The California Department of Education has recently awarded San Diego State University and the Sweetwater Union High School District one of five $1.28 million California Mathematics Readiness Challenge Initiative (CMRCI) grants. The goal of the CMRCI program is to is to provide in-depth professional learning opportunities for collaborative teams of secondary educators, their school-site administrator, and faculty from their partner institution(s) of higher education to support the implementation and evaluation of grade 12 experiences that are designed to prepare pupils for placement into college-level courses in mathematics. San Diego State and Sweetwater are using the grant to design and implement a discrete mathematics course for high school seniors. The project builds on the existing infrastructure of the SDSU-Sweetwater Compact for Success, and this work provides a structure for faculty and teachers to collaborate around designing a course to better prepare prospective students. The new curriculum will be used in Sweetwater’s Discrete Math classes during the 2017-18 school year.

Principal Investigator, Dr. Osvaldo “Ovie” Soto, is a 17-year veteran high school teacher and a graduate of the SDSU-UCSD doctoral program in mathematics education. Soto also has an MS in Mathematics from SDSU. Since completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Soto has dedicated his career to the improvement of mathematics instruction in the San Diego region by mentoring over 50 secondary math teachers through Math for America San Diego’s Master Teacher Fellowship Program. Professors Randy Philipp (School of Teacher Education) and Bill Zahner (Mathematics and Statistics Department), of SDSU’s Center for Mathematics and Science Education, are the grant’s Co-PIs. Sweetwater’s Assistant Superintendent Ana Maria Alvarez is the grant’s Co-PI at the district, and she is assisted by Roman Del Rosario, the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Professors Mike O’Sullivan (Mathematics and Statistics Dept. Chair) and Vadim Ponomarenko (Department of Mathematics), are supporting the grant’s teachers as consultants. This was made possible through the support of College of Sciences Dean Stanley Maloy and College of Education Dean Joe Johnson.

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*Figure: El Nino influenced December 1982 global temperature anomalies. The data are from the **NOAA Merged Land Ocean Global Surface Temperature Analysis and are **with respect to the normal temperature defined as the 1971-2000 mean**. The red and yellow colors imply warmer than normal, the blue and green imply colder than normal, and black color indicates the areas without data. *

Led by Sam Shen, SDSU has joined the research activities with the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites North Carolina (CICS-NC) in 2016. A one-year funding of $100K has been allocated from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) to fund Dr. Shen’s work on the simplified and optimal analysis of NOAA global temperature data. The first year fund has been transferred to SDSU via a sub-contract through North Carolina State University.

Dr. Shen’s project is to simplify climate data analysis procures with short R programs, perform data validation, provide new insights of climate dynamics based on statistical data analysis assisted by global climate models, and develop new statistical and mathematical methods for quantifying uncertainties in various kinds of climate datasets. For this project, Dr. Shen’s group has already developed a visual delivery system for big climate data based on the internet technologies of distributed databases, web server, and web browser. The system will provide an easy platform to make a fast delivery of climate data to classrooms, museums, and households. The system can be incorporated into the NOAA’s big data project (BDP), partnered with Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Open Cloud Consortium. Dr. Shen will present this product at the CICS science meeting on November 29-December 1, 2016.

]]>This is the first time for SDSU to join the NOAA EPP program, since SDSU was named an HSI in 2012. SDSU’s participation in this NOAA EPP is through the Center for Climate and Sustainability Studies (C2S2), an SDSU Area of Excellence, founded in 2013. The SDSU site PI is **Sam Shen**, Co-Director of C2S2 and Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. Geography Assistant Professor Fernando De Sales and Mathematics Associate Professor **Bo-Wen Shen** are SDSU site Co-PIs. This program will provide training fellowships to the under-represented minority students, graduate or undergraduate, in any major, as long as the students are interested in pursuing the future NOAA employment or similar kind. The training fellows will have chance to conduct research at NOAA facilities. A fellow must be a U.S. citizen and maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA. The details of the program can be found from the award announcement and the program headquarters website at Howard University. The students who are interested in this program can contact Dr. Sam Shen for more information.

