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Department of Applied Mathematics Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

The Department of Applied Mathematics welcomes three new faculty members this semester: Associate Professors Maggie Cheng and Sergey Nadtochiy, and Assistant Professor Matthew Dixon.

Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computation (CISC) Maggie Cheng

Cheng, in addition to joining Illinois Tech as associate professor of applied mathematics, will succeed Fred Hickernell as the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computation (CISC). She comes to Illinois Tech from New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she was associate professor of business data analytics. Before that, she was associate professor of computer science at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Cheng’s expertise includes network optimization and statistical analysis of network data. Currently she is working on an interdisciplinary project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program. She and her team are working to develop real-time anomaly detection and diagnosis algorithms for the power grid. She is also the lead principle investigator on another NSF project, in which user cyber behavior is experimentally studied and the impact of user behavior is factored into network security analysis. Her research takes a multi-disciplinary approach with broad collaboration in engineering, business, social science, and biomedical disciplines. As the new director for CISC, she will foster computationally focused research, and facilitate collaboration on campus and beyond, developing new research initiatives with collaborative efforts.

Cheng obtained her Ph.D. from University of Minnesota at Twin Cities.


Nadtochiy joins Illinois Tech after having worked at the University of Michigan and the University of Oxford. His main research interests are in probability theory, partial differential equations, and their applications in finance and economics. He works both on the problems that have immediate applications, staying in close touch with industry practitioners, and on the more abstract mathematical problems that have a more long-term impact.

Nadtochiy has been published in top journals in his field, received several NSF grants, given numerous invited talks, supervised research projects, and designed new courses on both undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2012, he was awarded the SIAM Activity Group on Financial Mathematics and Engineering (SIAG/FME) Junior Scientist Prize for his work on market-based models for derivatives markets. A Ph.D. thesis supervised by Nadtochiy was awarded the prestigious Bruti Liberati Prize for the best dissertation in financial mathematics in 2017. His current work on large-population dynamics and games is funded by a NSF CAREER Award. The results of this research make important contributions to computational neuroscience and mathematical physics, in addition to mathematical finance.

Nadtochiy received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Moscow State University (summa cum laude) and his Ph.D. in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University.


Dixon is a British Applied Mathematician working in the area of algorithmic finance. His research focuses on applying concepts in computational and applied mathematics to financial modeling, especially in the area of algorithmic trading and derivatives. Dixon's research is currently funded by Intel Corporation and he develops codes for high performance architectures. His work in deep learning with Diego Klabjan (Northwestern) has brought wide recognition and he is a frequently invited speaker at quant and fintech events around the world in addition to be referenced as a computational finance expert in multiple reputed media outlets including the Financial Times and Bloomberg Markets.

Dixon has contributed to the R package repository and published around twenty peer-reviewed technical articles. His teaching style focuses on motivating abstract mathematical modeling ideas with computer experiments in Python and R. He has taught machine learning, computational finance, Bayesian econometrics and financial econometrics, and held visiting research appointments in CS/Math at Stanford University and UC Davis.

Dixon is the co-founder of the Thalesians, a quant educational company which is a member of Level39, Europe's biggest financial technology Incubator. Prior to joining the Department of Applied Mathematics at Illinois Tech as assistant professor of applied mathematics, he has held industry appointments as a quant at banks such as Lehman Brothers, the Bank for International Settlements and Barclays Capital. From 2010-2015, he chaired the workshop on high performance computational finance at the annual SuperComputing conference and has served on the program committee of HPC. Dixon holds a MSc in Parallel and Scientific Computation (with distinction) from the University of Reading, and a Ph.D. in Applied Math from Imperial College London. He became a chartered financial risk manager in 2014. Learn more about Dixon's research »