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to publish their work in journals of their respective fields

of research. We are truly blessed to have such talent in the

department for mentoring our students.

One big item on the department’s horizon is next summer’s

move to Patterson Hall. This past summer, the building

underwent a substantive renovation which included air

conditioning and an elevator for the building. In preparation

for the move, I downsized a lot of things in the department that

needed to be shredded, recycled or thrown away. Since this

has been our home for quite some time, you can imagine all

that has accumulated over the years – such as old grade books

from the 1920s and 1930s. Do not worry, I did not look up any of

your grades, but it was a bit nostalgic given the department’s

many years of solid educational history. Once again, we thank

you for your support of USD and our department. As always,

please stop in if you are ever in the area.

Dan Van Peursem

Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Greetings Alumni and Friends,

It is time once again to provide you

all with an update of our past year.

The department is making great

progress in its commitment to

educating our students with a solid

background that will provide them

success in their future endeavors.

One indicator of this claim’s fulfilment

is embodied by our two students who recently passed the

first actuary exam—an achievement of great value as they

seek summer internships that could then become full-time

careers. Also, two of our graduate students wrote a thesis

for their master’s degrees, and some of our undergraduates

have undertaken summer internships and research projects

with faculty. Along with these accomplishments, our faculty

offers rigorous courses that the students appreciate as

reported by the latest National Survey of Student Engagement

(NSSE) survey.

We were recently informed that Dr. Yuhlong Lio received the

President’s Award for Research Excellence in the Established

Faculty category. All of our faculty work hard and continue

From the Chair’s Corner






Fall 2015


Joint Mathematics Meetings 2015

Mathematics graduate students

Trenton Brown



Xuan Cao

received student travel grants to participate in the

2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, Texas, from

Jan. 10–13.

Cao presented a research paper, “A Dynamic System based on

Weibull Distribution,” co-authored with Dr. Yuhlong Lio, Dr. Nan

Jiang and Dr. T.R. Tsai.

Brown’s paper, “Maximum Likelihood Estimation for the

Generalized Exponential Distribution Parameter under

Progressive Type-II Censoring,” was co-authored with

Dr. Yuhlong Lio and Dr. Nan Jiang.

Dr. Lio accompanied the students to the conference.

Mathematical Association of America–

North Central Section Math Competition

Matthew Buhr, Corina Larson


Peter Petrasko

represented USD in the annual Mathematical Association

of America (MAA)-North Central Section Mathematics

Competition held on Nov. 15, 2014. Ninety teams from

colleges in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Manitoba,

Canada, participated. The USD team placed in the top one-

third pool, a performance which is considered commendable

and is acknowledged by the MAA on their website. Coached

by Catalin Georgescu and Gabriel Picioroaga, the students

prepared for about two months for the three-hour test.

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