I am a Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I graduated with honors from Guilford College in 1983, with a double major in math and English. I subsequently spent a year on a Fulbright grant in Yugoslavia, and received my MS in mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 1986. I received my Ph.D. in differential geometry at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1989 under the direction of Karsten Grove. Subsequently, I held postdoctoral positions at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn and Ohio State University before coming to UTK in 1992. I was a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Natural Sciences in Leipzig, Germany the spring of 1999 and summer of 2001. I was a visiting researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in the spring of 1999. I was undergraduate associate head in the math department from spring 2003 to summer 2005, during which time I designed the UT Math Honors Program, for which I subsequently received a $1 Million grant from the National Science Foundation. I served as director of the Math Honors program until becoming Department Head in 2012.
I live with my wife and two dogs in Knoxville’s beautiful Urban Wilderness with public trails across our property. We are avid mountain bikers and hikers, and supporters of Legacy Parks and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. Those groups were instrumental in creating the Urban Wilderness, which is larger than Central Park in New York and has over 45 miles of trails on public and private property, all of it less than 5 miles from downtown Knoxville.