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CAARMS 20 Speakers:

Gerard Awanou
University of Illinois, Chicago

Gerard Awanou was born and raised in the western African country of Benin. He graduated from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin in 1996. After a one year visit to the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Awanou attended the University of Georgia and completed his Ph.D. in 2003. Dr. Awanou held a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Dr. Awanou’s recent research has been on canonical finite element methods and the numerical analysis of Monge-Ampere type equations from the point of view of compatible discretizations.


Theophilus Benson
Duke University

Theophilus Benson is passionate about eliminating the complexity of managing networks and tackling performance oriented problems both within data centers and clouds. His research focuses on Software Defined Networking, infrastructures for big data, and abstractions for managing various workloads in the cloud. This work has earned him IBM fellowships, a best paper award at IMC 2010, and, more recently, his cloud computing platform was acquired by a large cloud provider. He is an Assistant Professor at Duke University. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2012 after which he spent a year at Princeton University as a Post-Doc with Jennifer Rexford. Prior to that, he received his B.S. at Tufts University and worked as a software engineer at an MIT based startup in Waltham, MA.


Sylvia Bozeman
Spelman College

Sylvia T. Bozeman is Professor Emerita at Spelman College where her roles included mathematics department chair and associate provost for science and mathematics. Consistent with her professional goal of increasing diversity in the scientific community, Bozeman is co-founder (1998) of Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE), a national program to assist women in making the transition to graduate school and earning Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences.

Bozeman grew up in Camp Hill, Alabama and earned three degrees in mathematics: B.S. at Alabama A&M University, M.A. at Vanderbilt University, and Ph.D. at Emory University. Her research areas are Operator Theory in Functional Analysis, Image Processing, and graduate school persistence. She has received awards from Spelman College, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), and the Quality Education for Minorities in Science and Engineering Network. Most recently she received the Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award for Mentoring and Commitment to Diversity at the Infinite Possibilities Conference (2007), received a Mentor Award (2008) from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was elected AAAS Fellow (2010), and selected for the initial class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS, 2013). Among her recent presentations are a Congressional Briefing on undergraduate mathematics (MAA sponsored, 2009), the Cox-Talbot Address (NAM , 2012) and the Leitzel Lecture (MAA,

Jonathan Mboyo Esole
Harvard University

Jonathan Mboyo Esole is a Benjamin Peirce Fellow in the Mathematics Department at Harvard University and a member of the Harvard University Center for the Fundamental Law of Nature. He is interested in the interface of mathematics and physics, especially the study of geometric and arithmetic aspects of string theory.


Robert Hampshire
Carnegie Mellon University
Robert C. Hampshire's research focuses on management, modeling, and optimization of services. Particularly, he focuses on IT enabled Mobility services, communication services and distributed web services. Mobility services include Smart Parking and bike/car sharing. Communication services include call centers, bandwidth exchanges and Web conferencing. Web services include Person-2-Person lending, wikis and blogs. He uses both non steady state stochastic modeling and dynamic optimization to develop management strategies. Robert has worked at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies, Compaq Computers and VLSI Technology. He has patents in the areas of IT asset portfolio management and supply chain risk management.

Christine Hendon
Columbia University

Dr. Christine P. Hendon was born and raised in he Bronx. Dr. Hendon received the B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2004, along with the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 and 2010 respectively. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2012. Dr. Hendon joined Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering in 2012 where she is the principal investigator of the Structure Function Imaging Laboratory. Her research interests are in biomedical optics and image processing. Her work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, and she has received recognition for her work from Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Science and Healthcare (2012), MIT Technology Review’s 35 under 35 Innovators (2013) and the Root 100 (2013).

Talea Mayo
Princeton University

Talea Mayo grew up in Denver, Colorado. Upon graduating high school she left to attend college at Grambling State University, where she majored in mathematics and minored in Biology. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include statistical data assimilation, hurricane storm surge modeling, and storm surge risk analysis.

Rod Moten
ProArc, Inc.

Rod Moten was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He obtained a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from the State University of NY (SUNY) at Stony Brook and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. Rod's dissertation focused on the implementation of parallel high-order functional programming languages. Although, high-order functional programming languages have a small following, Rod has used the theory and algorithms to implement these languages to develop techniques for improving software interoperability. Rod has successfully applied these techniques to create software utilized in the private and public sectors. Rod is actively pursuing research utilizing type systems to improve interoperability in the Semantic Web and Big Data applications and has several publications in this area. Rod has over 15 years of experience as a researcher, professor, trainer, developer, software architect, tech lead, systems engineer and scrum master. Rod is currently the Chief Scientist of a Maryland-based start-up called PROARC, Inc.

Timothy Thornton
University of Washington

Timothy Thornton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Institute for Public Health Genetics at the University of Washington. He is also an Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The focus of his research is the development and application of statistical methods for the identification of genetic variants underpinning complex traits and diseases. His research lab also develops software for the statistical analysis of large-scale genotyping data. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington, Dr. Thornton was a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He earned a B.S. degree in mathematics from Hampton University and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Thornton is currently a principal investigator (PI) of a National Cancer Institute funded Career Development Award (K01) and co-PI of a National Institute of General Medical Sciences funded Project Grant (P01). He was born in Hampton, Virginia.

Sydeaka Watson
University of Chicago

Sydeaka Watson was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned mathematics degrees from University of New Orleans (B.S., 2002) and Michigan State University (M.S., 2003). Sydeaka received her Ph.D. in statistics from Baylor University in 2011. In her dissertation, she developed a Bayesian Poisson regression model for interval censored count data (immune response counts) collected in HIV vaccine studies conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. She is currently a Research Associate (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Health Studies at The University of Chicago. She serves as a biostatistical collaborator and/or joint principal investigator on a number of biomedical research studies. As a member of the Internal Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) at the UChicago, she evaluates study designs and statistical methods in clinical and translational research protocols for which internal funding support is requested. Sydeaka currently chairs the American Statistical Association (ASA) Committee on Minorities in Statistics. For her work with an HIV vaccine research team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Center for HIV/AIDS Vacc