Mathematical and Digital Sciences Faculty and Staff

Mathematical and Digital Sciences Faculty and Staff

Diane Barrett

Diane Barrett received her undergraduate degree from the Remington College and a master's degree from Capella University. Her Northcentral University Ph.D. dissertation is on the application of current digital forensic methods to cloud computing environments. Her research interests are in the areas of virtual environments and mobile forensics.

William C. Calhoun

William Calhoun earned his B.A. from Carleton College in 1982 and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990. He joined the department in 1997, after teaching for several years in Michigan. His research interests include computability theory, mathematical logic and combinatorics. His outside interests include music, sports, novels, movies, and especially his wife Jill and children Emily and Sam.

Drue Coles

Drue Coles joined the department in 2004 with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University. His teaching and research interests include software design, analysis of algorithms and evolutionary computation. Visit his home page for more info.

Heather Ervin

Heather Ervin received her Ph.D. from Penn State University in August of 2015, completing her dissertation “The Impact of Instruction Through Models on Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Fraction Multiplication and Division”. She joined the faculty in MADS in January of 2008 as a temporary faculty member and started her tenure-track position in August of 2016. Her research interests include preservice elementary and middle school teachers’ understanding and knowledge of fraction models, mathematics preparation of high school students for collegiate mathematics, and teaching statistics through sports.

Kevin Ferland

Kevin Ferland completed his Ph.D. at Syracuse University in 1999. His dissertation is in algebraic topology, and he also does research in graph theory and combinatorics. He is a big sports fan, and loves to participate in all kinds of sports.

JoAnne Growney

JoAnne Growney is faculty emerita. Her degrees include a Ph,D, (abstract algebra) from the University of Oklahoma, an MA from Temple University, a BS from Westminster (PA) College. She joined the mathematics department (of Bloomsburg State College) in 1969 and enjoyed teaching a range of courses from "Math Thinking" to graduate level offerings. During 1983-84, the year of BU’s transition from college to university, Growney served as acting Provost. Since her retirement in 1997, she has combined her love of mathematics with writing poetry — details are available at her webpage and at her blog ("Intersections — Poetry with Mathematics").

Scott Inch

Scott Inch earned a B.S. in Mathematics in 1986 from Bloomsburg University, a M.S. in Mathematics in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in 1992 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His areas of specialty are control theory, integro-partial differential equations, and energy decay in viscoelastic and thermo-viscoelastic rods. In addition, he is interested in cryptology and mathematics education topics such as math anxiety and problem solving. In addition to his mathematical interests, his hobbies include photography, target shooting, ska and punk music.

Curt Jones

Curt Jones is a life-long resident of the Bloomsburg Area. Jones received his Ph.D. from Penn State University. He earned a B.S. degree from Lock Haven University and a M.S. degree from the University of Iowa. His Ph.D. is in graph theory and has worked on many algorithm and data structure problems.

Eric B. Kahn

Eric Kahn grew up in the small town of Hingham on the south shore of Massachusetts. He received his B.A. in mathematics from Kenyon College in 2004 before attending the University of Kentucky to earn an M.A. in 2006 and a Ph.D. in 2009, both in mathematics. His dissertation was in the field of algebraic topology and his interests also include homological algebra. Back when there was free time he remembers enjoying: cooking, working out, sports, reading and discussing politics. More details are available at his website.

Zahira Khan

Zahira Khan received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Temple University. Her research interest are Parallel Processing and Database Design. She also studies issues in Computer Science Education. She is currently working with the Oracle Database system and is revising our Database Design course to use Oracle Databases.

Stephen Kokoska

Stephen Kokoska received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his MS and Ph.D. from The University of New Hampshire. His research interests include the statistical analysis of cancer chemo prevention experiments. At Bloomsburg University he usually teaches courses in calculus and statistics, is busy with writing projects, and regularly works with Mathematica and TeX.

Ashley Bilinski

Ashley Bilinski is our Department Secretary. She joined our department in September 2017. She began her career at BU in 2009 working in Academic Internships then moved to the Honors Program before joining the Mathematical and Digital Sciences Department.

Lisa Lister

Lisa Lister received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maine and her Master and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wyoming. Her research interests are in the areas of algebraic graph theory and combinatorics, as well as math education.

Paul A. Loomis

Paul Loomis grew up in Indiana and went to Wabash College and Purdue University, receiving an A.B. in 1992 from Wabash, an M.S. in 1998, and a Ph.D. in 1999, both from Purdue. His research interests are in algebra and number theory (specifically, in Galois theory) and in graph theory. In his copious free time, he writes, plays, and sings a variety of music and runs races of any distance between 5K and 50 miles.

Youmin Lu

Youmin Lu received his bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Shandong University of China, his master's degree in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from The University of Pittsburgh. He enjoys teaching and working with students. His research areas include asymptotics of transcendental functions, analysis of ordinary and partial differential equations and data mining.

Chris Lynd

Chris Lynd taught math in high school for twelve years before getting his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Rhode Island in 2012. His research interests include nested radicals, systems of difference equations, competitive maps, and bifurcation theory. His hobbies include frisbee golf and playing board games.

