COSAM Faculty Focus - Assistant Professor Thi-Thao-Phuong Hoang Researches Numerical Methods for Engineering and Environmental Applications
Dr. Thi-Thao-Phuong Hoang, originally from Vietnam, earned her Ph.D. in applied mathematics in France at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI).
“Paris is absolutely unforgettable and filled with historic sites on every corner,” Dr. Hoang said.
The focus on her work is efficient numerical methods for solving partial differential equations and their application to the simulation of various physical phenomena such as groundwater flow and contaminant transport in fractured porous media and coastal ocean modeling. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM).
“I am very interested in the numerical simulation of flow and transport around an underground nuclear waste repository,” she added. “I research numerical algorithms and how they can be analyzed and then applied to large-scale problems such as how nuclear waste spreads throughout underground water systems.”
She completed her post-doctorate work in the United States giving her a balance of educational practices in both Europe and here domestically. Her postdoc fellowship was at the University of South Carolina where she was involved in a research project on climate and earth system modeling funded by the Department of Energy.
“It was exciting for me since I was able to directly use the methods I developed for ocean modeling during my fellowship,” she said.
Dr. Hoang then was seeking a tenure-track position.
“When I interviewed at COSAM, I genuinely liked how the college and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics support their faculty to be successful in their career and to conduct research in a collaborative environment with interdisciplinary faculty,” Dr. Hoang explained.
Now in her first year of teaching, she enjoys the different aspects of her position.
“At Auburn University, I have the opportunity to teach, conduct research and mentor students while being part of a small, connected community,” she shared. “The students here have different backgrounds that actually help you grow and adapt as a teacher.”
Dr. Hoang stays connected to the local community as well as her past. She learned to play the piano when she was a child in Vietnam. She then played while she was earning her doctorate degree in Paris. Today, she listens to classical music, especially her favorite composer Mozart, when she grades papers. She also looks forward to traveling to Vietnam in the future to see her family.
Married and the mother of a four-year old son, Dr. Hoang and her family enjoy all of the parks and outdoor activities throughout the city of Auburn.
“I love being part of this college town that is surrounded by such beautiful nature,” she said.