Welcome to Dr. Seshaiyer's Professional Development, educational outreach and enrichment Programs in STEM home Page

Professor and Associate Dean
College of Science
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer is a tenured Professor of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University and serves as the Director of the STEM Accelerator Program in the College of Science as well as the Director of COMPLETE (Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research interests are in the broad areas of computational mathematics, scientific computing, computational biomechanics and STEM education. During the last decade, Dr. Seshaiyer initiated and directed a variety of educational programs including graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. During this time he received multiple grants from several agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Whitaker Foundation, Texas Advanced Research Program, Virginia Department of Education, and State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. In addition to his research accomplishments, Dr. Seshaiyer contributed extensively to teaching and won several prestigious awards, including the President's Excellence Award in Teaching which is the highest award for teaching offered at two different institutions, the faculty mentoring excellence award in 2013 and the GMU Alumni Faculty of the Year in 2014. He has delivered keynote and plenary talks at several national and international meetings. He is also one of the Nifty-Fifty speakers and an X-STEM Symposium Speaker for the USA Science and Engineering Festival invited for a fourth time and also has given two TEDx talks, the most recent one being The M in STEM . He serves on several prominent local and national organizations including a newly formed VA-STEM learning network; the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition; the WashingtonExec STEM Council; the LEGO Education Advisory Panel (LEAP) and the Northern Virginia MATHCOUNTS board. In 2013 he was elected both as a new Councilor for the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research as well as the US National Commission for Mathematics Instruction by the National Academy of Sciences. He is also actively involved in multiple global STEM collaborative projects and training programs that engage students and faculty from various countries including Tanzania, Suriname, Philippines, Myanmar, Tunisia, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, India and South Korea.

His research includes the development of new analytical techniques and efficient computational algorithms to obtain numerical solutions to differential equations describing multi-physics interactions. His research in Computational biomechanics includes developing, extending and applying mathematics for the purposes of better understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of the human vascular system. Integrated with the research plan is an education plan where the primary goal is to teach students and teachers at all levels to apply well-developed research concepts, to fundamental applications arising in STEM disciplines. In the academic year 2016-2017, Dr. Seshaiyer served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation.

Here is a short one-page bio .

More details can be found at Dr. Seshaiyer's Homepage .

Listed below are details of some of Dr. Seshaiyer's accomplishments along with his contributions to professional development and outreach activities:

Connecting SDG2030 and COVID-19

Recently, Dr. Seshaiyer published with his colleague the impact of COVID-19 on the SDG2030 goals. The United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, providing a shared vision for tackling some of the most enduring global challenges.Notably, the third goal ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all refers to strengthening the capacity of all countries, particularly developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and international health risks. COVID-19 crisis has added dimensions of complexity to this problem. Click on The Impact of COVID-19 on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Seshaiyer's work impacts Education in Suriname during COVID-19

In April 2020, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Suriname (South America) announced on TV, their distance learning instructional plan for the entire country starting next week for educating thousands of their students who are at home across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, the Ministry has approved the educational program created by Dr. Seshaiyer called BE-STREAMING (Basic Education-Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics to Inspire the Next Generation) to be included as the official instructional content that will be delivered via TV channels to keep thousands of students engaged and occupied at homes during the COVID-19 crisis. This program has helped train over 1000 teachers and has helped build strong local capacity in the last three years in Suriname. Here is a related Dutch newsarticle (Suriname's Official Language) which includes a video of what the program is about. You can also watch the video of the BE-STREAMING program on youtube!

2019 Honorary Doctorate Award

Each year the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which is one of the top-ranked universities in Europe and in the top 200 in the world, awards honorary doctorates "to committed scientists who transcend the boundaries of their own disciplines and to personalities that have been at the frontiers of societal change." These include world leaders, faculty and other distinguished members from across the globe that are nominated by the universities or the different colleges. The list of last round of recipients can be found at Recent Receipients and the list of past awardees over the years can be found at Archived list of recepients . Dr. Seshaiyer has been selected from the United States for scientific excellence and social impact and will receive this honor along with other distinguished recipients from the world this year.

