Professional portrait of John Pelesko

John A. Pelesko

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematical Sciences, University of Delaware

John was appointed to his current position in July 2019 with oversight of UD’s largest college of more than 7,000 undergraduate students, 1,100 graduate students, as well as over 50 academic departments, research institutes, interdisciplinary centers, and programs.

He is a distinguished scholar and mathematician, with research on mathematical modeling of physical systems, especially micro and nanoscale engineered systems. John is also dedicated to student success and has conducted extensive research on integrating mathematical modeling, numerical simulation and experiment into undergraduate and graduate mathematics courses. He is the author of the highly regarded books Self Assembly: The Science of Things That Put Themselves Together, published in 2007, and Modeling MEMS and NEMS, published in 2002, as well as several book chapters and numerous research articles in scholarly journals.

Most recently, John served as associate dean in the college from January 2016 after holding an interim appointment for one year, where he was responsible for a portfolio of six departments in the natural sciences, including biological sciences; chemistry and biochemistry; linguistics and cognitive science; mathematical sciences; physics and astronomy; and psychological and brain sciences. He also oversaw the college’s secondary education enterprise, the Delaware Teacher’s Institute at New Castle County, and educational programming in UD’s Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory.

John’s leadership as chairperson of UD’s Department of Mathematical Sciences from September 2011 to January 2015 saw the creation of the Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory as a “one-stop-shop” approach to the teaching and learning of introductory mathematics. He also served as director of graduate studies in the department from September 2009 to 2011.

His extensive record of service includes work at UD with the Data Science Initiative, the Honors Program Task Force and the General Education Task Force, and work within the State of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Education to implement a new high-school course, “Foundations of College Mathematics.” He also co-chairs a statewide effort to reduce the need for remedial mathematics among Delaware’s high school graduates.

He earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude with distinction in pure mathematics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and his Ph.D. in mathematical sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.