Mathematics and Computer Science


Mathematics Placement Information

Need to Take the Math Placement Test?
If you need to take the Math Placement Test and want to know what is covered in the test or simply how to sign up, refer to the following document:

Completed the Math Placement Test?
If you have completed the Math Placement Test, learn more about your score and course options by referring to the following document:

Information for Faculty Advisers
Advisers, please find the latest information for Math advisement in the following document.

Guy Jacobsohn Memorial Mathematics Colloquium Series

In 1986, the mathematics faculty of Converse College, Wofford College and University of South Carolina Upstate (then USC Spartanburg) joined under the leadership of USC Upstate professor Guy Jacobsohn to sponsor an annual mathematics colloquium series. The colloquia are designed to encourage interaction among mathematics students and faculty.

Each participating institution hosts one mathematics lecture on their campus each semester. Guest lecturers have included nationally recognized mathematicians as well as faculty from the participating colleges, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. The programs are designed at a level that can be understood by the undergraduate mathematics student. The purpose of the series is to enrich the undergraduate experience and to provide an opportunity for the students and faculty on the three campuses to get to know one another.

Upon the untimely passing of Guy Jacobsohn in the spring of 2003, the series was renamed from the Spartanburg Collegiate Mathematics Colloquium Series to the Guy Jacobsohn Memorial Mathematics Colloquium Series.

Mathematics Faculty & Staff


Brett Barwick
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 239

Dr. Barwick joined the USC Upstate faculty in Fall 2012, after completing his doctorate in mathematics from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Barwick's research interests lie in the field of commutative algebra, more specifically homological properties of commutative rings and modules, algebraic combinatorics and algebraic number theory.

Dilli Bhatta
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 232

Dr. Bhatta joined the USC Upstate faculty in August 2015. He holds a doctorate in statistics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Before coming to USC Upstate, Dr. Bhatta worked as a temporary assistant professor at Truman State University and as an adjunct teaching professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research interests are categorical data analysis, survey sampling and Bayesian statistics.

Joseph Biber
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 237

Jill Brooks
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 233

Peggy Cole
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 237

Gamal Elnagar
Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 231 

Dr. Elnagar earned his doctorate degree in applied mathematics from Mississippi State University. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education as a mathematics teacher and researcher. Since 1994, he has been collaborating and classified as a regular visiting scientist at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He has received national and international recognition for his work in the field of optimal control theory and applications. Dr. Elnagar, together with Dr. Mohammad Kazemi of UNC Charlotte, developed the necessary and sufficient conditions of optimality for the class of time-delayed optimal control problems as well as several smoothing procedures in the numerical solution of non-differentiable optimal control problems. Dr. Elnagar's research interests lie in optimal control in climate modeling, optimal control theory with economic applications, and numerical solution of nonlinear conservation laws.

Muhammad Hameed
Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 220

Ryan Harper
Director, Math and Computer Science Tutoring Services
Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 242A 

Ryan graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor of science in physics. While at Presbyterian, he completed an honors research project in electroacoustics. He later attended the Pennsylvania State University studying acoustics, before changing tracks and earning a master of science in statistics from Clemson University. While at Clemson, he was the data analyst for the Academic Success Center and presented posters about the efficacy of the center’s services at two institutional research conferences. After graduating from Clemson, he taught statistics courses at Spartanburg Community College and worked as a business analyst for American Credit Acceptance in Spartanburg. In 2013, he joined the faculty at Spartanburg Community College full-time, working as a Mathematics Instructor and later as Academic Director of Technology and Training for Mathematics. He joined the USC Upstate faculty in 2016 as a mathematics instructor and director of tutoring for mathematics and computer science.

Michael Hudak
Senior Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 207

Rachel Hyder
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 237

Seunggeun Hyun
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 217 

Before he joined USC Upstate, Dr. Hyun participated in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Health (NIH). His research interests are in the areas of statistical analysis of time-to-event data, competing risks data, and application of statistical models to real problems involving data from medicine, epidemiology or engineering. He has published research articles in several journals, including the Journal of Applied Statistics, Biometrics and Statistics in Medicine. Dr. Hyun has become more engaged in risk and reliability engineering in recent years.

