Camarillo, Calif., March 26, 2014 – CSU Channel Islands(CI) invites the campus and community to learn how the mathematical, natural, and social sciences are being used to help solve the world’s health problems in its STEM Diversity Speaker Series, Monday, April 7, in the Grand Salon on the CI campus.  The free series is open to the public and includes two separate presentations by Dr. Carlos Castillo Chavez, a leading authority on mathematical biology and epidemiology and promoter of research opportunities for underrepresented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

Castillo Chavez will trace the marriage of mathematics and epidemics from the early 1700s to modern times and discuss the important role mathematicians, biologists, and social scientists can play in combating disease, health disparities, and lack of access to health services.  He will also share his own impressive journey from Mexican immigrant and factory worker to his current stature as one of the most highly acclaimed mathematicians, epidemiological modeling experts, and research contributors on the progression of disease in the country.

The first talk, from 3 to 4 p.m. focuses on the topic “Mathematical, Computational and Theoretical Epidemiology: Challenges, Opportunities and Mentorship,” and is geared to a general audience.

The second talk, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., is geared primarily to a high school and college student audience, but is open to all members of the community.

Castillo Chavez is a Regents Professor and Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology at Arizona State University.  He is also the founder and director of several research institutes that explore and strengthen the role of mathematics and computational modeling in health.  His research interests relate to the mechanisms underlying the spread of disease, their containment and elimination.  His work to promote research opportunities and academic success for underrepresented groups in mathematics and biology is well-known in the scientific and academic community.

The co-author of more than 200 publications, Castillo Chavez has earned numerous awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Mathematical Society, and the American College of Epidemiology, among other groups.

The STEM Diversity Series is an annual program sponsored by Project ACCESO.   Castillo Chavez’ visit is also sponsored by CI’s Arts & Sciences, Mathematics and  Biology programs.  The series is intended to inspire students – particularly those from underrepresented groups – to discover and pursue STEM careers by highlighting the success of a STEM professional from a disadvantaged background.  CI has a wide assortment of campus and community outreach programs aimed at promoting STEM opportunities and success among students of all ages.  Visit www.csuci.edu/projectacceso for more information.

Complimentary event parking is limited and only available in the designated parking lot.  Once on campus, follow the directional signage to the event location.  Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus.  Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way.  Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For exact times, check the schedule at www.goventura.org.

For more information on the STEM Diversity Series, contact Dr. Cindy Wyels at 805-437-3260 or cynthia.wyels@csuci.edu.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world’s largest yearbook. The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state. Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones. For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit https://classof3million.calstate.edu/