International Conference Held to Honor Villanova Mathematics Professor’s Achievements

Andrew Woldar
Dr. Woldar (center) was joined at the conference in his honor by former students (L to R) Carrie Caswell ’14 MS, ’15 MA; Anthony Celo ’08 CLAS; Ryan Zalla ’17 CLAS; and Taylor Berrang ’14 CLAS.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Andrew Woldar, PhD, a professor of Mathematics and Statistics in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of group theory and algebraic graph theory, was one of three acclaimed mathematicians whose work was celebrated at a conference held last month at the University of Delaware.

The Algebraic and External Graph Theory Conference, held Aug. 7-10, was attended by more than 100 mathematicians from around the world. It was held in honor of Dr. Woldar, and colleagues Felix Lazebnik, PhD of the University of Delaware and Willem Haemers, PhD of Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Dr. Woldar delivered the conference plenary talk, titled “The Underlying Geometry of the Graphs CD(k,q).”

The conference sought to “expand, deepen and broaden the research” in new areas of graph theory, according to the National Science Foundation, one of the conference sponsors.

Among those attending the conference were seven students Dr. Woldar has mentored over the years. Of these, one holds the PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University, one holds a law degree from Georgetown, two are enrolled in PhD programs at University of Pennsylvania, and two are enrolled in PhD programs at University of Delaware.

A member of the Villanova University faculty since 1985, Dr. Woldar holds a PhD in Mathematics from the Ohio State University and is a past recipient of Villanova University’s Outstanding Faculty Research Award. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and books and delivered over 50 invited lectures and keynote addresses in 15 different countries. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a frequent visitor at six overseas universities.

Dr. Woldar has received seven external grants during his career. One of his five NSF grants, awarded in 2014, recognized his project on algebraic graph theory and its important contribution to the mathematical sciences. For this latter grant, Dr. Woldar was commended on the floor of the US House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. by Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Meehan. The grant supported a 2014 conference at Villanova University, which brought together experts, researchers and students to discuss recent advancements in mathematics.

“It’s very humbling to be recognized in this fashion by your peers. It’s reaffirming. And it’s emotional,” said Dr. Woldar. “It was a great turnout, with so many present who have meant so much to me throughout the years. I was a bit overwhelmed by it all.”

In addition to the NSF, the other sponsors of the conference were University of Delaware, Villanova University, Muhlenberg College, the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers University, the International Linear Algebra Society and the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

Media Contact

Jennifer Schu

Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences