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Dr. David Jekel

Dr. David Jekel

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  • Website
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Status: Faculty
  • Department: Math,
  • Will Mentor: Doctoral students, Pre-doctoral students

Areas of Expertise

Pure Mathematics,

Research Interests

Free probability, Operator algebras


David Jekel grew up in the Seattle area. He graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle with a double major in Mathematics and (Greek and Roman) Classics in 2015. He graduated with a Math Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles in 2020 with Dimitri Shlyakhtenko as his advisor. Currently, Jekel is an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego. Jekel owes a great debt to his own mathematical mentors. James Morrow at the University of Washington invited him to an REU on discrete inverse problems for weighted graphs in 2013, and he returned as a TA and guest lecturer for the REU during his first few years of graduate school. This led to a published paper of two graduate students and three undergraduates on the "algebraic properties of generalized graph Laplacians." Jekel'sinterest in the spectral properties of graph Laplacians inspired questions of functional analysis which first brought him in contact with his Ph.D. advisor Dimitri Shlyakhtenko. Jekel's Ph.D. thesis studies the large N behavior of N x N random matrices using tools from the theory of partial differential equations and semigroups. Jekel's experience with learning about partial differential equations from Tatiana Toro at the University of Washington turned out to be useful to his thesis, even though the thesis was in a totally different area. Jekel wants to provide the same type of mentorship to others that he received himself, so they can also pursue mathematics and make connections between ideas and people. He is eager to advise students on applying to graduate school and give feedback on their application essays, as well as help them get acquainted with different areas of math.