Charlene Linder
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 237

Charlene M. Linder has been an adjunct professor in the mathematics department of USC Upstate for about ten years. She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor of science degree in math and from the University of South Carolina with a master of science degree in math. Before joining USC Upstate, Dr. Linder taught high school math. She has two daughters and two sons-in-law, three grandchildren, and a dog. She presently teaches college mathematics.

Charles McGill
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 233

Bernard Omolo
Chair, Division of Mathematics and Computer Science
Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 223 

Dr. Omolo earned his doctorate in mathematical statistics from Texas Tech University in 2004 and joined the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science at USC Upstate the same year as an Assistant Professor. He was granted a year’s leave of absence in 2009 to pursue mentorship in cancer genomics and biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since then, his research has focused on the development and application of statistical methods in genomics, genetics, public health and the environment. His publications in this regard are listed in PubMed. Dr. Omolo's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) and the Simons Foundation. Currently, he is developing statistical models for DNA microarray and RNASeq data from cancer studies, among other projects. Professor Omolo serves as a reviewer for Mathematical Reviews (IMS), Statistics in Medicine and PLoS ONE, among other journals. He served as an Assistant Chair from 2013 to 2015 and has been the Interim Chair of the division since 2015.

Katherine Ordoyne
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 237

Tommy Ordoyne
Senior Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 219 

Timothy Rankin
Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 219 

Tim Rankin majored in mathematics with a concentration in computer science at Davidson College and went on to earn a master's degree in mathematics from Duke University. He has taught various math courses at USC Upstate since 2011. Before teaching at USC Upstate, Rankin taught at Spartanburg Community College and provided one-on-one tutoring to math students. He has conducted research in topics such as integer programming, probability and partial words, which led to publication in an academic journal and presentation at a conference.

Charles Stavely
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 234

Alexandre Timonov
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 206 

Elizabeth Waddell
Senior Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 230 

Elizabeth graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and a minor in business administration. She later attended Northwestern University as well as Converse College where she earned a master's degree in Mathematics while minoring in education. After graduation, she started work with Boiling Springs Junior High, where she taught mathematics in grades 8-9. She also taught mathematics and computer science to students in grades 10-12 at Dorman High School before becoming the assistant principal and then director of middle and secondary curriculum at Byrnes High School. Dr. Waddell became a faculty member at USC Upstate in 2005.

Xinli Wang
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Hodge 210

Dr. Wang earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2008. Before joining the faculty at USC Upstate in Spring 2012, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Johns Hopkins University from 2008-2010 and as a Research Associate at the University of Virginia from 2010-2011. Dr. Wang's research interests include asymptotic analysis, fluid dynamics, particle separation, machine learning, and big data analytics.

Bill White
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics

Andrew Zardecki
Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics
Hodge 223

Andrew Zardecki received his master of science in physics from the University of Warsaw and his doctorate in theoretical physics from the Polish Academy of Sciences. He served on the faculty at the Department of Physics, Laval University, Quebec, Canada. In 1980-2004, he was a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His interests and scientific expertise include atmospheric optics, relativity and computer models of chaotic processes. He has served as principal investigator for research programs sponsored by the Canadian National Defense and as a co-investigator for NASA, EPA, DOE and DOD programs. Dr. Zardecki has authored and co-authored over 100 publications.


Alyssa Starkey
Administrative Assistant
Hodge 200

Mathematics Club

The Math Club encourages math awareness and promotes interest in mathematics at USC Upstate. Club meetings address issues important to USC Upstate students with an interest in mathematics or an intention to work in the field of mathematics. For more information, contact the Math Club president Jessie Champion or the Math Club Advisor, Dr. Brett Barwick

2016-2017 Club Officers 

President - Jessie Champion 
Vice President - Howie Jordan 
Secretary - Stephen Brushbaber 
Treasury - Ryan McGaha 


Members of the Math Club traveled to the Kennesaw Mountain Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia on October 24, 2015. The group had an oppertunity to attend talks and a poster session on various mathematical topics in academics, careers and research. 

