Mathematics in Industry Careers 2020



Aslihan Demirkaya
Research Scientist
Vianai Systems Inc.
Associate Professor
University of Hartford
Ph.D. 2011, University of Kansas

Aslihan Demirkaya is a Research Scientist at Vianai Systems Inc. where she provides data science expertise for the company’s AI platform by using her extensive mathematics and statistics background.  After she completed her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Kansas, she has worked as a Math Professor at the University of Hartford and has co-authored more than seventeen publications in top peer-reviewed journals.  She helped create University of Hartford’s data science program and has sought to demonstrate how data science can be accessible to anyone with a computer science or mathematics background.  While keeping her affiliation with the University of Hartford, and her collaborations with top researchers on her previous expertise in differential equations, she gives lectures and seminars to the development platform team of the company on machine learning and deep learning.

Dave Galvin
Senior Vice President of Algorithmic Traffic Acquisition & Data Science
CarGurus (stepped down October 2020 to spend more time with family)
M.A. 1999, University of Louisville

Dave Galvin joined Putnam Investments as a subprime mortgage CDO analyst in 2000 after earning B.S. and M.A. degrees in mathematics at the University of Kansas and University of Louisville.  He worked through the housing crisis, which was an object lesson in the limitations of modeling and the dangers of hubris.  Dave left finance to join CarGurus in 2012, then a small startup trying to disrupt car shopping.  He led their programmatic advertising efforts, culminating in a team of about 25 engineers and data scientists working to spend roughly $200 million annually as efficiently as possible.

Brian McClendon
Co-Founder and CEO
CVKey Project
Research Professor
Information & Telecommunication Technology Center
University of Kansas
Honorary Ph.D. 2016, University of Kansas

Brian McClendon is currently a co-founder and the CEO of CVKey Project, a group that is building apps to help America get back to work during the Pandemic.  He also founded, which has helped over 100K Kansans register to vote or request an advanced ballot.  He is also a Research Professor at the University of Kansas after spending two years at Uber leading their Maps and Business Platform efforts.  For ten years prior, Brian was a Vice President with Google and led the entire Geo business unit including Google Maps, Street View and Google Earth.  He was a co-founder and angel investor in Keyhole, Inc., a geospatial data visualization company that was purchased by Google in 2004 which led to Google Earth.  In the 1990s, he spent eight years at Silicon Graphics, designing 3D graphics workstations.  He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2015 and holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas.  He ran for Kansas Secretary of State in 2018.

Branden Stone
Research Scientist
Assured Information Security
Ph.D. 2012, University of Kansas

Branden Stone is a Research Scientist at Assured Information Security (AIS) in Rome, NY working with the Advanced Research Concept group.  Prior to this, Branden received his Ph.D. in Mathematics in August 2012 from the University of Kansas, specializing in Commutative Algebra.  His thesis work focused on classifying rings with graded Cohen-Macaulay type and has since published multiple papers on a variety of topics.  Before arriving at AIS, Branden was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Bard College and Project NExT fellow (2012 - 2014), an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Adelphi University (2014 - 2018), and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Hamilton College (2018 - 2020).  While a faculty member, Branden conducted undergraduate research on a variety of topics ranging from graded Betti table decompositions to time series applications in chaos theory.

Hongjuan (Iris) Zhou
Professor of Practice
Arizona State University
Ph.D. 2018, University of Kansas

Hongjuan (Iris) Zhou graduated from the University of Kansas in 2018 with a Ph.D. in Mathematics.  She is an associate member of Society of Actuaries, and a Professor of Practice in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University.  Iris teaches various actuarial courses, mentors undergraduate and master students’ research, and works with the local industrial community.  Her research interest is applied probability and the applications in actuarial science and financial mathematics.