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Dr. Felix Famoye awarded Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

October 9, 2014 - Felix Famoye from Central Michigan University was awarded a Fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Nigeria to work with the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria on training and mentoring of graduate students, collaborative research in statistics with faculty members, and hosting workshops on statistical packages. This project will involve teaching and serving as Adviser to MS and PhD students in statistics. It will involve organizing and conducting workshops for the university community on the use of SPSS statistical package. Also, the Fellow will engage in the curriculum revision of the MS in Statistics as well as participate in statistical consulting for the university community. The host faculty member is Professor Toyin Ogundipe.

The University of Lagos' project is one of 59 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions in Africa to collaborate on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities. Felix Famoye is one of 60 African Diaspora scholars who have been awarded Fellowships to travel to Africa beginning in December 2014 to conduct the projects, which span an impressive range of fields across the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The winning projects in this second round of awards were submitted by 47 institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Host universities include, Ghana: Central University College, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education, Winneba, University of Energy and Natural Resources; Kenya: Daystar University, Kenyatta University, Kisii University, Moi University, The Technical University of Kenya, University of Kabianga, University of Nairobi, United States International University; Nigeria: Abia State University , Caleb University, Covenant University, Cross River University of Technology, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Federal University Lokoja, Federal University for Technology Akure, Federal University of Technology Oweri, Kaduna State University, National Open University of Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Jos, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Port Harcourt, University of Uyo; South Africa: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg,  University of Pretoria, University of South Africa, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand; Tanzania: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Muslim University of Morogoro, The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology; Uganda: LivingStone International University, Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda Technology and Management University.

This innovative Fellowship program facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with Quinnipiac University, which chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

According to original Advisory Council member Toyin Falola, Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, "The program contributes to brain circulation and global networking of ideas creating new knowledge in a non-hierarchical empirical manner--the exchanges are grounded in equality. The pool represents the future of the U.S. and Africa with new talents who represent their fields and the future of their disciplines. Creating large constituencies across the Atlantic reinforces collaboration ​instead of domination, strategic partnership instead of academic distancing, and the various projects contribute to rethinking the epistemologies of knowledge."

U.S. and Canada-based scholars can apply for Fellowships and African host institutions can submit project requests until December 8, 2014 to be considered in the third selection cycle. Project visits can begin as early as May 2015 and must be completed by August 2015. 

Scholars born in Africa who live in the United States or Canada and work in an accredited college or university in either of those two countries can apply to be on a roster of available candidates.  Candidates must have a terminal degree in their field and can hold any academic rank. For Fellows matched with a selected project, the Fellowship for the project visit includes a daily stipend, transportation and visa funds and health insurance coverage.

Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda can submit a project request to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days. A prospective host may, but is not required to, name a proposed scholar in a project request. The proposed scholar and project request are each evaluated by a review committee and are subject to approval by the Advisory Council. African institutions and prospective Fellows (scholars) can collaborate on ideas for a project that the institution submits. IIE maintains the scholar roster to facilitate matches, according to the discipline specializations, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request.

All of the fellows and host institutions for the first two rounds of Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowships, along with the selected fellows, are listed on the program website, along with highlights of projects and comments from the first round of Fellows and Hosts.

Central Michigan University Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Debraj Chakrabarti, was recently awarded a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant.  Supported by the Simons Foundation's Division for Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Simons Foundation Collaboration Grants support the 'mathematical marketplace' by stimulating collaboration between accomplished mathematicians actively participating in research through the funding of travel and travel related expenditures. 

With this grant, Dr. Chakrabarti and his collaborators: Dr. Mei-Chi Shaw, Mathematics Professor at the University of Notre DameDr. Yunus Zeytuncu, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan at DearbornDr. Rasul Shafikov, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, CanadaDr. Christine Laurent, Mathematics Professor at Joseph Fourier University/University of Grenoble I, France, and Dr. Siqi Fu, Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University, will continue their collaborative research on the functions of Several Complex Variables.

"This is a generalization of the calculus of several variables that we teach at CMU to math and science students," said Dr. Chakrabarti. "The main difference is the introduction of a new kind of number called a complex number instead of the everyday 'real numbers' used in calculus. An example of a complex number is the square root of negative one. While there is no real number whose square is negative, there is a complex number with this property."

Click for a recently published New York Times article about Jim Simons, billionaire mathematician and founder of the Simons Foundation. 

Felix Famoye elected 2014 Fellow of the American Statistical Association

April 29, 2014 - Felix Famoye has been elected as a 2014 Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) for his significant contributions to the statistical profession.  The number of recipients is limited to no more than one-third of 1% of the ASA membership each year.

Best Jobs of 2014

CareerCast, a career guidance website, has just released its 26th annual job rankings report for 2014.  Here are the 5 best jobs among 200 listed in the report.

​Rank​Job​Midlevel Pay
​2​Tenured University Professor
Click hear to read the entire report.

Phelps recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Michigan

April 25, 2013 - Assistant professor of mathematics Christine Phelps was recently recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Michigan by Online Schools of Michigan. The goal of the top professors list is to highlight post-secondary educators who have been awarded recently for excellence in the classroom, on campus, and/or in the community.

The recipient of the 2012 CST Outstanding Teaching Award, Phelps has been a remarkable teacher since coming to CMU in 2009. She mostly teaches elementary-education mathematics courses and continually strives to improve learning, which is appreciated by her students. Phelps is also active in curriculum revision and mentoring doctoral students conducting projects in mathematics education research.

"I am honored to be recognized," Phelps said. "It is always my goal to be the best instructor I can be for my students."

Online Schools of Michigan exists to challenge the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to education and promotes the quest for learning styles that work best for unique individuals.