Dr. Chris Wu has a small office tucked away in a corner of the Laboratory Classroom Building at Penn State Beaver.
The soft-spoken, genial professor of mathematics gladly answers questions about Beaver campus or his classes, but shies away from questions about himself.
Everything about Wu seems to indicate he’s a humble, quiet man.
Everything, that is, except his research.
Wu was the first Penn State Beaver faculty member to receive a National Science Foundation grant. He earned the grant for a project he started in 1998 that uses mathematical models to predict the spread of events like wildfires and epidemics.
Since then, he has remained a leading expert in his field, and his research has been cited in multiple scholarly journals.
Wu is originally from China, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Guizhou University and his master’s degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu.
Wu said coming to the United States was a difficult adjustment, but it was made easier because he was mature, having already earned two degrees.
“I got a scholarship from the University of Arizona, so I went there for my Ph.D.,” he said.
In 1992, Wu took a job at Penn State Beaver.
He was promoted to full professor in 2003, making him one of only a small number of campus faculty to achieve that status.
Yet despite the high acclaim he’s received for his research, Wu remains humble and dedicated to his work in the classroom. Faculty, staff, and students have all described Wu as engaging and entertaining when teaching.
Originally written by Matt Jones '10 for the Penn State Beaver Nittany News alumni magazine, Spring 2011.