Satyan Devadoss, PhD

Satyan Devadoss
Phone: (619) 260-2978
Office: Saints Tekakwitha & Serra Hall 150

Fletcher Jones Chair and Professor, Mathematics

Before arriving at USD in 2016, Satyan Devadoss was a professor of mathematics at Williams College since 2002, along with holding visiting positions at Ohio State, UC Berkeley, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Harvey Mudd, Université Nice, and Stanford.  Devadoss is a recipient of two national teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America, as well as an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, with support over the years from the Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Whiting Fellowship, DARPA, and the John Templeton Foundation.

Scholarly Work

Motivated by computational biology, theoretical physics, and computer science, much of Devadoss's work revolves around discrete structures and their underlying topology and geometry.  The fascination is not in the study of one object, but the space of all ways an object can deform and evolve.  He believes that conveying results with visual clarity, accuracy, and simplicity is as important as the discovery of the ideas themselves, resulting in invited presentations from research universities, international centers, and design spaces (Pixar, Google, LucasFilm).

Areas of Interest

A strong proponent of the liberal arts, Devadoss believes that ideas should be made incarnate, for the physical matters.  Humans care about how things look, taste, feel, and sound.  And mathematics is part of this tapestry, dealing not just with the mind, but the body as well, extending to our tangible world.  Underneath a mathematical framework lies a strong desire for the proper visualization of data, from drawings to graphics to photography. Collaborations have resulted in art gallery openings in Berlin, redesigns of college course catalogs, and the formation of new courses on origami, phylogenetics, design, and visualization. Some works and thoughts have appeared in venues such as NPR, The Times of London, and Forbes.

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