiving her DEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned her MS from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and BA in Mathematics and Economics from the National University of Ireland–Galway. Prior to coming to IUP, Reilly taught middle school mathematics for 10 years and high school mathematics for three years. Reilly’s research focuses on mathematics and writing, middle-level mathematics education, and curriculum integration.

    Russell Stocker received his PhD in Statistics from the University of South Carolina in 2004. His areas of research are survival analysis and reliability, in particular the statistical modeling of recurrent event data and goodness-of-fit testing.

    Gary Stoudt joined the department in 1992 after receiving his PhD degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the area of sequence spaces. Stoudt has served as Mathematics Department chairperson and as interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at IUP and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2003. Since his experience over two summers at the Institute in the History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching in 1995–96, Stoudt has directed his scholarly efforts towards the history of mathematics, specifically in bringing original source material to a wider audience.

    Janet Walker joined the faculty in 1996 after graduating from Oregon State University. A recipient of the Center for Teaching Excellence Academic Advising award, Walker works with faculty, students, and cooperating teachers as the coordinator for the Mathematics Education Program. She has presented extensively at state, regional, and national conferences on topics such as using technology in the mathematics classroom, assessment, and implementation of the NCTM Standards in the classroom. Walker is the co-author with M. L. Niess of “Digital Video in Mathematics Education,” a chapter in Teaching with Digital Video, edited by Glenn Bull and Lynn Bell, published by ISTE, Eugene, Oregon. Walker is currently focusing her research in the area of using digital imaging in the teaching of mathematics.

    Greg Wisloski received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. His area of specialty is set theoretic topology, in particular the characterizations of generalized metric spaces. Recently, his research has moved into the area of mathematical finance, specifically the pricing of convertible bonds.