PUMP Mentoring Network

PUMP Mentors are faculty in the mathematical sciences at the participating CSU campuses who have committed themselves to PUMP goals. They recruit students for PUMP programs, assist them in finding a research advisor and in applying to summer REUs or internships, and encourage them to apply to graduate schools. When advising research projects, they encourage their students to present the results in conferences, guiding students on how to prepare a poster and/or a polished talk.

If you want to become a mentor in the program write an email to John Rock or Helena Noronha. Below is a list of our current mentors.

Alfonso Agnew

Cal State Fullerton


Alfonso F. Agnew is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy (GWPAC) at CSU Fullerton. His research area is Mathematical Physics. Specific interests are in General Relativity, Twistor Theory, and related mathematical areas. Recent efforts include studying the usefulness of spinors and null tetrads in the study of gravitational waves, and the development of non-Hausdorff manifolds and their connection to twistor-like correspondences.

Alex Alekseenko

Cal State Northridge



Alex Alekseenko is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at California State University Northridge. His research interests lie in numerical partial differential and integral equations. His work involves the design and implementation of novel algorithms for numerical solutions of problems arising in rarefied gas dynamics and wave propagation. He usually teaches graduate and undergraduate numerical analysis, calculus, and introductory courses in mathematical proofs.

Scott Annin

Cal State Fullerton



Scott Annin received his PhD in mathematics in 2002 from the University of California—Berkeley. He has been a professor of mathematics at California State University—Fullerton ever since. During his career, Annin has received every major campus faculty award for excellence in teaching, including the 2015 Outstanding Professor Award from CSU-Fullerton, as well as the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2009. His area of research is algebra, and he has especially enjoyed teaching courses on linear algebra, abstract algebra, number theory, and combinatorics. He has also enjoyed many collaborations with students leading to peer-reviewed journal articles in both pure mathematics and mathematics education, and he has also authored a book about the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME), a contest of the American Mathematical Competitions. In his free time, Annin enjoys hiking and mountaineering.

Gerald Beer

Cal State LA


Gerald Beer is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at California State University, Los Angeles, where he taught for 42 years before retiring in June, 2013. He received his Ph. D. from UCLA in mathematics in 1971, writing his thesis The Visibility Function in Euclidean Space under the direction of Frederick Valentine. A conference was organized in his honor July 18-22, 2011 on Lake Como on Multivalued Analysis and Topology. He has had visiting positions all over the world. Professor Beer has around 130 published articles, many focusing on unilateral analysis, convexity, hyperspaces and set-convergence, UC metric spaces, cofinally complete metric spaces, Lipschitz and locally Lipschitz functions, set-valued functions, variational principles, the structure of linear spaces equipped with norms that can take on the value infinity, and bornologies.

Ryan Blair

Long Beach State



Ryan Blair is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at CSU Long Beach. Dr. Blair earned is Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2010. From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Blair was a Hans Rademacher Instructor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Blair's research focuses on low-dimensional topology and geometry, and investigates the structure of 3-manifolds and the knots they contain by applying modern techniques such as thin position and distance in the curve complex to classical constructions such as Heegaard splittings, Dehn surgery and diagrammatic knot invariants. Dr. Blair's recent course offerings include point-set topology, algebraic topology, differential topology, and knot theory.

Jen-Mei Chang

Cal State Long Beach



Jen-Mei Chang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at California State University, Long Beach and a red'08 dot of the Project NExT fellow. Her primary research interest is concerned with the understanding of patterns in high-dimensional data sets geometrically, which translates into a myriad of theoretical, algorithmic, and computational analysis of large data sets. Her research project helps to contribute to the overall understanding of how the human placenta connects with many adult diseases such as autism spectrum disorder. She routinely teaches courses that span the entire undergraduate and graduate curricula such as large lecture service courses, linear algebra, numerical analysis, and advanced scientific computing.

Corey Dunn

Cal State San Bernardino



Corey Dunn is an Associate Professor at Cal State San Bernardino. His research area is in Differential Geometry, although he has published papers in Algebraic Geometry, Geometric Analysis, Geometric Group Theory, and Linear Algebra. He enjoys teaching all areas of pure mathematics.

Cynthia V. Flores

Cal State Northridge




Cynthia V. Flores is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at California State University Channel Islands. Her research interests lie in nonlinear dispersive equations, properties of solutions related to the initial value problems of certain partial differential equations (PDEs) and related topics in applied mathematics. She enjoys teaching courses like calculus, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, measure theory and masters topics courses in PDEs. Moreover, Dr. Flores enjoys supervising undergraduate research projects and master’s thesis projects. Dr. Flores participated in PUMP as an undergraduate at CSUN.

Tamas Forgacs

Fresno State



Tamas Forgacs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics the California State University, Fresno. His research interests lie in complex analysis, in particular the distribution of zeros of entire functions, and connections to analytic number theory. His work involves the classification of Q-multiplier sequences, and the study of generating functions which give rise to sequences of hyperbolic polynomials. He usually teaches graduate and undergraduate real and complex analysis, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and the occasional number theory course.

Grant Faser

Cal State LA


Grant A. Fraser is Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at California State University, Los Angeles. His field of expertise abstract algebra. His research interests are in the area of lattice theory and universal algebra. His research includes work in the theory of the tensor product of lattices and semilattices. His teaching interests include courses involving writing mathematics and mathematics education, as well as courses in calculus, logic, and techniques of proofs.

