We work on fun & challenging problems in nonlinear algebra, nonlinear statistics, and at their intersection.

Join us at the seminars!

Research group

Miles Bakenhus

PhD student 2020 - present

William Schwartz

PhD student 2017 - present
Research: temporal network models

Jelena Mojsilovic

Undergraduate researcher
Research: Groebner bases computations


Sara was a postdoc with me during 2018-2020, after which she moved to Lake Forest College as an Assistant Professor of Math&Computer Science.

We have worked on machine learning for non-linear algebra and threaded Groebner bases in Macaulay2 and Python.

Dane Wilburne - PhD 2018

Dane was a PhD student working with me 2013-2018. His dissertation was on Quantifying uncertainty in random algebraic objects using discrete methods.

  • Research: applied algebraic geometry, applied commutative algebra, and algebraic statistics.

  • Support: supported under my AFOSR grant on 'Algebraic statistics for network models' (2013-2017), and partly under joint NSF grant 'Randomized and Structure-Based Algorithms in Commutative Algebra' (2015-2017).

  • Awards: Dane has spent summer 2015 visiting ISM in Tokyo under the NSF-EAPSI program. He received the department's Teaching Assistant Award in 2017. He was awarded a SIAM Student Travel Award to attend the SIAM Conference on Applied Algebraic Geometry (AG17) July 31 – August 4, 2017, at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Dane had also been co-organizing the weekly Algebraic Statistics seminar at IIT (except Spring 2017).

  • Next position: Dane went on to be a postdoc at Brown University's ICERM program on non-linear algebra, followed by a postdoc at York University working with Hélène Massam. He now works at the Mitre corporation.

Despina Stasi - postdoc

Despina was a postdoctoral researcher working with me 2012-2014 at both Penn State and Illinois Tech, and then I was lucky to be able to hire her again 2015-2017. Her research includes statistical network models, structure-based algorithms, random structures.

Elizabeth Gross - PhD 2013

Elizabeth was a PhD student working with me 2010-2013. Her dissertation was on Algebraic complexity problems in statistics using combinatorial and tensor methods.

  • Support&awards:

    • AY2011/12 funded as a visiting graduate student from Penn State statistics (my home department at that time).

    • AY2012/13 funded by the Dean's scholar award at UIC.

  • Next position: Upon graduation, Elizabeth was awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship with Seth Sullivant at NCSU, and a tenure-track position at San Jose State University which she started in Fall 2014.


Full information can be found here .

Denis Bajic

[Job Title]

More info on Sonja's research here .