Satyan Devadoss

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Satyan Devadoss
Alma materNorth Central College
Johns Hopkins University
AwardsHaimo national teaching award
Alder national teaching award
Fellow of the AMS
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, topology, geometry
InstitutionsUniversity of San Diego
Williams College
ThesisTesselations of moduli spaces and the mosaic operad (1999)
Doctoral advisorJack Morava

Satyan L. Devadoss is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science at the University of San Diego.[1] His research concerns topology and geometry, with inspiration coming from theoretical physics, phylogenetics, and scientific visualization.


Devadoss graduated as valedictorian from North Central College in 1993.[1] He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1999 from Johns Hopkins University, under the supervision of Jack Morava.[1][2] After postdoctoral studies at the Ohio State University under Mike Davis, he was a Williams College faculty from 2002 until 2016, receiving tenure and promotion to full-professor.[1] He has held visiting positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the Ohio State University, Harvey Mudd College, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and Stanford University.[1]


In 2012, he became one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.[3]

Devadoss is a winner of the Henry L. Alder National Teaching Award (2007), the Northeastern Sectional Award for Distinguished Teaching (2014), and the Deborah and Franklin Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics (2016), all awarded by the Mathematical Association of America.[4][5]


In 2018, he co-led a team in designing, creating, and showcasing a two-ton metal, wood, and acrylic interactive sculpture titled "Unfolding Humanity" for Burning Man.[6] The 12-foot tall dodecahedral artwork, externally skinned with black panels containing 2240 acrylic windows, with the interior lined with mirrors and large enough to hold 15 people, dealt with unsolved questions in mathematics (unfolding polyhedra) and physics (cosmological shape of the universe).[7]

His collection of paintings, titled "Cartography of Tree Space" (jointly created with San Francisco-based artist Owen Schuh) has been on gallery shows in Berlin[8] and Pasadena.[9][10]

With Joseph O'Rourke, Devadoss is the author of the textbook Discrete and Computational Geometry (Princeton University Press, 2011).[11][12] He was also recruited to create the Shape of Nature, a 36-lecture DVD course (Great Courses, 2010).

He is the cofounder of CereusData, a data visualization company that focuses on storytelling of institutional data.[13]

Devadoss wrote an opinion editorial published by the Washington Post, on the nature of mathematics related to the humanities and the arts. It was chosen by the staff editors as one of their favorite opeds of the year.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Curriculum vitae, retrieved August 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Satyan Devadoss at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved January 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Henry L. Alder Award, MAA, retrieved January 16, 2015.
  5. ^ MathFest 2007 Prizes and Awards, MAA, retrieved January 16, 2015.
  6. ^ Making of "Unfolding Humanity", retrieved February 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Notices of the AMS cover article, retrieved April 25, 2019.
  8. ^ SatelliteBerlin Archived March 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Williamson Gallery, retrieved January 15, 2017.
  10. ^ Leonardo Uncertainty Review, retrieved February 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Fasy, Brittany Terese; Millman, David L. (March 2014), "Review of Discrete and Computational Geometry by Satyan L. Devadoss and Joseph O'Rourke", SIGACT News, New York, NY, USA: ACM, 45 (1): 27–30, doi:10.1145/2596583.2596591.
  12. ^ Wood, Bill (December 29, 2011), Discrete and Computational Geometry, MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America.
  13. ^ CereusData, retrieved January 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Favorite Opeds of 2018
  15. ^ A math problem for Pi day

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