Computer Science

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BS)
Scientific Computing, and Enterprise Solutions tracks

Computer Information Systems (BA)
System Analysis, and Network/Information Security tracks

Computer Science Minor
27 Hours of primarily Computer Science courses

Course Information  

Course Descriptions
View the decriptions for all computer science courses


Chunyu Ai
Assistant Professor
Hodge 218 

Michael Harper
Senior Instructor
Hodge 221 

Frank Haizhon Li
Associate Professor
Hodge 228 

Amanda Schwartz
Assistant Professor
Hodge 216 

Wei Zhong
Hodge 230 


Alyssa Starkey 
Administrative Assistant 
Hodge 200 

Faculty Research

The Computer Science Faculty at the University of South Carolina Upstate actively pursue several areas of research, including:

  • 3D Visualization of Complex Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Vision
  • Cryptography
  • Data Mining
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Intelligent Information Retrieval
  • Middleware and Database Systems
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile Computing
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Networking and Wireless Networking
  • Robotics
  • Simulation
  • Software Engineering
  • Security

Research grants are constantly sought after by the CS faculty for providing employment opportunites for undergraduate students and establishing hi-tech research facilities. For example, unique to the Upstate, is a state-of-the-art Robotics Lab located in the Stockwell Administration Building room 117 which houses six heavy duty, industrial robotic arms funded by the Staubli Corporation. We also have an Undergraduate Research Lab located in the Hodge room 247 which houses several top-of-the-line machines which are used by Mathematics and Computer Science majors engaging in research, independent studies or internships.

Some recent publications that highlight current research efforts by the USC Upstate Computer Science faculty include:

Chunyu Ai, Yueming Duan, Mingyuan Yan, and Jing He, "Area Query Processing Based on Gray Code in Wireless Sensor Networks", Tsinghua Science and Technology, Vol.17, Issue 5, 2012.

Yingshu Li, Chunyu Ai, Zhipeng Cai, and Raheem Beyan, "Sensor scheduling for p-percent coverage in wireless sensor networks", Cluster Computing, pp. 27-40, March, 2011.

Yingshu Li, Chinh Vu, Chunyu Ai, Guantao Chen, and Yi Zhao, "Transforming Complete Coverage Algorithms to Partial Coverage Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks,"IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, pp. 695-703, April, 2011. 

Longjiang Guo, Meirui Ren, Jinbao Li, Yong Liu, and Chunyu Ai, "H-cluster: A Novel Efficient Algorithm for Data Clustering in Sensor Networks," Journal of Communications, Vol 6, No 2 (2011), 168-178, Apr 2011.

Wei Zhong, Rick Chow, and Jieyue He. “Clinical Charge Profiles Prediction for Patients Diagnosed with Chronic Diseases Using Multi-level Support Vector Machine,” Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal, 31 Pages, Vol. 39 No. 1, 2012. (Acceptance Rate of Papers: ~15%) 

Sebastian van Delden and Michael Umrysh. 2011. Visual Detection of Objects in a Robotic Work Area using Hand Gestures. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Robotics and Sensor Environments, Montreal, Canada, Pp 237-243. September 17-18, 2011. 

Sebastian van Delden and Nicole Tobias. 2010. A Novel Approach to 3D Contour Recovery using Structured Light Mounted to a Robotic Manipulator. In Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Robotics and Applications, Cambridge, MA, Pp 167-173, Nov 1-3, 2010. 

Sebastian van Delden. 2010. Computer Science Meets Industrial Robotics: A Visual Servoing Project for a Computer Vision Course. In the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges. Volume 25, Number 6. Pages 85-92. Select papers from the 15th Annual Northeast Meeting of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges. Hartford University. (Acceptance Rate: 42%)

Sebastian van Delden. 2010. Industrial Robotic Game Playing: An AI Course. In the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges. Volume 25, Number 3. Pages 134-142. Select papers from the 25th Annual Eastern Meeting of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges. Villanova University, Pennsylvania. January 2010. (Acceptance Rate: 50%)

Jieyue He, Fang Zhou, Wei Zhong, and Yi Pan. Gene Subsets Extraction Based on Mutual Information based Minimum Spanning Trees Model. International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design (IJCBDD), vol. 2(2), pp.187-203, 2009

Wei Zhong, Rick Chow, Jieyue He, Richard Stolz, and Marsha Dowell. Multi-Level Support Vector Machines for Classifying Large Chronic Disease Datasets. Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (BIOCOMP'09), vol. 1, pp. 370-375 (Acceptance Rate of Regular Papers: ~27%)

Sebastian van Delden and Frank Hardy. 2009. Robotic Eye-in-hand Calibration in an Uncalibrated Environment. In the Journal on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. Volume 6, Number 6. Pages 67-72.

