Doron Levy Reappointed as Chair of UMD’s Department of Mathematics for Five-year Term
“Doron has extended the Department of Mathematics’ reach and enhanced its already strong academic and research programs,” said Amitabh Varshney, dean of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). “I know the department will continue to flourish with him at the helm, and I look forward to our continued work together.”
Levy, who joined UMD in 2007, will continue to lead the department, which has over 100 tenured/tenure-track and professional-track faculty members, over 600 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate students, and teaches over 10,000 students a semester.
“I am looking forward to continue working with all members of the Math Department and the University of Maryland to further improve the department’s research program and strengthen our undergraduate and graduate programs,” Levy said. “I am fully committed to improving student success and strengthening our efforts to build an inclusive department where everyone can thrive. I would like to thank Dean Varshney and Provost Rice for their ongoing support of the Department of Mathematics.”
The department saw unprecedented levels of energy and enthusiasm over the past four years with Levy as chair. A major accomplishment was establishing the Brin Mathematics Research Center (Brin MRC), which will host 18 workshops, four summer schools and eight distinguished speakers during its first two years. Levy serves as the founding director of the center, which brings over 300 mathematicians from around the world to UMD each year.
A wave of faculty retirements provided opportunities for Levy to recruit top talent to the department. He hired 16 tenured/tenure-track faculty members (including three who hold endowed chairs), two long-term visiting professors and four lecturers. The new faculty members conduct research in many different areas, including number theory, algebraic geometry, geometric analysis, low dimensional topology, symplectic topology, dynamical systems, probability, analysis, logic, partial differential equations, mathematical biology, statistics, numerical analysis and data sciences.
As chair, Levy secured the department’s role in leading the new data science minor, a joint initiative with the Department of Computer Science. He oversaw the creation of new courses and the revision of STAT 100 and STAT 400 to include modern content and technology. Levy expanded the department’s role in the CMNS Science Academy, which offers professional master’s degree programs in data science, machine learning, bioinformatics and computational biology, and quantum computing. The department also sponsors the EDGE Program, which is designed to strengthen the ability of women and minority students to successfully complete graduate programs in the mathematical sciences.
To expand outreach to high school students, Levy co-led a joint project between the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education to offer calculus courses to students in Prince George’s County high schools that don’t offer the courses. Levy and Larry Washington, the department’s associate chair for undergraduate studies, also created the Maryland High School Credit by Exam program, which offers final exams in advanced topics to students at eight local high schools. Students who perform well on the exam and then enroll at UMD can move on to more advanced courses.
Levy boosted the department’s fundraising efforts, securing over $12 million in gifts including the largest single gift in department history: an estate gift from Carol Fullerton, daughter of the late Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Hauptman (Ph.D. ’55, mathematics), to establish the Herbert A. Hauptman Endowed Graduate Fellowship Program. Additional gifts provided undergraduate scholarships and graduate student awards and travel, as well as $4.75 million from Mathematics Professor Emeritus Michael Brin and his wife Eugenia and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation to launch the Brin Mathematics Research Center.
Levy secured funding to double the size of the department’s postdoctoral program. The department attracts more than 500 applications annually and supports more than 20 postdocs, including 15 Brin and Novikov Postdocs.
“Over the next five years, I will continue to prepare for the expected retirement of faculty members and identify exceptional targets for recruitment,” Levy said. “I will also continue facilitating the rise of the Brin MRC as one of the most prominent mathematics research centers.”
Levy plans to develop summer bridge programs for undergraduate students and graduate students, increase research opportunities for high school and undergraduate students within the department, and lead a comprehensive revision of the department’s honors program. He will also continue to prioritize raising scholarship and fellowship funding to support undergraduate and graduate students.
An active leader in the mathematics community, Levy served on the board of governors for the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and the board of directors for the Society for Mathematical Biology. Among his many distinctions, Levy was named a 2017-18 fellow in the Big Ten Academic Leadership Program, a Pauli Fellow of the Wolfgang Pauli Institute in Vienna and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2013, he was named a UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.
Levy’s research focuses on biomedical applications of mathematics with a particular interest in cancer dynamics, drug resistance, immunology, imaging and cell motility. He is a member of the Maryland Biophysics Graduate Program and the Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Scientific Computation Graduate Program, and he serves as a co-director of the NCI-UMD Partnership for Integrative Cancer Research.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Tel-Aviv University in 1991, Levy received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Tel-Aviv University in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He then held visiting and faculty positions at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris), UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University.