CLEMSON – Kevin James, who is known for bringing number theory research and education programs to Clemson University, has been named founding director of the new School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in the College of Science. His appointment will take effect Nov. 1.
James has been serving as interim director of the school since January 2019 and has since assembled an energetic, thoughtful and committed leadership team.
“Kevin is a collaborative partner to leaders across campus,” said Cynthia Y. Young, dean of the College of Science. “He has done an excellent job launching the new School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences by establishing its framework and bringing all stakeholders together. I am thrilled with the direction of our new school and look forward to Kevin’s leadership as we continue strengthening our national and international research prominence, elevating the learning experience and cultivating an environment where everyone can thrive.”
A faculty member since 2000, James conducts research in the distribution of primes with respect to elliptic curves, particularly the Lang-Trotter and Sato-Tate conjectures and similar questions. He takes pride in seeing this field expand over the years, due in part to the contributions of undergraduate researchers.
James has been the principal investigator on several National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (NSF REU) grants, which enable exceptional undergraduates from other schools to conduct summer research projects with Clemson faculty.
“Our school is developing a strategic plan that will focus on increased research prominence, an inclusive and supportive climate, excellence in teaching, and increased outreach and development efforts,” James said. “I see the next several years as transformative, and I am very excited to have the chance to build a school with an excellent reputation for research, teaching and outreach.”
James has held other leadership roles in mathematical and statistical sciences, including as coordinator of graduate studies and coordinator of cybersecurity outreach. He has published 36 peer-reviewed journal articles and has supervised the research of 17 doctoral and master’s degree candidates.
James earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics and computer science in 1991 and his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1997 — both from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Letitia, have two grown children, Alexa and Robert. In his free time, he enjoys recreational activities on the lakes near campus and working out at Fike Recreation Center.
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