Sebastian van Delden and Wei Zhong. Effective Integration of Autonomous Robots into an Introductory Computer Science Course: A Case Study. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges. 6 pages, 2008.

Sebastian van Delden and Benjamin Overcash. 2008. Towards Voice-Guided Robotic Manipulator Jogging. In Proceedings of the 12th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. Volume 3. Pages 138-144. Orlando, FL. July 2008. (Acceptance Rate of Regular Papers: ~37%)

Wei Zhong, Gulsah Altun, Xinmin Tian, Robert Harrison, Phang C. Tai, and Yi Pan. Parallel Protein Secondary Structure Prediction Schemes Using Pthread and OpenMP over Hyper-Threading Technology. Journal of Supercomputing, vol. 41(1), pp. 1-16, July 2007.

Wei Zhong, Jieyue He, Robert. Harrison, Phang C. Tai, and Yi Pan. Clustering Support Vector Machines for Local Protein Structure Prediction. Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal, vol. 32(2), pp. 518-526, February 2007.

Sebastian van Delden. Constructing a Simple Visually-Guided Robotic Part-Grasping System with Off-the-Shelf Components. The 18th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence (TAI 2006). Washington, DC. November 13-15th, 2006.

Y. Xiao; F. H. Li; Wu, K.; Leung, K.K.; Ni, Q.On optimizing backoff counter reservation and classifying stations for the IEEE 802.11 distributed wireless LANs, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2006 Page(s): 713 - 722.

Wei Zhong, Gulsah Altun, Robert Harrison, Phang C. Tai, and Yi Pan Improved K-means Clustering Algorithm for Exploring Local Protein Sequence Motifs Representing Common Structural Property. IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 255-265, September 2005

Y. Xiao, H. Li, Voice and Video Transmissions with Global Data Parameter Control for the IEEE 802.11e Enhanced Distributed Channel Access IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems , Vol. 15, No. 11, pages: 1041-1053, November 2004. Top 3 of The Top 50 most Downloaded Articles for IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (IEEE TPDS) in 2004 from IEEE Xplore.

Undergraduate Research

Below are the poster and presentations topics for USC Upstate CS students, or math students with a CS faculty member, at the Annual South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium. 


  • A Robust Decision Support Model for Generating Clinical Knowledge of Patients Diagnosed with Chronic Diseases
    Brett Michaud and Wei Zhong 
  • Visual Detection of Objects in a Robotic Word-Area using Hand Gestures 
    Alex Umrysh and Sebastian van Delden 
  • BrailleSC: The Possibilities are Endless  
    Cory Bohon, Tina Herzberg, and George Williams 


  • On Comparison of Two Survival Functions
    Brent McCracken and Seunggeun Hyun 
  • Rule Mining the HCUP Dataset Using the Tukey Method
    Daniel Hagerman and Wei Zhong 

Research-related videos: 

Program Objectives

To provide a high-quality baccalaureate education with the depth and breadth necessary to prepare students for careers in computer science and to pursue graduate education in the field if they so choose. In keeping with the metropolitan mission of the University, graduates of the program will have the skills necessary to compete for jobs in the Upstate and contribute to the region's economic productivity. 

Program Objectives 

A.  Graduates of the Computer Science Program will possess the breadth and depth of knowledge sufficient to work and excel in the field of computer science or to pursue advanced study in computer science. 

B.  Graduates of the Computer Science Program will be effective communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers and team workers within the computer science profession.

C.  Graduates of the Computer Science Program will understand the ethical and societal issues relating to the computer science profession and the use of computers in everyday life.

