Dr. Mark Tomforde

Curriculum Vitae

Department of Mathematics
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204

Email: Email Address
Phone: (713)-743-3672
Fax: (713)-743-3505


Associate Professor, University of Houston, 2012 -- present

Assistant Professor, University of Houston, 2006 -- 2012

Visiting Assistant Professor, College of William & Mary, 2005 -- 2006

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Iowa, 2002 -- 2005

Instructor of Mathematics, Dartmouth College, 1999 -- 2002


Ph.D. in Mathematics, Dartmouth College, June 2002
Advisor: Dana P. Williams
Thesis: Extensions of graph C*-algebras

M.A. in Mathematics, Dartmouth College, June 1999

B.A. in Mathematics, Gustavus Adolphus College, June 1997
graduated Summa Cum Laude and with departmental honors in mathematics


Refereed Publications

Books and Monographs

Conference Proceedings and Non-Refereed Publications

Editor for Advances in Operator Theory, Spring 2016 -- present

Advances in Operator Theory (AOT) is an international, open access (free of charge), and peer-reviewed quarterly journal that publishes papers of high standards within the fields of operator theory (MSC 47), functional analysis (MSC 46), matrix analysis (MSC 15), abstract harmonic analysis (MSC 43), and related topics in PDE and ODE.

Invited Addresses and Workshops

Presentations and Contributed Talks

Grants and External Funding

Funding to Support Students

Conferences Organized

Postdocs Supervised

Ph.D. Students Supervised

Ph.D. Defense Committees


AMS Award for Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference, 2018

This annual award is given by the AMS to one program that (1) aims to bring more persons from underrepresented backgrounds into some portion of the pipeline beginning at the undergraduate level and leading to advanced degrees in mathematics and professional success, or retain them once in the pipeline; (2) has achieved documentable success in doing so; and (3) is a replicable model. In 2018 the AMS honored the Cougars and Houston Area Math Program (CHAMP), the outreach program I created and direct, for "its consistent commitment to and success in promoting enrollment of underrepresented groups in college STEM programs". An announcement of the award was made in a 6-page article in the 2018 Notices of the AMS, and the award includes a $1,000 prize.

Phi Beta Kappa Award for Engaging Broader Audiences, 2018

The national Phi Beta Kappa society, in consultation with the Houston Mayor's Office, recognized CHAMP as one of four exemplary local organizations that serve as national models for building creative exchanges with diverse audiences in arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or mathematics. CHAMP was honored at a Phi Beta Kappa reception to celebrate the City of Houston as an "Arts & Sciences City of Distinction". The award includes a $5,000 prize.

University Teaching Excellence Award: Community Service Category, 2016

The University Teaching Excellence Awards are made annually in multiple categories to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching. The award in the Community Service Category is given to faculty who involve students in service to the community through service learning activities or community engagement projects related to courses that they teach demonstrating leadership in advancing students' civic learning, fostering reciprocal community partnerships, building institutional commitments to service-learning and civic engagement, and other means of enhancing higher education's contributions to the public good. The award includes an $8,000 prize.

NSM John C. Butler Excellence in Teaching Award, 2015

The Butler award is the highest teaching award in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM), and recognizes NSM faculty who best engage and challenge their students, who share their enthusiasm for the subject matter they teach, and who serve as effective mentors. The award is given annually to one tenure/tenure-track faculty member in NSM and includes a $5,000 prize.

Courses Taught

I have had full responsibility in all courses I've taught including choice of textbook, creating the syllabus, leading class sessions, determining content of homework and exams, and assignment of final grades. I developed and implemented group activities for selected topics as well as problem presentations by the students. I have also supervised graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants, tutors, and graders.

