C.H. Gladman, Carl E. Hall, et al.
This page had not been updated for a number of years. We do go back to department files as time permits, but if you are or have been part of the department faculty, and your name does not appear on this history page, please let us know and we will be happy to include the information promptly.
Early History: During the early days of the institution mathematics instruction in the State School of Mines and Metallurgy was provided by a Professor of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics (most notable was Captain Kidd for whom Kidd field was named). In 1919 the institution became a branch of the University of Texas and was renamed The Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy. Prior to 1932 a Normal School operated in the El Paso High School Building with a 37 hour program for elementary teacher certification and a 60 hour program for secondary teachers. In 1932, the Normal School was absorbed by the College of Mines and Metallurgy. A Department of Mathematics and Physics was also established in 1932.
The first mathematics instructor was Beulah Liles (MA-Chicago) who moved from the Normal School. There were also two Mathematics and Physics professors hired in 1932 one of which was E. J. Knapp, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Physics, who chaired the newly created department.
In 1940, the Mathematics and Physics Department became part of the School of Arts and Sciences of the College of Mines and Metallurgy.
1965-present Since its beginning, the department has been served by a senior secretary from the same family. Mrs. Anna Lane (1965-69), Mrs. Bonita Henry (1969-79), and Mrs. Lanna Tallmon (1979-present). Mrs. Henry is the mother of Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Tallmon.
1965 The Department of Mathematics came into being as a separate department, in the School of Arts and Sciences, in 1965. At that time E. J. Knapp stepped down from his administrative position as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics and was named Professor Emeritus of Physics. Max Bolen became Chair of Physics and C.H. Gladman became Acting Chair of Mathematics. The department was housed primarily in Old Main with additional offices in Holiday Hall.
Several people who had earned the Bachelor's Degree in the combined department have returned to the campus in various capacities over the years. The ones whose names come to mind in association with the mathematics program are:
H.N. Ballard - Mathematics and Physics faculty and later
White Sands Missile Range
Clarence Cooper - Mathematics and Physics faculty and later Physics faculty
E. Alan Dean - Mathematics and Physics faculty and later Physics faculty
Norma Hernandez - College of Education faculty and later Dean of Education
Nancy Marcus - Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics Department, and later Professor
R.G. Omundson - Mathematics faculty
J.R. Provencio - Mathematics and Physics faculty and later Mathematics faculty and the innovating force in the institution of the InterAmerican Science Program
Louise Resley - Mathematics faculty and Dean of Women
Robert Schumaker - Mathematics and Physics faculty and later Director of Admissions
At the time of the institution of the separate Department of Mathematics, the following people became the designated faculty for the new department:
Professors: Dr. Delmar Boyer (Abelian Groups) Associate Professors: Dr. Eugene Allgower, Dr. Ralph Bentz, Mr. C.H. Gladman Assistant Professors: Mr. O.C. Kruschwitz, Mr. V.A. Miculka, Mr. R.G. Omundson, Mrs. Beulah Liles Patterson, Mrs. Louise Resley Instructors: Mr. Homer Bailey, Mr. Stanley Ball, Mr. William Burgett, Mr. Philip Duran, Mr. Rex Fox, Miss Jule Hansen, Mr. Donald Horner, Mr. Lawrence Huntley, Mr. Ralph Liguori, Mr. Robert McDonald, Mr. Frank Miter, Mr. Ralph Pryor, and Mrs. Edythe Threadgill
There were also a few part time instructors and teaching assistants. One of the teaching assistants at that time was Nancy Marcus.
Of this original faculty; Dr. Allgower (Complex Analysis) left after one year to join the faculty at Colorado State University; Mr. Kruschwitz and Mr. Omundson quit teaching for other careers; Mrs. Patterson (67), Mrs. Resley, Mr. Bailey (79), Mr. Burgett (72), Mr. McDonald (79), Mr. Miter, Mr. Pryor (72) , and Mrs. Threadgill retired.
It is worthy of note that Mrs. Patterson had over forty years of service to this institution at her retirement. The Bulah Liles Patterson Memorial Presidential Scholarship Fund was established in 1987 by her will when she died in 1986 at the age of 90.
