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University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Professor of Mathematics David Manderscheid has been appointed to serve as director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences beginning January 31.

“I am honored to have this opportunity,” said Manderscheid, “and I am excited about many of the bold initiatives NSF is taking. The mathematical sciences are of increasing importance in our world through subjects like data science and the modeling of epidemics. The opportunity to determine federal investments in mathematical sciences research and workforce development is a rare one. I am honored to serve the nation in this regard and to have the chance to have a substantial positive impact on our country.”

David Manderscheid

The division supports research at the frontiers of discovery in mathematics and statistics, and supports education in the mathematical sciences through research involvement of trainees. With a total annual budget of over $240 million, its programs support research and education that expand the knowledge base of the mathematical sciences through awards to individual investigators and small groups, workforce training grants, and a portfolio of national research institutes.

Manderscheid has been a professor at UT since 2018 and served as senior vice chancellor and provost from 2018 to 2020. During that time, he established the Division of Student Success and hired its first director, Vice Provost Amber Williams. He also helped lead planning for the creation of the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, a partnership between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Manderscheid came to UT from the Ohio State University, where he served for five years as executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, vice provost for arts and sciences, and lead dean for the Translational Data Analytics Initiative to enhance research capacity in applications of data science to societal problems. He earlier served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and chair of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Iowa.

An internationally recognized mathematician, Manderscheid studies representation theory and its applications to number theory. He has held appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, and the University of Paris. He has published widely and received financial support for his work from the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency, and the US Department of Education. He has received numerous awards for both his teaching and his service. He is a member of the inaugural class of fellows of the American Mathematical Society and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He has a BS from Michigan State University and a PhD from Yale University.

During his time at the Division of Mathematical Sciences, Manderscheid will remain affiliated with UT through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, which allows the temporary assignment of personnel to the federal government from institutions such as universities. Manderscheid will make occasional visits to UT to continue research with his students and discuss strategic research opportunities. His appointment is for one year, with the option to renew for up to four years.


Amanda Womac (, 865-974-2992)

Brooks Clark (, 865-974-5471)