• University of Houston
Math 3330: Abstract Algebra, Spring 2018
Math 3325: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2017
Math 3330: Abstract Algebra, Fall 2017
Math 6303: Modern Algebra II (Graduate Course), Spring 2017
Math 6302: Modern Algebra I (Graduate Course), Fall 2016
Math 3325: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2016
Math 6395: C*-algebras associated with Dynamical Systems (Graduate Course), Spring 2016
Math 3325: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2015
Math 6342: Topology (Graduate Course), Fall 2015
Math 3325: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2015
Math 7321: Functional Analysis II (Graduate Course), Spring 2015
Math 7320: Functional Analysis I (Graduate Course), Fall 2014
Math 3325: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2014
Math 6395: Introduction to C*-algebras (Graduate Course), Spring 2014
Math 6342: Topology (Graduate Course), Fall 2013
Math 2331: Linear Algebra, Spring 2013
Math 3331: Differential Equations, Fall 2012
Math 2331: Linear Algebra, Fall 2012
Math 6321: Functions of a Real Variable II (Graduate Course), Spring 2012
Math 6320: Functions of a Real Variable I (Graduate Course), Fall 2011
Math 3331: Differential Equations, Fall 2011
Math 6303: Modern Algebra II (Graduate Course), Spring 2011
Math 6302: Modern Algebra I (Graduate Course), Fall 2010
Math 4331: Introduction to Real Analysis, Fall 2010
Math 6395: Graph C*-algebras (Graduate Course), Spring 2010
Math 6303: Modern Algebra II (Graduate Course), Spring 2010
Math 6302: Modern Algebra I (Graduate Course), Fall 2009
Math 2331: Honors Linear Algebra, Spring 2009
Math 6342: Topology (Graduate Course), Fall 2008
Math 6395: Topics in C*-algebras (Graduate Course), Spring 2008
Math 3397: Transitions to Advanced Mathematics, Fall 2007
Math 3333: Intermediate Real Analysis, Spring 2007
Math 4377: Advanced Linear Algebra, Fall 2006
• College of William & Mary
Math 214 (Section 02): Foundations of Mathematics, Spring 2006
Math 112 (Section 01/02): Calculus II, Spring 2006
Math 211 (Section 01): Linear Algebra, Fall 2005
Math 112 (Section 01/02): Calculus II, Fall 2005
Math 112 (Section 05/06): Calculus II, Fall 2005
• University of Iowa
Math 118: Complex Analysis (Graduate Course), Fall 2004
Math 50: Abstract Algebra I, Spring 2004
Math 25: Calculus I, Fall 2003
• Dartmouth College
Math 1: Calculus, Fall 2001
Math 24: Honors Linear Algebra, Fall 2000
Math 2: Calculus, Winter 2000

Courses Developed

Independent Studies and Masters Tutorials Supervised

Undergraduate Research Supervised

Direction involved weekly meetings and numerous discussions with students.

University of Houston: College of William & Mary: University of Iowa:
The following publications have resulted from the undergraduate research I have supervised:

CHAMP, High School Outreach Program, Fall 2013 -- present

Cougars and Houston Area Mathematics Program (CHAMP) is a high school outreach program that I created and direct. CHAMP provides weekly math tutoring and math lessons for high school and middle school students from partnering school in the area (primarily the Third Ward, the East End, and Sunnyside). UH graduate students and UH undergraduates volunteer to teach lessons, facilitate group work and in-class activities, and provide tutoring. Large numbers of tutors provided by teachHOUSTON, the UH Chapter of the National Society of Back Engineers (NSBE), and the UH Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).

More info can be found on The CHAMP website.

The past few years, CHAMP has received various forms of recognition.

Math Alliance, UH Representative and Mentor, Fall 2009 -- present

The Math Alliance is a consortium of faculty and students at schools throughout the U.S. whose goal is to encourage undergraduates to pursue graduate study in mathematics or a mathematically-related field. The Math Alliance also seeks to increase the number of mathematics Ph.D.s awarded to members of groups that are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences (such as women, ethnic minorities, first generation college students, or students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds). However, the Math Alliance is not exclusive to students from these groups, and anyone is welcome to join and participate. The Math Alliance was initially centered at the University of Iowa, but in recent years its headquarters have moved to Purdue University.

I nominate students from my department for membership in the Math Alliance, mentor them during their undergraduate careers, and inform them about the Math Alliance's F-GAP program that assists them in composing their graduate school application materials. Every year I organize 3 to 8 UH undergraduates to attend the Math Alliance's annual "Field of Dreams" conference.

Gulf States Math Alliance, Organizer and Webmaster, Fall 2013 -- present.

The Gulf States Math Alliance (GSMath) is one of seven regional alliances under the national Math Alliance. GSMath is comprised of members of the Math Alliance throughout the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. GSMath works closely with the national Math Alliance, as well as the other regional alliances, while simultaneously providing and promoting special opportunities to students within the Gulf States Region. I am a co-organizer of GSMath, and I also created and maintain the GSMath website.

AMS Graduate Student Chapter, Faculty Advisor and Founder, Fall 2013-present

I organized the graduate students in our department to form an official AMS Graduate Student Chapter and helped them to draft by-laws and apply for funding. (See the details of the AMS Graduate Student Chapter program here.) I serve as the faculty advisor, and I assist the student officers as they organize monthly events for the chapter. Popular events include: Math Trivia Night, Pi Day Celebration, and Graduate Student Research Talks.

