Name: Jennifer McLoud-Mann, Cherokee
Discipline: Theoretical Mathematics
University/Year: University of Arkansas, 2002
Jennifer McLoud-Mann, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
Associate Dean for Operations
Interim Director of Graduate Academic Services
School of STEM
University of Washington Bothell
Dr. McLoud’s current research interests include various areas in discrete mathematics including knot theory, tiling theory, and combinatorics. More accessible areas of mathematics allow her to involve undergraduate students in her research. Dr. McLoud served as the principal investigator on National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grants to establish the first NSF REU site at UW Bothell and the first NSF REU site at UT Tyler.
In summer 2015, a tiling theory research result involving an undergraduate and now UW alum, David Von Derau, and colleague, Casey Mann, caught much media attention as well as attention from the mathematics community; after 30 years since the last major result, they discovered the 15th pentagon to tile the plane.
Jennifer McLoud-Mann grew up in Weleetka, Oklahoma (a rural town with population around 1000) and was the first in her family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. As a first-generation Native American woman, she took advantage of opportunities to participate in OK-LSAMP and McNair Scholars at East Central University. Both programs provided her with undergraduate research experiences and other assistance that led her to pursue graduate studies. At the University of Arkansas, she earned both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mathematics.
As a faculty member, Dr. McLoud’s passion has always been paying it forward by mentoring undergraduate research students, especially students from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups. Her research focuses on problems in discrete geometry, a branch of mathematics that is rich in problems accessible to undergraduates. One of her notable research achievements is a discovery with an undergrad and colleague related to a longstanding simply stated problem about pentagonal tilings; their discovery of the 15th convex pentagon to tile the plane received a lot of media attention and was featured as number 55 of the top 100 stories in all of science for 2015 in Discover Magazine’s The Year in Science.
Dr. McLoud is currently a tenured full professor and the Associate Dean for Operations for the School of STEM at the University of Washington Bothell. Before her Pacific Northwest adventure began, she held a tenured position at the University of Texas at Tyler and served as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. More information about Dr. McLoud can be found here.