New Faculty in Mathematics and Statistics Departments

I am thrilled to welcome a high caliber class of new faculty to the College this fall.  Arts & Sciences is fortunate to have 42 new faculty (professors and lecturers) joining us as the semester starts. Over the next few blogs, I hope to acquaint readers with these new additions to the A&S team.

Allow me to introduce these new faculty members in the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics.

Kathleen Ponto (Mathematics)

Every airport map has a "you are here" point. There is a theorem in topology that says this always must be the case. Kathleen Ponto studies what happens to these kinds of points when you consider more complicated spaces - more dimensions, more twists and turns. She is particularly interested in ways to describe how many "you are here" points there are for a given map. These types of questions originally came up in geometric topology. Kathleen uses techniques from algebraic topology (especially stable homotopy theory) and higher category theory in her approach.

Matthew Schofield (Statistics)

Matthew Schofield is most interested in Bayesian statistics, hierarchical modeling, capture-recapture modeling, and ecological statistics. His current projects include: modeling abundance in capture-recapture experiments with individual-specific covariates, and reconstructing historical climate using tree-ring data.

Simon Bonner (Statistics)

Simon Bonner received his PhD in statistics from Simon Fraser University in 2008 and has been working as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia. His primary research focuses on the development of new statistical methods for analyzing ecological and environmental data. In his MSc and PhD research, he worked on Bayesian methods for analyzing data from mark-recapture studies of wild animal populations and has applied these techniques to data collected from studies of threatened salmon populations along the Pacific coast of North America and from bird banding studies in Canada and Europe.

More recently, Simon has been working in the area of functional data analysis, adapting these methods to study the effects of climate-change and large-scale climate phenomena (like the El-Nino/La-Nina cycle) on weather in the province of British Columbia, Canada. 


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