Barry Minemyer

Barry is a native to Pennsylvania, having grown up in the small town of Carrolltown somewhere out between Altoona and Johnstown. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Penn State Altoona in 2007, and earned is Ph. D. from Binghamton University in 2013. Barry spent a year at Alfred University and three years as a postdoc at The Ohio State University before joining the MADS faculty in the fall of 2017. His doctorate is in the area of Geometry and Topology, and his research mainly lies in the fields of Metric Geometry and Differential Geometry. Barry enjoys spending time with his wife and children, watching sporting events (he is a Pittsburgh sports fan), and playing sports. He was a 4-year member of the men's basketball team at Penn State Altoona.

Robert Montante

Robert Montante came to the Department in 1994, from Indiana University (in southern Indiana). In 1997 he defended his Ph.D. His research and interests cover a range of "hardware" issues in Computer Science, and his favorite languages are low-level ones that get close to the metal. Outside interests include skiing (telemark, nordic, and alpine), hiking and camping, photography, and old computing equipment.

Reza Noubary (G. R. Dargahi-Noubary)

Reza Noubary received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Mathematics from Tehran University, Iran, a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in statistics from Manchester University, England. He has more than 40 years of experience working in 10 universities in 6 different countries. His research interests include time series analysis, geostatistics, reliability, risk analysis, and applications of mathematics in sports. He is Alexander von Humboldt fellow and a member of ASA, RSS, AMS, and MAA. He has published more than 100 papers in several different disciplines and four books, of which many are in the area of earthquake modeling and risk analysis. His outside interests include soccer, raquetball, and tennis.

John B. Polhill

John Polhill received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in May of 1999, completing his dissertation "Constructions of Partial Difference Sets Using Galois Rings." He joined the Bloomsburg University faculty in August of 1999. His research interests include difference sets, coding theory, and Galois (ring) theory.

Philip Polstra

Dr. Phil Polstra is an internationally recognized hardware hacker and forensics expert. He has spoken at many top conferences worldwide including repeat performances at Blackhat, DEFCON, 44CON, GrrCON, ForenSecure, and B-sides. Some of his recent work developing hacking hardware based on the Beagle family of devices is documented in his book Hacking and Penetration Testing with Low Power Devices (Syngress, 2015). Dr. Polstra is an expert on non-magnetic media (such as USB flash drives) and Linux forensics and has delivered training courses and presentations on these topics around the world.

When not teaching, creating new electronic devices, performing penetration tests, or providing infosec consulting services he has been known to fly, teach others how to fly, and build aircraft. He is an accomplished aviator with thousands of hours of flight time in various aircraft and a dozen aviation ratings/certificates, all of which are current. He is licensed as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, airplane mechanic, aircraft inspector, and avionics technician. More information on Dr. Polstra’s latest happenings can be found at

James C. Pomfret

James Pomfret is faculty emeritus. He earned a BS in mathematics from Bates College, an MS in mathematics from New Mexico State University, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught mathematics at SUNY Oswego, Clemson University, and Bloomsburg where he joined the faculty in 1972. He has also worked for the Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge Mass. as an operations research analyst. His mathematical interests are in linear groups and operations research. In recent years he has lectured at several universities in the People's Republic of China and is an honorary member of the faculty at Shenyang Teacher's College and East China Normal University in Shanghai. He was chairman of the department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics from 1996 through 2006.

Mehdi Razzaghi

Mehdi Razzaghi holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of London in England. He has twenty-two years of teaching and research experience in many universities and institutions of higher education in several countries around the world. His principle area of research is Environmental Statistics with particular reference to applications of statistical modeling and risk assessment in toxicological experiments.

John H. Riley Jr.

John Riley received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut in 1980. He joined the department in 1984. His research and teaching interests include analysis, chaos, and computer science. His most recent accomplishment at the University was leading the University's Middle States accreditation. In his spare time he enjoys distance running.

Yixun (Jim) Shi

Yixun Shi, professor, earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Iowa in 1992. His current teaching interests include computational mathematics as well as a variety of other math, statistics, and CS courses. His research interests: numerical optimization and nonlinear systems, computational and applied statistics, computer mathematics, and mathematics education.

Michael Stephans

Michael Stephans leads three distinct professional lives: He is a jazz musician who has performed and/or recorded with many internationally known artists. His critically acclaimed solo CD was released in 2007, and was named one of the best jazz CD's of that year in the UK. As a writer and poet, he has authored three books with a fourth on the way. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Miami, his Master's degrees from the University of Miami and California State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Here at Bloomsburg University, he has further developed and implemented the technical writing curriculum, specifically as a second-semester composition course option for science and technology majors.

Erik Wynters

Erik Wynters received his B.S. degree from The University of New Hampshire and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. His research interests lie in Computational Geometry and Robot Motion Planning. Computational Geometry focuses on the development of fast computer algorithms for solving geometric problems arising in Robotics, Computer Graphics, CAD/CAM, Computer Vision, and Operations Research. Robot Motion Planning is concerned with the automatic generation of obstacle-avoiding paths for a mobile robot or a robot arm. His results in these areas have been published in journals and presented in international conferences.

Dong Zhang

Dong Zhang received his B.Sc in 2004, M.Sc in statistics in 2007 from the College of Mathematics, Nankai University, and Ph.D in statistics from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the University of Toledo. He is interested in both statistics and computer science, and he enjoys teaching and communicating with students. Visit his home page for more information.