We are proud of all of our faculty. On this page we feature a few of our newer faculty. Please check back for updates. Please select someone from the following list and learn more.
- Beenish Chaudhry
- Hayriye Gulbudak
- Xiali (Sharon) Hei
- Aubrey Hillman
- Robin Koytcheff
- Longfei Li
- Justin Lynd
- Yongli Sang
- Erin Sigel
- Xander Wang
- Xu Yuan
Beenish Chaudhry, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Before coming to Lafayette, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. She has earned her PhD from Indiana University at Bloomington, and has also taught undergraduate Computer Science at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana for a couple of years.
Dr. Chaudhry's research interests lie at the intersection of pervasive/mobile computing, human-computer interaction and health informatics. She combines user-centered design approach with community-engaged research methodologies to implement socio-technical systems that address health and social disparities.
Hayriye Gulbudak, PhD, joined the Mathematics Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an Assistant Professor in August 2017. Dr. Gulbudak received her PhD in mathematics in 2014 from the University of Florida. Her thesis was supervised by Dr. Maia Martcheva. She spent 2014-2016 as a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences and was affiliated with the School of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. From Fall 2016 through the Spring of 2017, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University.
Dr. Gulbudak's research lies at the interface of Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations, Numerical Analysis, and their application to modeling biological systems. In particular, she is interested in formulation and analysis of structured population models in infectious diseases to study the ecology/evolution of pathogen-host systems. She uses bifurcation theory and studies threshold analysis along with computational approaches. For example, in recent works published in Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, she developed a structured differential equation model to analyze the dynamics and evolution of vector-borne pathogens, and fit the model to data of recent Rift Valley Fever outbreaks. This research is partially supported by National Science Foundation. Her other research has been applied to H5N1 Avian Influenza, Ebola, and phage-microbe ecosystems.
Xiali (Sharon) Hei
Xiali (Sharon) Hei, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Prior to joining the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, she was an assistant professor at Delaware State University from 2015-2017 and Frostburg State University 2014-2015. Sharon received her PhD in computer science from Temple University in 2014, focusing on computer security. She was awarded an NSF CRII grant and a Delaware DEDO grant. Also, she earned an MS in Software Engineering from Tsinghua University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University. She received several other awards such as: ACM 2014 MobiHoc Best Poster Runner-up Award, Dissertation Completion Fellowship, The Bronze Award Best Graduate Project in Future of Computing Competition, etc. She is a Technical Program Committee member of the premier IEEE conference GLOBECOM, ICC, and WASA. Also, she served as a guest editor for Security Analytics and Intelligence for Cyber Physical Systems. Xiali Hei is a Member of IEEE and ACM. Her academic interests include wireless security, embedded device security, mobile security, biometric security, big data security and forensics.
Aubrey Hillman, PhD, is an assistant professor of environmental science in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She grew up in Damascus, MD about an hour north of Washington DC. As an undergrad, Dr. Hillman went to the University of Maryland Baltimore County where she got a BS in Environmental Science and BA in Ancient Studies (Archaeology) and graduated in 2009. She then moved to the University of Pittsburgh where she got an MS in Geology in 2011 and a PhD in Geology in 2015.
Dr. Hillman is a paleolimnologist, so she collects mud from the bottoms of lakes in order to reconstruct past environmental conditions. She is interested in documenting historic and pre-historic human impacts to lake catchments as well as reconstructing lake levels due to changes in climate. Dr. Hillman is particularly interested in monsoonal regions with long histories of human occupation such as China and Peru, but she has also done some work in the US and is hoping to get some projects going here in Louisiana. She has worked on a variety of timescales, but is most interested in the Holocene (last ~11,700 years). Much of her work is with isotopes but she also employs geochemistry.
Robin Koytcheff, PhD, joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an Assistant Professor in August 2017. He received a PhD in Mathematics from Stanford University in 2010 and a BS in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in 2005. Before that, he grew up in Washington, DC. Technically, his roots are more southern than the last statement suggests, since he was born in South Carolina (he lived there for less than two months).
Dr. Koytcheff's research interests lie at the interface of algebraic and geometric topology, especially in the study of spaces of knots, links, and other embeddings. A motivating question in classical knot theory is to determine whether a closed string can be untangled. More generally, given two such closed strings, one can ask if they are the same knot type, that is, if one can be manipulated (without cutting the string) to look like the other. Studying the space of knots means studying not just knot types but also continuous families of knots. Dr. Koytcheff's research investigates this space using abstract algebraic methods like functor calculus. The main idea therein is to try to approximate the space of knots by a sequence of spaces in the same way that Taylor polynomials approximate a function in ordinary calculus by a sequence of polynomials. Concretely, this involves studying configurations of n points on a knot, much like a polynomial of degree less than n is determined by n points on its graph. It is still unknown whether the "Taylor series" for the space of knots indeed converges to it. This is one main question that drives a large part of Dr. Koytcheff's research.
