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Applied Mathematics

Problem Solver

Thirty minutes west of Illinois Institute of Technology, at Argonne National Laboratory, lurks a gargantuan machine called “Mira.” The recently inaugurated supercomputer—one of the most powerful on Earth—boasts a peak performance of 10 petaflops, meaning it can execute 10 quadrillion (1016) calculations per second.

Yet, according to IIT Department of Applied Mathematics Chair and Professor Fred Hickernell, lightning speed alone is not always sufficient for today’s most demanding applications. Hickernell works in the area of computational mathematics, often focusing on improving the underlying means by which calculations are performed. These stepwise recipes for solving problems are known as numerical algorithms. Finetuning them to improve their efficiency and reliability is critical for complex calculations in many branches of science and engineering. More »



Computer Science

Mathematics and Science Education

Research areas include informal science/math education, curriculum development, integration of science/math disciplines and across disciplines, and instructional methods; students' and teachers' conceptions of scientific/mathematic inquiry and nature of science/math; instructional models; evaluation; and research design.


Range Warrior

Electric vehicles are dramatically changing the way people move from place to place, ushering in an era of cleaner transportation. But according to Carlo Segre, Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics at Illinois Institute of Technology, there is still one big hitch: the distance such vehicles can travel before needing to be recharged.

Segre says that the more affordable electric vehicles today can travel approximately 100 miles on a single charge, and for some drivers, this presents what he refers to as “range anxiety”—a predicament Segre hopes to address through his research.

In a three-year, $3.4 million project funded by the United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Segre’s interdisciplinary team, including IIT collaborator John Katsoudas (PHYS ’97, M.S. ’04); Vijay Ramani, Hyosung S. R. Cho Endowed Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT; and collaborators from Argonne National Laboratory—Elena Timofeeva, Dileep Singh, John Zhang, and Michael Duoba (ME ’91)—will design and construct a new kind of battery for such vehicles. More »