April 14, 2020

College of Science welcomes newly hired distinguished department heads for Mathematics and Statistics

lin-d20 Dennis K.J. Lin Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University’s College of Science has named new academic leaders for its departments of Mathematics and Statistics.

Irena Swanson, Professor of Mathematics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a Purdue alumna, will become department head of mathematics.

Dennis K.J. Lin, University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain and Statistics at Pennsylvania State University, will become department head of statistics.

 “We are delighted to welcome to Purdue two such exemplary scholars and leaders, each of whom is also recognized for forging deep collaborations across multiple disciplines, said Patrick J. Wolfe, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of Science,  “As we strengthen the mathematical and computational sciences across Purdue and launch our new flagship facility for these disciplines, Irena and Dennis will help cement our position as a national and global leader in data science education and research.”

Purdue Provost Jay T. Akridge said, “I could not be more excited about the progress being made in our College of Science. To attract such talented leaders speaks strongly to the investments we have made across our top-ranked actuarial science program, our rapidly growing data science major, and our vibrant mathematics and statistics departments, as Science at Purdue goes from strength to strength.”

swanson-i20 Irena Swanson Download image

Swanson received her Bachelor of Science degree from Reed College and her doctoral degree in mathematics from Purdue University. She was named a 2019 Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in recognition of her research contributions to commutative algebra, as well as service to the profession and mentorship.  In 2018, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Graz in Austria.

Swanson is the first woman to lead the Department of Mathematics at Purdue.

“It is a great honor to return to Purdue as head of the Department of Mathematics,” she said. “My highest priority is the continued excellence of the department, which we will achieve together by enhancing diversity through faculty hires, expanding opportunities for graduate students and maintaining an active learning environment for all students.”

Lin received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from National Tsing-Hua University (Taiwan) and his doctoral degree in statistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a minor in computer science. His research interests are design of experiments, quality assurance, industrial statistics, data mining and data science. An elected Fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association, he will be the 2020 Deming Lecturer at the upcoming Joint Statistical Meeting, the major professional meeting for statisticians worldwide. 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a department with such an outstanding reputation in theoretically-based research,” Lin said. “I look forward to facilitating current research efforts and the educational mission of the Department of Statistics while exploring ways to bridge theoretical statistical research with the application and development of modern data science.”

As the college welcomes new department heads, Wolfe said, “We also express our appreciation for the adept leadership and mindful stewardship provided by Hao Zhang in statistics and Gregery Buzzard in mathematics. Their work to develop interdisciplinary programs like actuarial science and data science will stand as significant contributions to the college.”

About the College of Science

Purdue University’s College of Science is committed to the persistent pursuit of the mathematical and scientific knowledge that forms the very foundation of innovation.  Nearly 350 tenure-track faculty conduct world-changing research and deliver a transformative education to more than 1,200 graduate students and 4,300 undergraduates. See how we develop practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges with degree programs in the life sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, mathematics, and data science at www.purdue.edu/science.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Media contact: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu 

Source: Patrick J. Wolfe, patrick@purdue.edu


Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.