The College of Science is preparing for our Spring 2023 commencement ceremony, where over 450 STEM-focused students will be honored as part of the newest graduating class of the University of North Texas. This year's commencement address will be delivered by UNT mathematics lecturer Dr. Kiko Kawamura, who will be sharing a little bit about her journey learning English as a second language while working on her post-doctoral research and the wisdom she has acquired in her twenty-four years at the University of North Texas.
"If you find something exciting, go for it," she says. "Never assume that it is impossible. Be open-minded, and don't be afraid to ask others to support your goals!"
Dr. Kiko Kawamura has been teaching at the University of North Texas since 2001. As a principal lecturer in the UNT Mathematics department, she teaches everything from algebra to statistics and conducts research in her field of expertise: fractal geometry. Her research focuses on finding new techniques to analyze fractal functions, which has led to the publication of more than twenty papers.
Dr. Kawamura grew up in Kyoto, Japan with a keen interest in learning and the belief that math could make the world a better place, even though it was not necessarily her strong suit earlier in life. Despite this, she persevered, attending Nara Women's University in Japan and earning her Doctor of Science -- the equivalent to our PhD -- under the guidance of her thesis advisor Dr. Yamaguti from Kyoto University. Her research led her to work with mathematicians across the globe, studying abroad and learning English as she went. In 1999 she was accepted to the University of North Texas as a post-doctoral research fellow and began to study English in earnest at the Intensive English Language Institute.
Among her many accomplishments as an educator, Dr. Kawamura received the 2015 Yale Educator Award and recognition for exceptional teaching from Stanford University that same year. More recently, she has been honored as a Teacher of Merit by the Society for Science's Regeneron Science Talent Search and she received a College of Science Faculty Award for Teaching and a Teaching Excellence Spotlight Award from UNT's CLEAR.
Dr. Kawamura organizes the "Students Talk Research" Seminars (STaRS) for the UNT Mathematics department, which is open to students of all research areas and focuses on problems that are intended to be readily accessible to undergraduate students while still offering a thought-provoking challenge for more advanced attendees.
The ceremony will be taking place in the UNT Colesium at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2023.
For more information about UNT Commencement, please visit https://www.unt.edu/commencement/