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Paul Constantine, PhD '09

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Paul Constantine, PhD '09

Paul Constantine, ICME alumnus (MS '06, PhD '09) 

What are you working on now?

My upcoming book 'Active Subspaces: Emerging Ideas for Dimension Reduction in Parameter Studies' is in preproduction now and it will be out in March. I'm preparing promotional materials and the website for the book, which will include additional examples and Python scripts for running the algorithms. I spend most of my time working on active subspaces--either analyzing specific algorithms or applying the methods to science and engineering problems. 

What do you miss about ICME, or what is one fond memory you have about the Institute?

In my last summer as a grad student, I asked fellow grad student David Gleich, "Do you think we'll miss being around superstars after we leave?" And by "superstars" I meant the faculty. David said, "Absolutely." I have interacted with many other superstars in subsequent jobs. But being a short walk from the offices of so many ambitious, talented, and knowledgeable faculty across technical disciplines is something I miss. There was always a world-renowned expert around to answer questions I had... 

More than that, I miss the student community. ICME was known across Stanford as a grad program with great camaraderie. We were--and many of us still are--both friends and colleagues. 

I also miss having way more interesting things to do--like seminars, colloquia, and other activities--than I have time for. 

Any words of wisdom for current ICMErs?  One thing you wish you had studied or done while you were at ICME?

Legally download as many PDFs of Springer, SIAM, and Wiley books as you can while you have access to the library. 

I wish I'd studied more statistics. 

ICME is a place where, if you have a compelling idea, you can usually find resources and enthusiastic people to support it. Try things. Take risks. 

While at ICME, when you were not busy doing research or studying for quals, what was something you enjoyed doing at Stanford?

I played in a band. We were officially known as The Riot Squad, but Peter Glynn liked to call us The ICME Band. I also spent time in San Francisco. It's the best city in the world. 

Do you have a favorite math joke we can share?

LU factorization of an invertible matrix A with partial pivoting implies PAU^{-1}L^{-1} = I, which is something I say every day. 

Paul G. Constantine is the Ben L. Fryrear Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Colorado School of Mines.