Mrs. Louise Resley Wiggins married Dr. Dossie Wiggins, President of Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy from 1935-48. He went to Texas Tech as President and she moved to Lubbock before 1965. She returned to El Paso on his death and lived at the MonteVista Coronado Retirement Community.
Mr. Phillip Duran and Mr. Donald Horner left to pursue further degrees and did not return. Mr. Stanley Ball and Mr. Ralph Liguori took leaves of absence to earn doctoral degrees. Dr. Ball returned to the College of Education and Dr. Liguori returned to the Department of Mathematics.
The year 1965 also saw the introduction of the first course in computer programming and in numerical analysis. This was a direct result of the presence of Dr. Mac Adams during the previous year. He left to head the Computer Science program at New Mexico State University. There was one course in statistics in the catalog at this time. Preparation was begun on a program to lead to the Master's Degree in Mathematics. The undergraduate program was expanded and graduate level courses first appeared in the 1966-67 catalog and by the Fall of 1969, the M.S. degree program had been approved.
1966 Mr. Joe Fitzpatrick joined the Mathematics Department faculty. He retired in 1989.
1967 The School of Arts and Sciences was divided to form the Schools of Business Administration, Education, Liberal Arts, and Science. The Mathematics Department became a part of the School of Science and moved to the Physical Science Building. Dr. James Nymann (Number Theory) and Mr. Bernard Martin-Williams joined the faculty in the fall of this year. Dr. Nymann was chair of the department from January 1974 - August 1975. He was a Fullbright Professor at the University of Liberia during 1972-73 and at the University of Malawi during 1977-79. Dr. Nymann was primarily responsible for the development of the Master of Arts in Teaching Degree (1981). Dr. Nymann also served on the Board of Governors for the Mathematical Association of America for the period 1976-78.
Also in 1967, the University initiated the Inter-American Science Program for U.S. citizens and others who had completed high school in a Spanish speaking country. The program was housed in Mathematics with J.R. Provencio as Director. From the original 30 students the program grew to 400, one half of which were freshmen. One of these, Dr. Javier Rojo, later received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California at Berkley and joined the UTEP faculty in 1984. The first program graduate, Dr. Norma Nunez, graduated from UTEP after three years and continues in administration at El Paso Community College in 1992.
1968 Drs. William J. Leahey (Algebra), Kennith Lopp (Analysis), and Frederick Strauss (Applied Algebra) joined the faculty. Dr. Leahey was named Department Chairman, replacing C. H. Gladman who had been acting in that capacity since the inception of the department. Dr. Leahey was chairman from Fall 68 to Fall 71 and again for Fall 73.
1969 Drs. Carl Hall (Topological Algebra), Neal Wagner (Topology), Mr. Chip Neville (Functional Analysis), and Mr. William Dodge (Algebra) joined the faculty. Dr. Hall was Department Chairman from Fall 71 to Fall 73. He served as Chairman of the Faculty Senate 1975-77 and again for 1990-92, and was a charter member of the U.T. System Faculty Advisory Council formed in 1990. Dr. Wagner was on leave 1974-76 and again 1979-80. He left in 1982 for Philadelphia and moved to San Antonio in 1987. Mr. Dodge became Director of the Mathematics Program in Tutorial Services, left the University in 1977, and is now teaching high school mathematics in El Paso.
1970 Drs. Michael Gray (Analysis) , Clinton Kennel (Complex Analysis), John Narvarte (Topology), Eugene Schuster (Statistics), and V.K. Srinivasan (Analysis) joined the faculty. Dr. Narvarte served as Department Chairman from Fall 75 - Fall 79. Dr. Schuster served as Department Chairman from Fall 79 - Fall 81 and again from Fall 83 - Fall 86. Dr. Srinivasan served as Department Chairman in Fall 86. It was under the leadership of Dr. Schuster that the statistics program began to grow. He also added support to the program in Computer Science. The years 1971-73 saw the introduction of one additional course in computer programming and, by the fall of 1973, enough additional undergraduate courses in statistics so that a student could minor in statistics. By 1973 there were also graduate courses in statistics in the program. Dr. Schuster was on leave as a visiting professor at the University of Arizona 1974-75. Dr. Kennel left in 1975 and is teaching high school mathematics in El Paso. Also, the annual meeting of the Southwestern Section of the Mathematical Association of America was held at UTEP with Dr. Nymann as Chairman. The keynote speaker was Dr. Basil Gordon of UCLA. During the summer, the National Science Foundation sponsored a summer institute for high school mathematics teachers. Dr. Nymann was Director and Dr. Strauss was Associate Director.