2019 STEM Champion Award

In April 2019, Dr. Seshaiyer was selected by WashingtonExec STEM Council to be the STEM Champion award for all his contributions in nurturing and inspring young minds through his mentorship and outreach. More details can be found in the
WashingtonExec Article

"2016-2018" Program That Works" Award

Over the past three years, four different programs directed by Dr. Seshaiyer including two student programs PROGRESS (2017) and STEM ACCELERATOR (2016) as well as two teacher programs SPARK-STEM (2018), TRANSITIONS (2017), received the "Programs that Work award" from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VAMSC) in recognition of the program's impact on STEM education in Virginia.
  • SPARK-STEM (2018): The project goal for SPARK STEM was to develop and deliver an integrated professional development for upper elementary/middle grade (4-6) teachers. The project focuses on a) “Ambitious teaching” - which prepares teachers to build STEM lessons that integrate content and authentic tasks and problems. b) included a strong emphasis on engaging underserved students in STEM through modeling and PBL strategies.

  • PROGRESS (2017): Project PROGRESS: Promoting Renewable energy research On the Grid to create Responsible and Engaging STEM workforce in Solar Sustainability across the Commonwealth. Project PROGRESS was a new initiative to create a unique first-time multidisciplinary program that will provide an ideal opportunity for participants including students, faculty and the workforce in the state to develop innovative ideas to grow and sustain renewable energy research in the commonwealth of Virginia. This proposed program has helped to provide a platform to study, analyze and assess the impact of renewable energy across the state through a curriculum that was hands-on, experiential and project-based. This project also helped to promote the much-needed awareness of the importance of community-based solar energy by engaging various stake-holders in studying its impact and assessing its benefits while supporting and encouraging solar energy growth in Virginia.

  • TRANSITIONS (2017): TRANSITIONS: Transforming Mathematics Instruction Through Mathematical Modeling, Algebraic Thinking and Proportional Reasoning: Teaching and Assessing Understanding is a VDOE Mathematics Science Partnership program between faculty from the COMPLETE Center at George Mason University (GMU) and nine school divisions that included Arlington County, Frederick County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Prince William County, and the Virginia Council for Private Education. Using a designed based implementation approach, the project team collaborated with supervisors and mathematics specialists from districts to design a blended approach with high quality onsite professional development (PD) through teacher, coaches and principal institutes, on-site/virtual follow up seminars and content-focused coaching through Lesson Study. In addition, the project created a GMU Math e-learning Network with content-focused webinars, research lessons as exemplars that align with the 2016 SOL standards disseminated through the project website Family of Problems . Through TRANSITIONS, we provided sustained, intensive, and high-quality PD to 405 participants directly over the three-year project period that includes 270 math teachers, special educators, and teachers of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, 90 coaches and 45 principals addressing the needs identified in the school/district PD plan.

  • STEM Accelerator (2016): In particular, two of the summer initiatives that the program coordinates were recoginized at the event. These include (a) FOCUS (Females Of Color Underrepresented in STEM), a program that is jointly coordinated with Girls Inspired and Ready to Lead, Inc. where middle school girls of color worked closely with undergraduate mentors on a week-long STEM program and; (b) a STEM Boot Camp, a program that helps incoming freshmen in STEM to get prepared for the college road ahead by immersing them in a content class such as Calculus I, General Chemistry, Introduction to Physics and Cell Biology in one week taught by faculty as well as give them exposure to undergraduate opportunities and other STEM career pathways. The Programs That Work awards recognize exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning from across the Commonwealth in both rural and urban areas and include local as well as statewide programs. The program was recognized at a ceremony that was presided by Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia in Richmond on Tuesday, February 19, 2016. The first event was held at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Click to learn about more about the award winning FOCUS and STEM Bootcamp Programs .

  • Nelson Mandela STEM Week, Arusha, Tanzania

    Dr. Seshaiyer worked with members of the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania to create the first ever STEM Festival in July 2015 for the region. This event attracted close to 1000 K-12 students, classroom teachers, university faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, parents and members from the industry and government in Tanzania. Dr. Seshaiyer deliver several different presentations during his visit that included talks on innovation in STEM to solve real-world problems such as stoping poaching in Africa using Drones to training faculty, graduate and undergraduate students on research in mathematical modeling and scientific computing to providing professional development to teachers at all levels to enhance their pedagogical practices in the classroom to create the 21st century STEM workforce of Africa. Pictured below is a discussion with the Vice-Chancellor of the institution Professor Burton Mwamila and Dr. Seshaiyer's PhD student Erick Massawe about how to use Drones to solve real-world applications including anti-poaching, remote sensing, agriculture, transporting materials, oil-gas-mineral exploration, search and rescue, surveillance, education and more.

    X-STEM Symposium USA Science and Engineering Festival

    Dr. Seshaiyer has been selected to be one of the speakers for the 2015 X-STEM Symposium and he will be presenting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 28, 2015 in Washington DC. He will join several renowned scientists and STEM Educators to engage the audience in "The M in STEM". Dr. Seshaiyer has participated as a Nifty Fifty Speaker for the USA Science and Engineering Festival for three times in a row and will be delivering an X-STEM Symposium this year. More details about the agends for this USA Science and Engineering Festival event can be found at
    2015 X-STEM Symposium and about Dr. Seshaiyer's profile can be found at EXTREME STEM SYMPOSIUM SPEAKER .

