Kathleen Kavanagh, newly appointed as the Robert A. Plane Endowed Chair, centers her research around applications from hydrology including simulation of groundwater flow and transport, adaptive temporal integration for a nonsmooth, nonlinear partial differential equations that models unsaturated groundwater flow, and optimal design for water resource management and groundwater remediation problems.
Clarkson University President Emeritus Robert A. Plane was also a former Clarkson trustee. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 90. Plane served as Clarkson's 12th president from 1974-1985, later serving as a Clarkson trustee from 1988 to 1992. At the time, Plane completed the second-longest presidency in Clarkson's history.
Beyond her scholarly work, Kavanagh is an award-winning teacher both at Clarkson and by the Mathematics Association of America who bestowed Kavanagh with the Henry Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2010. In 2018, she was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at Clarkson. Her extraordinary talents as a teacher and mentor and intellectual leadership in mathematics combine to establish Kavanagh as a leader in K-12 mathematics education.
“Professor Kavanagh’s distinguished scholarship and teaching and her significant outreach work are unparalleled. She is precisely, I am sure, who former President Plane had in mind when he established the endowed chair as she reflects, in all ways, the intent of the endowment to support a Clarkson faculty member who would, through the endowed position, broaden the reach of their work and advance the importance of extraordinary teaching for both colleagues at the institution and beyond,” said Provost Robyn Hannigan of Kavanaugh.
“How could anyone do more to enhance our collective reputation than Professor Kavanagh?” asks STEM Institute Director Peter Turner. “Ask anyone in the mathematics community where the hub of mathematics modeling education is and they will say ‘Clarkson’ because of Kavanagh’s distinctive work and her leadership in the profession.”
She is not only a mathematics professor but also the Associate Director of STEM Education at Clarkson.
Kavanagh received her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from SUNY Plattsburgh and her master of science and Ph.D. in computational applied mathematics from North Carolina State University.