1971 The department had 28 regular positions. No new faculty were added this year. The NSF summer institute of 1970 was continued during this summer also.
1972 Dr. Andreas Philippou (Statistics) joined the faculty and Dr. Tom Head (Algebra) served as a Visiting Professor. Chip Neville left the university and received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1973 Dr. Philippou left for Greece and Dr. Head returned to the University of Alaska.
1974 Drs. Joe Guthrie (Topology) and William Kaigh (Statistics) joined the faculty. Dr. Satish Chandra (Statistics) served as a Visiting Professor, 1974-75. Dr. Guthrie was Department Chairman Fall 1981 - Fall 83. Dr. Kaigh was on leave during 1978-79 to do some work on Biostatistics. Mr. Bernard Martin-Williams died in a tragic accident.
1975 The department experienced a 30% enrollment increase and began using part-time instructors for the first time. The department sponsored a symposium on History of American Mathematics (Algebra). Dr. Hall was symposium director. Principal speakers were: Walter Feit (Yale), Laszlo Fuchs (Tulane), I.N. Herstein (Chicago), Saunders MacLane (Chicago), John Tate (Harvard), and Olga Taussky Todd (California Institute of Technology). The department became an institutional member of the Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium with Dr. Nymann as the first institutional representative.
1976 Drs. Gavin Gregory (Statistics) and John Starner (Applied Mathematics) joined the faculty. Dr. Starner became Computer Center Director in 1982.
1977 Dr. Clay Burch (Computer Science and Analysis) joined the faculty. He left the department in 1982.
1978 Visiting Professors Cheng-Meng Yeh (Statistics), Dilip Gajendragadkar (Finite Groups and Representations), and Gary Makowski (Statistics) worked in the department.
1979 Drs. Leslie Foged (Topology) and Vladimir Lifschitz (Computer Science and Logic) joined the faculty and K.M. Rangaswany (Abelian Groups) came as a visitor for the years 1979-81. Mr. McDonald retired at the end of the year. Dr. Foged was Department Chairman from Fall 1987 to Fall 1988. By this time, several members of the faculty had become interested in computers and computing, to the extent that a few owned microcomputers of their own and the department had one in its statistics laboratory. During the years of 1977-79, an interdisciplinary program in Computer Science was developed within the framework of Business, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Several of the mathematics faculty taught computer science courses. The program first appeared in the 1979-80 catalog with administration of the program housed in Electrical Engineering. Also in 1979 the annual meeting of the Southwestern Section of the Mathematics Association of America was held at UTEP with Dr. Hall as Chairman. The keynote speaker was Dr. John Selfridge, Executive Director of Mathematical Reviews. The name of the Department of Mathematics was changed to the Department of Mathematical Sciences to reflect the departments interest and involvement in both computer science and statistics. The department had 26 regular positions.
1980 Dr. Michael Gelfond (Logic and Computer Science) came as a visitor and remained in 1981 as a tenure track faculty member. Dr. Ralph Bentz retired.
1981 Dr. Robert Maltz (Algebraic Geometry) came as a Visiting Professor for the period 1981-82. The Masters of Arts in Teaching Degree was approved.
1982 Dr. Dan Patterson (Statistics) came as a Visiting Associate Professor on a one semester appointment. Later, he received a tenure track appointment with Computer Science. Also, Drs. Piotr Antosik (Functional Analysis) and Ellis White (Analysis and Set Theoretic Topology) came as visitors for one year. Dr. Burch left the campus this year and Drs. Gelfond and Lifschitz were transferred to the new Department of Computer Science. The Department of Mathematical Sciences moved its offices to Bell Hall.
1983 Drs. Granville Sewell (Applied Mathematics) and Teodor Przymusinski (Topology - Computer Science) joined the department faculty. Dr. Sewell was on leave to the University of Texas System Center for High Performance Computing from Summer 1990 to Fall 1991. Professor Gladman retired and was named Associate Professor Emeritus.