Silvia Heubach

Cal State LA



Silvia Heubach is a Professor of Mathematics at Cal State LA. Her current research area is combinatorics, with an emphasis on the analysis of two-player combinatorial games as well as enumerative combinatorics. She is also interested in modeling of biological systems. She has redesigned the mathematics curriculum for life science majors (precalculus and calculus) and regularly teaches those new courses. Other areas of interest are upper division probability and modeling courses, as well as the Mathematica Programming courses.

Badal Joshi

Cal State San Marcos



Badal Joshi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at California State University, San Marcos. His research interests lie in the study of biochemical reaction networks and neuron networks. His work involves identifying the precise relations between network topology and network output. He has taught a wide variety of courses, including mathematical biology, dynamical systems, biochemical reaction networks, linear algebra, statistics, probability, differential equations, and calculus.

Daniel J. Katz

Cal State Northridge



Daniel J. Katz is a member of the Department of Mathematics at California State University, Northridge. His research is primarily in the area of number theory and discrete mathematics. His work usually involves polynomials, finite fields, and character sums, and is often related to problems in transmission of information. He currently teaches abstract algebra, which provides many of the essential tools for his work.

Mits Kobayashi

Cal Poly Pomona



Mits Kobayashi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Cal Poly Pomona. His research interests lie in number theory, especially analytic and computational. His work involves the study of the set of abundant numbers and the behavior of arithmetic functions such as the sum of divisors function and the Euler totient function. He has taught a variety of classes such as complex analysis, number theory, and history of mathematics, all at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as graph theory, calculus, trigonometry, and introduction to set theory and proofs.

Daphne Liu

Cal State LA


Daphne Liu is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Cal State LA. Her research interests are in graph theory and its applications as well as relations of graph theory to number theory and algebraic topology. She created an upper division graph theory course and enjoys teaching it yearly. After taking the course, interested students did independent study with her on advanced research topics. Many of these studies turned into undergraduate or graduate student research projects or master’s theses. She teaches a wide range of courses, including discrete math, matrix theory, modern algebra, theory of probability, and graduate seminar courses.

Will Murray

Long Beach State



Will Murray is a pure mathematician at CSU Long Beach. His primary interests are in algebra, especially noncommutative ring theory, representation theory, number theory, algebraic geometry, and elliptic curves. He is also interested in analysis, probability, and the mathematics of juggling patterns.

Wai Yan Pong

Cal State Dominguez Hills


Wai Yan Pong is a Professor of Mathematics at CSU Dominguez Hills. His area of interests lie in differential algebra, model theory and their applications to number theory. He has published works in model theory of differential fields, combinatorial graph theory, Diophantine equations and algebraic independence of arithmetic functions. He has taught graduate courses in model theory and differential algebra as well as a wide range of undergraduate courses.

Serban Raianu

California State University, Dominguez Hills



Serban Raianu is a professor in the Mathematics Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. His research is mainly in the area of Hopf algebras. He has taught a variety of courses, including abstract algebra, linear algebra, number theory, complex analysis, statistics, probability, and calculus.

John A. Rock

Cal Poly Pomona



John A. Rock is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Cal Poly Pomona. His research interests lie in fractal geometry and related fields such as number theory and measure theory. His work involves the development of a theory of complex dimensions in the setting provided by box-counting dimension and zeta functions. He usually teaches graduate and undergraduate real analysis, calculus, and occasionally special courses on fractal geometry.

Tony Shaheen

Cal State LA


Tony Shaheen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at CSULA. His research interests lie in expander graphs. He teaches a variety of courses which include graduate and undergraduate algebra, calculus, and number theory. His non-math interests are music and art.

Roberto Soto

Cal State Fullerton


Roberto Soto is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Math Education at California State University Fullerton (CSUF). His research interests include representation theory of groups and algebras and their applications, as well as assessment in the mathematics classroom to drive instruction. His experience teaching mathematics is broad, having taught at the secondary, community college, and university levels and he is usually teaching courses in the calculus sequence or courses for the Master of Arts in Mathematics (Teaching Option) at CSUF.

Bogdan D. Suceavă

Cal State Fullerton


Bogdan D. Suceavă is a Professor at the Department of Mathematics at Cal State Fullerton. His research interests lie in the areas of differential geometry, metric geometry and the history of mathematics, as well as in the education of gifted students and strategies of problem solving. He coordinates the Fullerton Mathematical Circle, the outreach program of the Department of Mathematics at Cal State Fullerton. Some of the papers he co-authored with his collaborators pursuing an undergraduate degree at Cal State Fullerton appeared in the Houston J. Math., Taiwanese Mathematical J., Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Forum Geometricorum, the College Mathematical Journal, Mathematical Intelligencer, and in other journals. He usually teaches differential geometry, topology, real analysis, history of mathematics, foundations of geometry and calculus.

Note: Bogdan’s photo is due to Polirom Press, he would appreciate if it appears with the specification Photo by Polirom Press.

Anael Verdugo, Ph.D.

Cal State Fullerton



Dr. Anael Verdugo is an Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics and the CSUF NSF GRAM Co-PI. Dr. Verdugo is currently collaborating with biologists to build, analyze, and validate dynamic models of cellular pathways, which are then used to predict novel physiological behavior. He is also working on mathematical questions inspired by biological systems. Some of his current and previous projects include the use and study of nonlinear differential equations, dynamical systems and bifurcation theory. He has recently taught courses on differential equations, mathematical modeling, and numerical analysis.

Robin Wilson

Cal Poly Pomona


Robin Wilson is a Professor of Mathematics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He received his BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley in 1999

and his PhD from UC Davis in 2006. He joined the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona in 2007 after an appointment as a UC Presidents’ Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Wilson was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University in 2014. His current research interests include both low-dimensional topology and math education. He often teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in abstract algebra and topology.