Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics


Math and Literature Contest 2018

Math and Literature Contest 2018 - Winner


Contest: Literature and Mathematics
Voltaire’s Micromegas

Math and Literature Contest 2018(Flyer, pdf file)

Topic: Response to Voltaire’s Micromegas

Prize(s): Impressive award certificate, suitable for citing in your curriculum vita, application for university studies, posting on your refrigerator door.

Criteria: Original, thoughtful, and creative response to or analysis of Voltaire's Micromegas, focusing on the mathematical or philosophical metaphors.


  • Any genre is acceptable, including an essay, poem, visual creation, fictional extension of Micromegas, or mathematical exposition. Submissions should be five pages or fewer

  • Contest submissions may be in English or French. Judges are fluent in mathematics.

  • This contest is open to the public.

  • If you wish to submit an entry by a team of people, that is fine. Just make that clear.

  • We will probably award prize(s) in categories of contestants. Therefore, please include a brief description of your mathematical education, e.g., "Completed one year of calculus,” "Mrs. Morton's 6th grade class." If your contest entry uses rather advanced literary/historical analysis please indicate your background such as “I teach AP French literature.”

Deadline: November 5, 2018

Contest Winner: Mark C. Fedota, alumnus of Loyola University Chicago - AB '66 in English Literature and Economics. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law School. Mr. Fedota is a prominent trial laywer, now in semi-retirement.

Winning Essay: Math and Literature Contest 2018 - winning essay

Source for text of Micromegas:

Knitting and Math

Knitting and Math - November 8, 2018

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is hosting an event for the Math/Stat community on November 8:  Knitting and Math.  All students and faculty are welcome to attend.


Here's a brief agenda:

  • Learn to knit (needles and yarn provided!)

  • A fun presentation from Dr. Peters about connections between math and knitting

  • Community time to talk and share projects, with pizza and snacks

Time and Location: Thursday, November 8, 6:00-8:00 pm in IES 123.

To see some photos from the event, click here.

 Check out the powerpoint here: knitting powerpoint 

Rataj Lecture: Political Geometry by Bridget Tenner

Rataj Lecture: Political Geometry by Bridget Tenner

Our next Rataj Lecture, Wednesday October 24, 2018, will be both excellent, timely, and accessible to anyone who has taken or is taking calculus -- all geometry will be discrete: https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.05860


Title: Political Geometry

Speaker: Bridget Tenner

Speaker Info: DePaul University http://math.depaul.edu/bridget/


Gerrymandering is the process of manipulating voting districts in order to gain political advantage. In the US, districts are supposed to be "contiguous" and "compact" -- but what, exactly, does that mean? In this talk, we will discuss geographic geometry, what it impacts, how it is assessed, and how it should be improved. No background in these topics will be assumed.

Date: October 24, 2018

Time (updated): 4:10 - 5:00PM (talk), 5:00-5:30PM (tea)

Where: Mundelein 204

Contact Person: Emily Peters epeters3@luc.edu


To see some photos from the event, click here.

IL-MO Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2018

IL-MO Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2018

IL-MO Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2018

IL-MO Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference is a great opportunity for undergraduate students to present mathematical research projects and expository papers, to meet with more established mathematicians and to network with their fellow students.

It is organized jointly by Southeast Missouri State University and Southern Illinois University. This year it will be held on the Campus of SIU at Carbondale, Neckers Building, Young Auditorium, Neckers 440 on Saturday, 27 Oct 2018.

This conference is open to anyone interested in undergraduate mathematics. Undergraduate students at all levels and graduate in their first year of the MSc are invited to discuss their work on any mathematics-related topic. High School students are also strongly encouraged to participate. A poster room will be provided for those who would like to display their work in a poster, whether they are presenting or not.

Check out the flyer for more information. IL-MO Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2018

Welcome New Faculty!

Welcome New Faculty!

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics has some new additions this semester: Minhao Gu, Corinne Herrmann, Xiaoli Kong, Shuwen Lou, and Alla Podolny. Read more about their educational background and research interests!



Minhao Gu

How did you get involved in teaching mathematics?

Upon graduation, I joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Loyola as a part-time instructor. I also held a part-time teaching position at DePaul College Prep. This is my second year teaching at Loyola University Chicago, but first time as a full-time instructor.

