Welcome Dr. Ralf Schmidt, UNT’s New Mathematics Chair | College of Science

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July 31, 2019

Welcome Dr. Ralf Schmidt, UNT’s New Mathematics Chair

Dean Su Gao and the College of Science are thrilled to announce that Dr. Ralf Schmidt will be joining UNT Mathematics as the permanent chair of the department, beginning this week. A well-respected mathematician who has taught all subjects of college math, including calculus, algebra, and analysis, Dr. Schmidt's prolific research focus lies in Number Theory, especially the theory of Automorphic Forms, Automorphic Representations, and L-functions. He is passionate about mathematics and has a strong investment in both undergraduate and graduate student success; over his career he has advised nine graduate students to PhD completion, and consistently serves as a mentor to many others.

"I have boundless optimism that together we can create a place that inspires our students and faculty alike," said Dr. Schmidt. "Establishing a reputation for first-rate scholarship far beyond the boundaries of UNT is part of this vision. An equally important goal of mine is to enable the many students that we teach to recognize mathematics for the beautiful subject that it is, and to harness its power to change the world for the better."

Dr. Schmidt received his own PhD in Mathematics in 1998 from Hamburg University in Germany, and has since served as a professor or research fellow at Purdue University, Saarland University in Germany, Rikkyo University in Tokyo, the University of Minnesota, and most recently at the University of Oklahoma. Besides teaching classes and conducting research, in his previous position at the OU, Dr. Schmidt also created numerous web-based tools improving everything from graduate applications to departmental databases, increasing administrative productivity and internal relations among faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Dr. Schmidt was already familiar with our programs and research at UNT before accepting the position as chair of the department. "I have been aware of the UNT Mathematics Department for a number of years through our regional TORA conference series," said Dr. Schmidt, referencing the Texas-Oklahoma Representations and Automorphic Forms conferences, where he met and collaborated with UNT faculty in the past. "Each visit left an excellent impression, and so I am thrilled to now become a part of it."

"Dr. Schmidt comes to UNT at a pivotal time for the math department as we work hard on continuing to build and consolidate the research profile, improve our graduate and undergraduate programs, and play a key role in the student success initiatives for the entire university," says Dean Gao, who is himself a Regents Professor of mathematics with a focus in pure math. "Dr. Schmidt is an energetic and visionary leader, and I am confident that he will provide excellent leadership to move the department forward."

Dr. Schmidt is the co-author of 33 research articles and three books. Many of his research publications have appeared in top journals, including Journal of Number Theory and Transactions of the American Mathematical Society.

As the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Schmidt worked hard to significantly improve the program's reputation among the administration by focusing on improving departmental protocol, relationships with administrators, and communication among departmental leadership. We look forward to working together and embracing his positive leadership abilities and ideas in the College of Science.