Published on May 25, 2023 by Diamond Nunnally  
Math Assistant Professor Mingwei Sun
Math Assistant Professor Mingwei Sun

Assistant Professor Mingwei Sun is taking Samford University’s Department of Math and Computer Science to the next level. Recently, he received a PIC Math grant from the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, which he says will significantly enhance the department's ability to prepare students for industrial careers.  

"This program benefits students by exposing them to practical applications of mathematical sciences," Sun said. "It enhances their problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills while exposing them to challenges they may face in their future careers. This experience can be incredibly beneficial when applying for jobs or internships." 

PIC Mathalso called the Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences, prepares students for industrial careers by engaging them in research problems directly sourced from the industry. Mingwei strongly believes this will significantly enhance students' comprehension of how mathematics is applied across various sectors while equipping them with valuable skills highly sought after by potential employers. 

"I applied for this grant because it is a fantastic opportunity to connect our students with real-world mathematical problems," Sun said. "It has immense potential for bridging the gap between academic learning and industrial applications." 

This grant includes a summer training workshop for new faculty, a spring semester research course for students, a platform for Student Projects Submission, and an annual Student Projects Showcase. 

"The summer training workshop gives me tools to help my students succeed in industrial careers, helps me build connections with businesses and industries and exposes me to real-world mathematical and statistical problems,” Sun explained. “All these experiences enrich my teaching, research and mentoring skills." 

Faculty members mentoring a student research group under this program also receive a stipend of $3,000. Additionally, there's an opportunity for travel reimbursement of up to $2,000 per institution for students and their faculty advisors to present their work at the annual showcase.  

"I'm thrilled to have received this opportunity," Sun said. "I'm excited about its potential for our students and department. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions we develop throughout the program." 

The Department of Math and Computer Science Chair Chad Awtrey said, "We are very proud of Dr. Sun for securing this extramural funding. His participation in the PIC MATH program will not only provide data-rich projects for his research students, but it will also accelerate the strategic plan of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science to design and create engaged learning opportunities for Samford students around the themes of statistics and data science."

Learn more about Samford’s Department of Math and Computer Science. 


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.