Joseph Johnson

Joe Johnson

I hold a master’s degree and PhD in mathematics from University of Virginia. My area is algebraic topology, the study of general geometric shapes. Specifically, I am interested in both equivariant K-theory and homotopy type theory. K-theory gives us a way to add, subtract, and multiply geometric shapes. By studying this, one gets a lot of information about properties of the shape. K-theory shows up in physics quite often, especially in grand unified theories, ideas first championed by Einstein. Homotopy type theory is a way to examine logic, the basis of all mathematics, using topology and algebra. In graduate school, I taught in both the ITE and BRIDGE summer programs in the engineering department at University of Virginia. In my free time I am an avid cyclist and vacationer.

John Ong
John Ong

I hold a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Virginia. I am technically trained in the area of Functional Analytic Methods in Partial Differential Equations. My interests include mentoring and supporting women who are interested in graduate school in mathematics or who are going to graduate school in a discipline where mathematics is an indispensable tool. Other important facets in my life are family, friends, Tai Chi, travel, and the advancement of LGBTQ issues. Personal motto: “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


SpencerJulie Spencer

I hold a master’s degree and am a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at the University of Virginia. Currently, I am working on a problem in differential equations involving the Navier-Stokes equations with added control and disturbance.  Named for Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes, these equations describe the motion of fluids, and can be used to model things like ocean currents and air flow around a wing.  Proving or disproving that there is a smooth solution in three dimensions is a Millennium Prize Problem. (The prize is one million dollars.) I’ve been teaching calculus at the University of Virginia for the last five years. I love helping students see how interesting, exciting and satisfying math can be.  Seeing a student’s hard work culminate in a (seemingly) sudden insight into an idea or concept is one of my favorite parts of teaching. In my spare time I like riding my bike in the Virginia countryside, doing yoga, and hanging out with my two cats.


Rebecca Williams
Christy Lowery-Carter