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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. At present my interests have expanded to include the Modeling of HIV Dynamics. I spend a lot of time mentoring 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, serious travel, and the advancement of LGBTQ issues. Personal philosophy: “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