1984 Drs. Enio Jelihovochi (Statistics), Eugene Ng (Number Theory), and Javier Rojo (Statistics) joined the department faculty. Dr. Hitoshi Ombe (Analysis) came as a visitor for one year. Mr. Miculka retired.
1985 Maria Barraza-Rios came as a graduate student to work on the M.S. degree in statistics. She became the first Director of the Mathematical Science Learning Center in 1987.
1986 Drs. Adam Kravczyk (Set Theory), A. R. Varadarajan (Chemical Engineering), and Rastislav Telgarsky (General Topology) came as Visiting Professors. The first two for one year and Dr. Telgarsky for two years. This year, Drs. Guthrie, Hall, Leahey, and Nymann went to Malaysia as part of the charter faculty for the Texas Program directed by the Texas International Education Consortium, Inc. Dr. Hall served as mathematics coordinator for the Texas Program and was succeeded by Dr. Nymann in Spring 87. The C. H. Gladman Scholarship Fund was established to provide undergraduate student scholarships for students in mathematics in honor of Professor Emeritus and first Department Chairman Hermann Gladman.
The department received the first of two consecutive three year Department of Education Minority Science Improvement Program (MSIP) Grants with Dr. Schuster as the Principal Investigator. The basic strategy was the development of a Mathematical Science Learning Center using modern technology to enhance the quality of mathematical education and significantly reduce attrition rates in key mathematics courses for majors in science and engineering.
1987 Dr. Ferenc Szidarovszky (Numerical Computing) came for one year as a Visiting Professor. Dr. Strauss went to Malaysia as part of the TIEC Texas Program. The microcomputer lab for Precalculus I opened in the fall semester.
1988 Dr. Simon Bernau (Analysis/Ordered Algebraic Structures) joined the department faculty as Department Chairman. Dr. Jelihovschi left the department for Brazil. The microcomputer lab for Precalculus II opened in the fall semester. Bell Hall was closed for most of August and September while asbestos was removed.
1989 Drs. Mohamed Amine Khamsi (Functional Analysis) and Panagis Moschopoulos (Statistics) joined the department faculty. Dr. Anna Wasko (Topology) was here as a Visiting Professor. Mr. Fox and Mr. Fitzpatrick retired. Ms. Hansen died.
The second MSIP grant was obtained with Dr. Bernau and Dr. Schuster as joint Principal Investigators. This enabled the department to complete development of the Mathematics Learning Center and our extensive computer network linking faculty offices, the classroom lab, and through the University's fiber optic net, the rest of the world.
1990 Drs. Denny Leung (Banach Space Theory) and Joan Staniswalis (Statistics) joined the department faculty. Dr. Andrezj Kozek (Statistics) came as a visitor for one and one-half years. Mr. Huntley retired.
1991 Drs. Arthur Duval (Algebraic Combinatorics), Helmut Knaust (Functional Analysis), Loki Natarajan (Lie Groups and Representation Theory), and Piotr Wojciechowski (Ordered Algebraic Structures) joined the department faculty. Dr. Lucas Venter (Functional Analysis/Riez Spaces and Algebras) came as a visitor for a portion of the year. Drs. Denny Leung (to University of Singapore), Eugene Ng, and Teodor Przymusinski (to University of California at Riverside) left the University. The Actuarial Science option for the Bachelors degree was approved. The department has 26 regular tenure track positions.
1992 Club Zero was founded. The mathematics and statistics club was (and still is) open to all UTEP students, faculty and staff.
The Biostatistical Consulting Laboratory was proposed by Drs. Javier Rojo, Eugene Schuster and William Kaigh as part of a larger five year proposal. The proposal was funded by the NIH, and Dr. Javier Rojo organized and became the laboratory's director.
Dr. Mike Gray returned TeXPrep to UTEP. TeXPrep was a summer intervention program for grades seventh through twelve. The department continued hosting TeXPrep until 2003.
1993 Dr. Fred Strauss and Mr. Larry Huntley retired.
1994 Drs. William Leahey and Loki Natarajan were on leave this year. Drs. Kazik Alster, Fouad Chaatit, Phil Schafer and Steve Gunhouse joined the department as visiting faculty.
