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New Faculty Blog Series Issue #5

XianpingLiXianping Li, Ph.D. (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

Dr. Xianping Li graduated from the University of Kansas with Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2011, specializing in Computational Mathematics. He served as Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Central Arkansas from 2011 to 2013 before joining the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMKC. Li is serving as Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and his duties include teaching mathematics courses and conducting research in applied mathematics. He is looking forward to helping with the computational needs of faculty members and would like to build a strong research program in scientific computation at UMKC.

Michelle Smirnova, Ph.D. (Department of Sociology)

Dr. Michelle Smirnova receivedSmirnovaMichellesmall her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2013. Over the years, she has built expertise in the cultural expression of power and its ability to define collective identities and histories of racial, ethnic, gendered, religious and other social groups. In her dissertation research, she critically examined the Russo-Soviet anekdot—the underground politically subversive joke that circulated in Russia during Soviet times—in terms of its role in articulating a collective narrative, identity, and associated collective memory. She also served in the qualitative research center at the U.S. Census Bureau where she conducted cognitive interviews and focus groups to help inform survey design. In her role as Assistant Professor, Smirnova will be teaching theory and methods courses in the department of Sociology & Anthropology and looks forward to supporting the discourse studies curriculum and “attending many Roo sporting events.”

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