Faculty Profile: Dr. Andrea Dziubek, Applied Mathematics

From the capital of Germany to the rolling hills of Indiana, Dr. Andrea Dziubek has brought her specialty in Applied Mathematics around the world. And now she brings that knowledge, along with her worldwide experiences, to SUNY Poly as an Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics.

“My colleagues here at SUNY Poly are great, with expertise that ranges from mathematical physics to theoretical physics, differential geometry, symmetry, data analysis and computations,” she says; “The faculty here really go above and beyond for our students; we are very enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge.”

Earning her Ph.D. in Energy and Process Engineering at Berlin University of Technology, (which she calls a cross between Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering), it was also the start of her career in teaching, holding her very first position teaching numerical (or computational) mathematics in project form. She says her experiences there had a lasting effect on her career that continues to this day. “It is amazing what students can do once we let them do what they are capable of doing,” she says.

It wasn’t long after teaching in Berlin that Dr. Dziubek came to the United States, holding positions at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Indiana University. In 2011 she began putting her expertise to work for the students of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica.

“I think a lot of people think I’m all about research and others think I’m all about teaching when, in fact, I’m all about both.”

That research branches into areas contributing to the development of structure-preserving computational methods and mathematically modeling the retina of the human eye.

“We hope that our model can be used to test a medical hypothesis and patient treatment planning,” she says. “It has and will continue to take some time but it is a topic we are very interested in contributing to.”

While her students certainly benefit from the wealth of experience that she brings to the classroom, Dr. Dziubek is equally as impressed with what her students are able to accomplish when they work hard and believe in themselves. “SUNY Poly students are from extremely diverse backgrounds that range from large cities and refugee communities to local and international backgrounds. Their diversity brings many different perspectives.”

With a firm belief that teaching and research go hand in hand, her experiences with project-based teaching of Computational Mathematics led her to organize the computational boot camp in June 2015 as part of the STEM Undergraduate Research activities. That same summer, she was the main organizer along with Edmond Rusjan of an Applied Mathematics workshop in August 2015 titled Geometry and Symmetry based Mathematical and Computational Methods with Applications in Engineering, Science and Education.

“We had professionals from Canada, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and of course, the United States. It was great to have all these people here at SUNY Poly and work with them.”

With all of these accomplishments under her belt and an ever-growing roster of students forming their studies and careers under her tutelage, you might think that she was on the trajectory to become Dr. Dziubek, Applied Mathematics expert, all along. However, that wasn’t always the case, something she points to when individuals are unsure of the academic and life path to take.

“From personal experience, try to listen to what you really want and then pursue it; this may take a while. After high school, I had no clue what kind of person I would become. I started studying German Literature, but I felt lost. I studied Computer Science before deciding on Energy and Process Engineering. Over time, I noticed that I was drawn to the fundamentals which brought me to mathematics. It also doesn’t hurt that mathematicians are happiest with their jobs.”