Dr. Nancy Marcus began a pilot to teach precalculus in modules, where students were required to successfully complete one segment of the course before continuing with the next segment. Eventually, this format was adopted to teach precalculus and calculus.
1995 Dr. Fred Strauss passed away in May.
Dr. Joe Guthrie was elected Department Chairman. He served the department in this capacity until 2003.
Dr. Michael O'Neil joined the department faculty.
1996 SOS Math went online. The internet site was created by Drs. Amine Khamsi, Helmut Knaust and Nancy Marcus to provide review material to faculty and students. The project was supported by "A Model Institution for Excellence", a university-wide initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.
1997 Dr. Nhu Nguyen joined the department as visiting faculty.
Drs. Hamide Dogan-Dunlap (Mathematics Education) and Daniel Emil Schwab (Arithmetic Functions, Inverse Semigroups, Möbius Inversion joined the department faculty as Assistant Professors.
With the help of a NSF grant, the department began to offer a Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics graduate program to middle and high school teachers in the El Paso region in a cohort format.
2003 Dr. Helmut Knaust became Department Chairman.
The Bioinformatics Program, established by the College of Science in 2001, is housed in the Math department, under the new leadership of Dr. Ming Ying Leung (Probabilistic Modeling and Statistical Bioinformatics), who joined the department faculty as Professor.
Dr. Matthew Winsor (Mathematics Education) joined the department as Assistant Professor.
2004 Dr. V.K. Srinivasan retired from the Department in a phased retirement system
Drs. Larry Lesser (Mathematics and Statistics Education) and Pavel Solin (Adaptive Finite Element Methods) joined the department faculty as Associate Professors.
2005 Several esteemed faculty died this year: Dr. Gavin Gregory in April, Mr. Lawrence Huntley in May, and Dr. C.H. Gladman (the department's first chairman) in December.
UTEP hosted the MAA Southwest Regional Conference in April. The conference was organized by Dr. Hamide Dogan-Dunlap.
2006 UTEP became the first Hispanic Serving Institution ever to host StatFest, an annual conference aimed at encouraging undergraduate minority students to pursue careers and graduate studies in the statistical sciences.StatFest 2006 was sponsored by CMS and the UTEP Statistical Consulting Lab and was chaired by assistant professor Naijun Sha and by Spelman College professor Nagambal Shah.
The first in a series of international conferences dedicated to advances in Finite Element Methods and their applications in engineering and science was organized by Dr. Pavel Solín. FEMTEC 2006 took place in December, with more than 50 attendees all over the US, Europe and Japan.
2007 This year brought many honors to the department:
Dr. Mohamed A. Khamsi received the College of Science Distinguished Achievement Award for Research. Drs. Miguel Argáez and Leticia Velázquez received ORSP's 2006-2007 Outstanding Performance Award.
Two of the three Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were department graduates: Robert O’Rear (BA, Mathematical Sciences, 1964) and Harriet May (BS, Mathematical Sciences, 1971)
2008 Dr. Helmut Knaust stepped down as chair, and Dr. Steve Aley (College of Science Associate Dean) became Interim Chair. Statistician Dr. Amy Wagler (Simultaneous Inference and Categorical Data Analysis) joined the department faculty as Assistant Professor.
Dr. Art Duval co-chaired the ninth annual CombinaTexas (Combinatorics in the South Central US). The conference was hosted at UTEP for the first time ever and attracted attendees from across the country and even as far as Kuwait.
As the result of a multi-year effort by Dr. Ramón Ravelo (Physics), Dr. Granville Sewell, and Dr. Pavel Solin, the Computational Science program was approved and the first cohort of students was admitted. Dr. Leticia Velazquez was appointed program director. The program's graduate faculty included strong representation from the math department: Drs. Miguel Argáez, Ming-Ying Leung, Andrzej Pownuk, Granville Sewell, Naijun Sha, Pavel Solín, Joan Staniswalis, and Leticia Velázquez.
Dr. Pavel Solín left the university for the University of Nevada at Reno
2009 Dr. Maria Christina Mariani joined the department faculty as Department Chair and Professor. Dr. Son-Young Yi joined the department faculty as Assistant Professor.
Dr. Art Duval received a UT Regents Award for Outstanding Teaching
Dr. Matthew Winsor left the university for Illinois State University.