Whitaker is an applied mathematician, with wide research interests that span fluid mechanics, mathematical biology, and numerical analysis. Whitaker’s contributions in fluid mechanics include numerical solutions for multiphase flow of Hele-Shaw equations. His work in mathematical biology includes modeling the growth of vascular networks associated with tumors, and modeling the processing of sodium in the kidney. He has also contributed to the study of two-dimensional turbulence and nonlinear Schrödinger equations using methods from statistical mechanics.
Whitaker has served as head of the department of mathematics and statistics since 2018. Over his career, he has demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity and community service. For example, for nine years, Whitaker was part of the Amherst school system’s AIMS program, teaching accelerated math to African American students, and more recently he has been part of the program providing college courses to incarcerated students in the Hampshire County House of Corrections.
Whitaker earned his B.A. in 1974 from the Hampton Institute. He received his M.S. in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati in 1981, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987. He has been a member of the UMass Amherst faculty ever since.
In accordance with Faculty Senate processes, Interim Dean Whitaker was selected after receiving recommendations from the College Personnel Committee and others. We are immensely pleased that he has agreed to accept this critically important position.
A national decanal search will commence in the Fall.
Please join us in welcoming Interim Dean Whitaker.