What's your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is conveying new knowledge to students using easy-to-understand terms, having students communicate or demonstrate that they have grasped the material, and building up their confidence level in solving math problems. I love seeing students having the 'lightbulb' moment --- a moment that a students goes ''oooohhhh". Teaching is also a great opportunity to learn about myself, my strength, my weakness as a teacher and a person. I also enjoy getting unexpected thank you notes from my former students.

What classes have you taught?

MATH 100 Intermediate Algebra; MATH 108 Real World Modeling; MATH 117 Precalculus 1; MATH 131 Applied Calculus 1. (as well as Honors Geometry at DePaul College Prep)






Corinne Herrmann

How did you get involved in teaching mathematics?

I started tutoring fellow classmates from an early age (in first grade)! I have always found joy in helping others understand concepts that they find difficult, generally mathematics but other subjects as well. I formally started teaching as an adjunct at a local community college and at an alternative high school, after completing my undergraduate studies. I continued my education into graduate work with the intention of pursuing a career in higher education.

What's your favorite part of teaching?

The interaction with students and developing an interactive class dynamic are often the highlights of my teaching days. I, also, enjoy seeing students confidently grasping concepts that they may have found difficult in the beginning.

What classes have you taught?

I have taught most of the developmental math courses that can be found at the university or community college level, Pre-Algebra, Beginning Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra, as well as College Algebra and Applied Calculus at previous institutions.




Xiaoli Kong

How did you get involved in teaching statistics?

Usually, I provide students theoretical result or analytic tool for each topic. Then I give them examples and practice problems. I let students work some of questions in class and share their work and result. I encourage students participation in class. I believe it is important for students to gain the ability to learn by themselves in future. So I would like to show them how to get help when they have problem, for example, refer the help file or manual if they are learning software packages or programming.

What's your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is "I can share the knowledge and skills in statistics or mathematics to help students solve real life problems. I hope that by the time students leave my class they have really understand relevant materials and are able to apply them in their future study or career"

What classes have you taught?

STAT 335 Introduction to Statistics; STAT 408 Applied Regression Analysis. 

What is your research interest?

My research interests include multivariate analysis, non-parametric analysis, high-dimensional data, applied statistics; Lie algebra, Kac-Moody algebra and representation theory. 



Shuwen Lou

How did you get involved in teaching statistics?

I started teaching probability classes when I was doing my first postdoc at UIC. The first statistics class that I taught was a class facing senior undergraduates, called statistics and finance. It was at University of Toronto.

What's your favorite part of teaching?

The most memorable part was once I found on my teaching form that one of my student put "I am actually starting to like math". That was my final year in graduate school, and the class was introduction to differential equations. I think this is the best reward a teacher can ever possibly receive.

What classes have you taught?

I have taught a variety classes in math and statistics as instructor, including precalculus, differential equations, introduction to probability, advanced probability theory (measure theory based), statistics and finance. Currently I am teaching introduction to probability and introduction to biostatistics. 

What is your research interest?

My research interests span probability, statistics, and analysis. To be more specific, I am interested in Markov processes, rough path theory, and their applications in machine learning and data science. 



Alla Podolny

How did you get involved in teaching mathematics?

Teaching is a part of the academic profession that I enjoy enormously. I enjoy interacting with students, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I feel that I learn from my students. I have a definite conception of the essential nature of Mathematics and I try toconvey this in my teaching. I feel that Mathematics, at all levels, contains significant and beautiful ideas that constitute the essence of the subject. Thus, I tend to emphasize the conceptual, as opposed to the computational, aspects of courses that I teach.

What's your favorite part of teaching?

In my teaching, I always try to show the general importance and applications of the material I present in order to motivate the interest of the students. I always try to learn more about the majors of my students and I try to bring in examples connected with their major. I attempt to provide my students with the tools necessary to study real world problems rather than merely train them to perform mathematical exercises with no connection to science and technology. A clear view of the physical problem that we study helps the students to better understand the methods and models they are taught, and the mathematically derived results make much more sense when they are related to the underlying physical phenomena.

What classes have you taught?

Precalculus, Differential and integral calculus 1, Differential and integral calculus 2, Honors differential and integral calculus 1 and 2, Honors multivariable calculus, and Ordinary differential equations.​