Dr. Kalimuthu Krishnamoorthy is a professor of statistics and the Philip and Jean Piccione Endowed Chair in Statistics in the Department of Mathematics.
His research interests include multivariate data analysis, inferences with missing data, statistical tolerance region and calibration, and meta analysis.
He was recently honored as a 2019-2020 Outstanding Doctoral Mentor by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development.
Guiding the Highest Levels of Scholarship
The Ph.D. program in mathematics at UL Lafayette emphasizes research and prepares graduates for the highest levels of scholarship. Concentrations are offered in statistics, applied mathematics, and pure mathematics.
Students in the program can “carry out collaborative research with students/faculty from other disciplines within the math program,” and they have “ample choice for variety” when it comes to their coursework, Krishnamoorthy says.
When mentoring doctoral students, he carefully leads them step by step through the research process.
“After a student expresses her/his interest to pursue research under my supervision, the student and I decide on a research topic based on the student’s performances in different courses that I taught. We will figure out some research problems that are doable, of practical importance and publication worthy,” he says.
After working side by side to guide students towards the appropriate tools and other theoretical and computational details to solve the problems, Krishnamoorthy then makes space for his students to begin working independently.
Maintaining open communication is key to helping his students stay focused and on track.
It is important, he says, to “make students comfortable and encourage them to discuss some of their personal problems that could be obstacles to progress in their research.”
Using Expertise Beyond Graduation
Good mentorship is not just about leading students to complete their dissertation, but effectively preparing them for professional success, Krishnamoorthy says.
“It is imperative to help students during the job search process,” he notes.
Many graduates of the Ph.D. program in mathematics opt to work in academia. For these students, Krishnamoorthy helps guide them on preparing a CV, statements on research and teaching, and cover letters. He also prepares them to give interview presentations on their research.
“Most of our graduate students are international students who have never experienced the academic interview process in the USA,” he says.
“I explain to them the usual process of the academic interview, what do they expect and what kind of questions they can ask the search committee and the dean. All students appreciated the help and later told me that they were very comfortable during the interview process.”
“I am really proud of our students who have been working as professors in reputed universities and collaborating with renowned scientists,” he adds.
Other graduates choose to put their talents to use by pursuing a career in industry.
“Some of our students joined industries such as banks, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and government agencies. They are quite successful in their professions,” he notes.
Above all, he imparts to his students the importance of developing their professionalism and actively engaging with their field.
"Once students complete their programs and are ready to pursue a career, I just remind them of three principles: promptness, work ethic, and integrity. I also emphasize the importance of collaborative research and networking," he says.
From start to finish, Krishnamoorthy finds the process of mentoring doctoral students to be a rewarding exchange of ideas and perspectives.
“Research discussion between a professor and a student not only enhances the student’s knowledge, but also helps deepen the professor’s knowledge,” he notes. “Indeed, I have learned a few things from each of my twenty-eight Ph.D. students who have already graduated.”