Longfei Li, PhD, earned his BS in Mathematics from Sichuan University in 2009, and received his MS and PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Delaware under the supervision of Professor Richard Braun in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Dr. Li was subsequently appointed the Margaret A. Darrin Postdoctoral Fellow at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) working with Professor Henshaw, before joining the faculty in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant professor in August, 2017.
Dr. Li's research interests broadly lie in the development, analysis and implementation of high-performance computational algorithms to solve partial differential equations (PDEs) and the formulation of mathematical models for multi-physics problems. He has worked on the development of stable and accurate algorithms for solving fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems and the incompressible Navier-Stokes (INS) equations. He has also worked on modeling and computing the dynamics of human tear film to help understand the physiology of Dry Eye Syndrome. Dr. Li is a member of the development team of Overture (lead by Dr. Henshaw at RPI), an object oriented framework for the solution of PDEs on overlapping grids; the software is freely available from http://www.overtureframework.org.
Justin Lynd, PhD, joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in August 2017. He holds a PhD in Mathematics (2012) from The Ohio State University, and has held postdoctoral appointments at Rutgers University (2012-2015), at the University of Montana (2015-2016), and at the University of Aberdeen as a Marie Curie Research Fellow (2016-2017).
Dr. Lynd addresses questions at the interface of group theory, representation theory, and topology. A group is the algebraic embodiment of the geometric notion of symmetry, while representation theory seeks to describe how abstract groups effect their symmetries in nature and other realms. One of the greatest achievements of 20th century mathematics was the description and classification of all the finite simple groups, which play the same role for finite groups as atoms do for molecules. Dr. Lynd's primary research concerns the structure of finite groups as viewed from a particular prime number, in rough analogy with the way properties of atom or molecule can be discerned via bombardment with a particular frequency of light. This leads to the study of fusion systems, and in particular to the problem of classification of simple fusion systems in the spirit of the classification of the finite simple groups. He is especially interested in the interactions between the following pieces of data associated with a finite group: its fusion system at a prime number p, its representation theory in characteristic p, and the p-local topology of its classifying space.
Yongli Sang, PhD, joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant professor in August 2017. She received her PhD in Mathematics with concentration on Statistics in May 2017 from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Sang's research interests lie in Statistics, especially in Time Series, Nonparametric Statistics, Robust Statistics and Correlated Data Analysis.
Erin Sigel, PhD, joined the Department of Biology as an assistant professor in January 2017. She received her MS in Plant Biology in 2008 from the University of Vermont under Dr. David Barrington and her PhD in Biology in 2014 from Duke University with Dr. Kathleen Pryer. Dr. Sigel's dissertation focused on the phylogenetics and transcriptomics of hybrid fern species in North America. After receiving her PhD, Dr. Sigel was awarded a Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History working with Dr. Eric Schuettpelz. The focus of her post-doctoral work was assessing gene expression patterns accessing across the fern life cycle.
Dr. Sigel's research interests include the patterns and processes that underlie plant diversification. Her research bridges the fields of plant systematics and evolutionary genomics with a focus on exploring the impact of hybridization and polyploidy (whole genome duplication) on the diversification of ferns. She combines diverse data types (biogeographic, cytological, morphological, and molecular) with state-of-the-art phylogenetic and comparative genomic methods to resolve relationships within polyploid species complexes, investigate genomic changes following polyploidization and hybridization, and explore how these processes have influenced large-scale chromosomal changes. Her teaching interests include Plant Systematics, Systematic Methods, and Bioinformatics.
Xander Wang, PhD, joined the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant professor in August 2017. He received his PhD in Environmental Systems in 2015 from the University of Regina, Canada. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from North China Electric Power University and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Taiyuan University of Technology in China.
Dr. Wang’s research interests include GIS applications and computer modeling, hydrologic modeling and frequency analysis, climate change modeling and downscaling, climate change impact assessment, geospatial data analysis and visualization, big data analytics, and decision support systems.
Xu Yuan, PhD, joined the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant professor in Fall 2017. He received his PhD from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA in 2016. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Yuan held a postdoctoral fellow position in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Yuan's research interests include wireless communication and networking, spectrum sharing and coexistence, interference management techniques, and cloud computing security. He has published over 20 research papers in high-quality journals and conferences, including IEE JSAC, TMC, TWC, TCCN, INFOCOM, and SECON.