Dr. Austin's Bio

Jennifer K. Mann Austin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Instruction and Undergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Austin chairs the Mathematics Undergraduate Studies Committee and the Mathematics College Readiness Committee and serves on various departmental, college, and university committees focused on undergraduate education. She helped establish and is now the faculty sponsor for the UT Austin Student Chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics. Fulfilling her passion for outreach, Dr. Austin co-organizes the Mathematics Teachers' Circle of Austin, volunteers for CNS Admissions events, CNS Family Day, and Explore UT, leads Girl Scout Troop 11235, and serves as a VBC Science Leader.

Dr. Austin's passion for knots began during her childhood when she tied and untied macroscopic, practical knots on a farm in rural West Tennessee and at Girl Scout Camp Hazlewood. Dr. Austin completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, a Master of Science in Mathematics from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of South Alabama, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Mathematics and a Doctorate in Mathematics from the Department of Mathematics at The Florida State University. As a biomedical mathematics doctoral student, Dr. Austin was jointly advised by Professor De Witt L. Sumners at The Florida State University and Professor E. Lynn Zechiedrich at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Dr. Austin’s interests include undergraduate mathematics education, mathematical outreach, inquiry-based learning, geometry, topology, knot theory, biomedical applications of mathematics, DNA topology, and protein-DNA interactions.




A climate conducive to learning and creating knowledge is the right of every person in our community. Bias, harassment and discrimination of any sort have no place here. If you notice an incident that causes concern, please contact the Campus Climate Response Team: https://diversity.utexas.edu/ccrt/

Academic Positions

  • 2018-PresentAssociate Professor of Instruction and Undergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor

    Mathematics Department
    University of Texas, Austin

  • 2014-2018Lecturer and Undergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor

    Mathematics Department
    University of Texas, Austin

  • 2011-2013Lecturer and Assistant Undergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor

    Mathematics Department
    University of Texas, Austin

  • 2010-2011Lecturer

    Mathematics Department
    University of Texas, Austin

  • 2007-2010Lecturer and RTG Postdoctoral Fellow

    Mathematics Department
    University of Texas, Austin

  • 2002-2007Research Assistant

    Molecular Virology and Microbiology Department
    Baylor College of Medicine
    and
    Mathematics Department
    Florida State University

Honors, Awards, and Grants

 

2020John R. Durbin Teaching Excellence Award

Awarded by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas, Austin

2016Faculty Advisor Award

Awarded by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin

2013Teaching Excellence Award

Awarded by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin

Current Courses

 

Previous Courses

M 339D Introduction to Financial Mathematics for Actuaries
MWF 10:00 - 10:50 am in CPE 2.220

This course is intended to provide the mathematical foundations necessary to prepare for a portion of the SoA Exam IFM and CAS Exam 3F. Additionally, the course is aimed at building up the vocabulary and the techniques indispensable in the workplace at current financial and insurance institutions. This is not an exam-prep seminar. There is intellectual merit to the course beyond the ability to prepare for a professional exam. The material exhibited includes basic risk management, forward contracts, options, futures, and the binomial asset pricing model and its application to option pricing.

Course website

M 325K Discrete Mathematics
MWF 1:00 - 1:50 pm PMA (RLM) 7.124

M 325K is the most appropriate upper-division mathematics course just after calculus for many of our math majors. A few other majors such as computer science or electrical engineering also take this course to develop discrete logic skills. In this course, students master how to write a formal mathematical proof, how to disprove mathematical statements, and how to find counterexamples. I create many non-intimidating opportunities in class for M325K students to share and demonstrate each step of writing these basic mathematical proofs. As this is a first course that emphasizes understanding and creating proofs, it provides a transition from the problem-solving approach of calculus to the entirely rigorous approach of advanced courses such as M 365C, M 367K, or M 373K. The number of topics required for coverage has been kept modest as to allow adequate time for students to develop proof-writing skills.

Course website

Publications

 

Topological Information Embodied in Local Juxtaposition Geometry Provides a Statistical Mechanical Basis forUnknotting by Type-2 DNA Topoisomerases

Journal of Molecular Biology 361, 268-285 (2006)
Zhirong Liu, Jennifer K. Mann, E. Lynn Zechiedrich and Hue SunChan
Publisher's website

Hin-Mediated DNA Knotting and Recombination Promote Replicon Dysfunction and Mutation

BMC Mol Biol 8:44 (25 May 2007)
Richard W. Deibler, Jennifer K. Mann, De Witt L. Sumners and E. Lynn Zechiedrich
Publisher's website

Contact Me

 

 

To schedule an advising appointment with me you may stop by the Math, Physics, and Astronomy Advising Center in PMA 4.101, call (512) 471-0900, or email mpaadv@austin.utexa.edu..



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