*Photo: NCAS doctoral candidate Jose Rivas, participated in the annual Earth Science Week at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP). The activity included launching a weather-balloon for atmospheric observations. *

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* start: 09/01/16 * Duration: 3 years * total amount: $129,990 |

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STATMOS’ lead PI is Montserrat Fluentes, North Carolina State University, with Michael Stein of University of Chicago and Peter Guttorp of University of Washington as co-PIs. Barb Bailey and Rich Levine founded the SDSU node and Sam Shen helped set up the SIO node. The SDSU-SIO sub-network enables both SDSU and SIO students and faculty to receive STATMOS funding for collaborative research between the two institutions.

Shen leads the STATMOS interest group of nonstationary space-time process. Bailey directs the SDSU node of STATMOS. They both attended the STATMOS annual meeting at University of Chicago on July 31, 2016.

]]>San Diego State University welcomes 12 Presidential Graduate Research Fellows from around the world to the Aztec family. The competitive, merit-based campus program supports the recruitment of exceptional non-resident applicants to SDSU’s many graduate programs. Two of the awarded Research Fellows are members of the Mathematics & Statistics Department working as Math 252 TA’s. We welcome Stefan and Anja to San Diego and to SDSU.

**Stefan Ehard**

Hometown: Ulm, Germany

MS, Statistics

My university in Germany, the University of Ulm, is a partner institution of San Diego State University. For many years, some of the best graduate students in my university’s mathematics program have been coming to SDSU as part of an exchange program between the two institutions. This one-year program allows students to achieve both the American and German master’s degrees, making it highly attractive to me.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Ulm in 2015. Thanks to a Fulbright Grant and the Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship, I am able to put my mathematical knowledge in an applied context at SDSU. I am particularly interested in stochastic modelling and statistics as they have many real-world applications, including in climate modelling at the Center for Climate and Sustainability Studies at SDSU. My research in statistics also compliments my focus on Actuarial Sciences and Insurance at the University of Ulm. My goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Germany and eventually apply my academic work at a company that operates on a global level.

**Anja Schmidt
**Hometown: Ulm, Germany

MS, Applied Mathematics

I did my undergraduate study in mathematics and almost completed a master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Ulm in Germany. Participating in the exchange program of Ulm University, I chose to attend SDSU because the study program Applied Mathematics provides the opportunity to enhance my mathematical expertise by gaining insights into advanced and specialized areas of mathematics.

My interests are mostly in the fields of numerical mathematics, so I focus a lot on programming which is absolutely crucial at the present time. Being fascinated in finding solutions for unsolved problems just by using tools I have learned during my study time, I appreciate to broaden my horizon with regard to solve even harder problems. Therefore, I consider my stay at San Diego State University to become a highly valuable experience which promises to significantly enrich and improve my knowledge in mathematics and to proceed my personal development.

I’m very grateful to receive a Fulbright Grant, the Presidential Graduate Fellowship and a scholarship from Talanx Foundation. With this help, I am getting closer to my subsequent goal of pursuing a PhD in Mathematics.

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The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

This semester, San Diego State University welcomes National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow Matthew Voigt to campus.

**Matthew Voigt**

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota, Ph.D. in Math and Science Education

I chose SDSU because it’s a leader in the field of math and science education. I was blown away with the faculty’s hospitality and dedication to student learning.

My greatest educational accomplishment was having my research recognized by the National Science Foundation with a Graduate Research Fellowship. I am also proud of my undergraduate advocacy work for Lesbian. Gay, Bisexual and Transgender assistance and resource, which resulted in additional funding for LGBT safe space programs.

I hope to become a leader in the field of math education, through research and teaching. I would like to combine my experience as a computer programmer and educator to create dynamic new ways of exploring mathematics for both children and adult learners.

*See full report: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=75750*

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