Pi Mu Epsilon, Faculty Advisor, Fall 2008 -- present

Pi Mu Epsilon is the National Mathematics Honor Society. I serve as faculty advisor for the Texas Theta Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon at the University of Houston. My responsibilities include inducting new members, promoting the society, holding monthly meetings for undergraduate members, and advising the student officers. Our Pi Mu Epsilon chapter also serves as our department's Undergraduate Math Club, and while there are official requirements for membership in the national Pi Mu Epsilon organization, our chapter's meetings and activities are open to everyone.

AMS Project NExT Fellow, 2003-2004

Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a professional development program for new or recent Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences who are interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. It addresses the full range of faculty responsibilities in teaching, research, and service. Certain fellows who are interested in both research and teaching are designated as AMS Project NExT Fellows and are supported by a grant from the American Mathematical Society.

Teaching of Mathematics Seminar, Dartmouth College, Summer 1999

This intensive 10-week long seminar explored both the theory and practice of teaching mathematics. It involved readings and discussions of different philosophies of teaching mathematics and problem solving. Topics included cooperative learning, the use of writing assignments, student evaluations, presentation styles, and designing curricula. Participants also gained hands-on experience by designing and teaching two week-long high school workshops, guest lecturing in Dartmouth classes, and giving presentations throughout the seminar.



AMS Arnold Ross Lecture Series Committee, February 1, 2016 -- January, 31 2019
Members of this committee are appointed by the president of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and charged with selecting a speaker for the AMS Arnold Ross Lecture Series and overseeing related details. The Arnold Ross Lecture Series consists of annual lectures for talented high school mathematics students. The goal is to stimulate the students' interest in mathematics beyond the traditional classroom and to show them the tremendous opportunities for careers in mathematics --- as mathematics teachers and as researchers in government, industry, and university programs. The lectures are also intended to illustrate some recent development in mathematical research. The AMS website contains more info on the Arnold Ross Lecture Series.

Project NExT Consultant, 2014 -- 2015

Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is an MAA professional development program for new or recent Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences who are interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. Project NExT invites certain senior mathematicians to be consultants. As a consultant, I was paired with a Project NExT Fellow for whom I serve as a mentor, and I was asked to participate in the Project NExT mailing list and answer questions from recent Ph.D.s.

Scholarly Reviews

Journal Referee

Article Reviewer for Mathematical Reviews and MathSciNet, 2003 -- 2014
I wrote 69 article reviews during my 11 years of service.


Department Committees
College Committees

Webpage Maintenance

  I created and maintain the following websites for programs that I am involved with:
  I created and maintain the following websites as part of our department homepage:
  I also created websites for the following conferences:

University of Houston Selection Committee for the Goldwater Scholarship, Fall 2017

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship given in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. It is awarded annually to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide. Universities are allowed to nominate only four undergraduate students per year to compete for the scholarship. I was on the University of Houston selection committee tasked with ranking applicants from our university to select the four that would be nominated.

Invited Speaker, "Russia's Revolutionary Mathematics", February 2017

I gave this talk as part of a series of public events on the UH Campus in 2017, including musical concerts, theatrical performances, visual arts exhibitions, public lectures, and symposia, related to the centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The series was organized by Dr. David Rainbow from the UH Honors College. You can download a copy of the slides.

Interviewer for Tier One Scholarship Applicants, January 2017

I was on a team of professors that performed a day of interviews for students that were accepted to UH and in competition for a Tier One Scholarship. The Tier One Scholarships are used to recruit and engage high-caliber students, and each provides four full years of tuition and two years of on campus living. In addition, students are given stipends to pursue research and to study abroad.

Fellow of the UH Honors College, Spring 2016 -- present

The Dean of the Honors College invites select faculty to be members of the Honors College's Society of Fellows. Fellows are not assigned specific duties; rather, according to their own interests and availability, Fellows may direct senior honors theses and serve on thesis committees; mentor students who are pursuing undergraduate research in the PURS, SURF, or other programs sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research; assist with the development of Honors curriculum in their disciplines; serve as knowledgeable sources in their home departments and colleges about the policies and goals of the Honors College; provide information in return about policies and goals of their home departments and colleges; alert members of the Honors College faculty of opportunities and partnerships of mutual benefit; and generally serve as fellows ---friends, advisors, and ambassadors--- of the Honors College.

Service to the Community

UH Partner for the KIPP: Houston STEM Advisory Board, Spring 2016 -- present

The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. KIPP: Houston currently has 24 public schools throughout the K--12 level serving nearly 12,500 Houston students and an additional 1,200 alumni in college and beyond. The STEM Advisory Board provides guidance and recommendations regarding STEM education in the KIPP: Houston schools.



Available upon request.

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