D.  Graduates of the Computer Science Program will be able to conduct relevant research in computer science. 

Expected Outcomes for Graduating Students 

A1.  Graduates should be able to solve computer-related problems that require the application of mathematics, programming, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning.

A2.  Graduates should be able to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution.

B1.  Graduates should be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, on a computer science subject. 

B2.  Graduates should be able to work effectively on computer science problems as part of a team.

C1.  Graduates should understand their ethical and professional responsibilities.

C2.  Graduates should understand the impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society.

D1.  Graduates should be able to locate and gather information relevant to a computer science research subject.

D2.  Graduates should be able to develop, elaborate and summarize their findings on a computer science subject.


Stäubli Robotics Laboratory
The Stäubli Robotics Laboratory houses eight industrial robotic arms that were provided to USC Upstate by the Stäubli Corporation and J&J Industrial Services. Several Computer Science courses are offered, which not only provide hands-on working knowledge of these machines, but also teaches the theoretical underpinnings of such technologies.

A unique relationship has been forged with SEW Eurodrive, a leading company in the field of drive engineering, establishing the SEW Eurodrive Research Assistantship Award. This award pays a student research assistant to work with Dr. Sebastian van Delden on research projects in the lab. Awards are available every Spring and Fall. SEW also provided funding every year to support Robotics Summer Camps and the purchase of additional lab materials.

Paid internship programs have also been establishing with robotics industries in the region.

Networking Lab
A networking lab facilitates instruction in local and wide area networking, providing the resources for hands-on application of the theoretical concepts that are studied.

Linux Lab
The Linux lab in the Hodge Building Room 247 is home to a six-unit Linux cluster. These machines are available to both the faculty and students and their usage has also been incorporated in the Computer Science Curriculum.

Classrooms & Walk-In Labs
Almost all of our classrooms are equipped with ceiling-mounted video-data projectors, internet connection, and document cameras. In addition, there are three computer classrooms, each equipped with 24 student stations, a laser printer, and an instructor’s station with software that enables the instructor to control the student computers in the classroom through the campus network. The G. B. Hodge Center, home of the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science, has two walk-in computer labs open to students while the building is open. Each has 12 Pentium personal computers equipped with Windows XP Professional, Office XP, and all of the mathematics and computer software used in classes.

Undergraduate Research Lab
Undergraduate students who assist professors in conducting research benefit tremendously. They graduate with enhanced: analytical and communication skills; knowledge of a specific discipline; work etiquette. The lab houses Mathematics and Computer Science students who are:

  • Undergraduate Research Assistants supported by research grant funds
  • Participating in an Internship
  • Taking an Independent Study
Outstanding Computer Science Award Winners

2015-2016 - Lee Steele
2014-2015 - Sheldon Smith
2013-2014 - Gary Lee Hudson
2012-2013 - Keith J. Acosta
2011-2012 - Aaron Winters
2010-2011 - Alex Umrysh
2009-2010 - Rhonda Nicole Tobias
2008-2009 - Stephen St. Peter
2007-2008 - Ben Overcash
2006-2007 - Daniel Nysveen
2005-2006 - William Bittle
2004-2005 - Philip Johnson
2003-2004 - Tina Davis
2002-2003 - Nathan Burgess and Laura Hassler
2001-2002 - Paul Bever
2000-2001 - Christopher Griffith
1999-2000 - David Rainville
1998-1999 - Mark Lockhart
1997-1998 - Carl Hamilton
1996-1997 - Belinda Habiger
1995-1996 - Greg Robertson
1994-1995 - Michelle Graham
1993-1994 - Tina I. Seawell
1992-1993 - Willard Rambo
1991-1992 - Joy Hamrick
1990-1991 - Joel Griffin
1989-1990 - Dana Marie Bucci
1988-1989 - Tina Reid
1987-1988 - Dianne Babington
1986-1987 - Kathi Soniat du Fossat
1985-1986 - Scott Corbin
1984-1985 - Arnette Johnson
1983-1984 - Shigemi Suenaga
1982-1983 - Henry Davis
1981-1982 - Richard Wolcott
1980-1981 - Marty Kianos