    STEM Accelerator Program Wins "2015 Program That Works" Award

    The STEM Accelerator Program that Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer directs received the 2015 Programs that Work award from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC) in recognition of the program's impact on STEM education in Virginia. The Programs That Work awards recognize exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning from across the Commonwealth in both rural and urban areas and include local as well as statewide programs. The program was recognized at two events in Richmond on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. The first event was held in the Virginia General Assembly Building in Richmond and later that evening at a reception at the Library of Virginia. Click to learn about more about
    STEM Accelerator Program . Also, the news about the award appeared in 4-VA consortium news as well as Mason News Desk .

    2015 K-12 STEM Symposium: The Parent Factor

    This all-day free event included exciting exhibits, inspiring speakers, and panel experts who will highlight just how vital it is to engage parents, students, teachers, corporate/government execs and non-profit representatives alike in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education and careers. Over 1,500 students, parents, teachers, corporate/government executives, and non-profit representatives attended the event. The STEM Accelerator Program showcased theirwork at the event and Dr. Seshaiyer presented a parent professional development session where inforamtion was shared with parents on how to engage their kids in STEM. He was able to meet with US Senator and former Governor Tim Kaine and VA Secretary of Education Anne Holton.

    Design Thinking, Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

    Dr. Seshaiyer helped created a new Provost level class called DICE: Design Thinking, Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship that was delivered at POSTECH University (one of the top institutions in South Korea) to a cohort of students that included both students from George Mason University and students from POSTECH. The course helped them to learn about important skills that are involved in the design thinking process to help solve bigger problems that impacts health care. A recent article on the program was showcased in the
    Mason News on DICE .

    New Degree Programs for Suriname

    Dr. Seshaiyer is working with the Ministry of Education in Suriname and collaborators from Teachers without Borders, University of Brussels and the Organization of the American States to develop new degree programs in ICT and a bachelors in Science and Technology that the students in the country can pursue. The annouce ment for the new programs has been made public recently (
    STARNIEUWS and GFC NIEUWS .) Dr. Seshaiyer also appears in a live radio talk show to discuss this program with other members from John Hopkins University and the University of Brussels in one of the most popular r adio stations in Suriname RADIO 10 FM . The pictures below are with The Vice-President of Suriname Mr. Ashwin Adhin and the Minister of Education, Robert Peneux.

    Mathematics Society of the Philippines

    Dr. Seshaiyer was one of the five plenary speakers together with the Field's Medalist Steve Smale at the 2014 Mathematics Society of the Philippines Convention that was held in May 2014 in Iloilo city. He also gave another invited lecture on the state of mathematics education that was attended by over 200 teachers in the country. He also visited and lectured to the faculty and the students at three of the top universities in the Philippines including the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Ateneo De Manila and De La Salle University. Some pictures from the MSP convention and with the faculty at the universities are attached.

    Student project selected to 2014 Posters on the Hill

    In April 2014, Ms. Alexandra Zeller's undergraduate research project with Dr. Seshaiyer was selected as one of the 60 out of over 600 projects selected to be presented the 18th Annual Posters on the Hill. Her work with Dr. Seshaiyer on modeling social dynamics was commended by Governor Terry Mcauliffe's, Congressman Gerry Connolly's and Congressman Rob Whittman's office. Ms. Zeller and Dr. Seshaiyer also were able to meet Senator Mark Wanner to describe their work on mathematical modeling of social dynamics. They commended that social interactions of human immigration and emigration within regions is an extemely important contribution to the society and can have impact on disease outbreaks, regulatory influences, zoning regulations, rezoning school districts, language differences and many more. They also commended Dr. Seshaiyer for being a true change agent in the State of Virginia for promoting undergraduate research in STEM with applications to the real-world. This is the second student of Dr. Seshaiyer that has been selected for the Posters in the Hill event. This year, they also had a chance to meet members of the Office of Science and Technology at the White House as a part of the event.

    STEM Council hosts the First Annual STEM Symposium in Nothern VA

    Dr. Seshaiyer is a member of the STEM Council in Northern Virginia that provides a one-of-a-kind forum for effective interaction between government, industry, non-profits, and academia to exchange knowledge, experience and strategic ideas on STEM in the national capital region (NCR), and to identify opportunities for members of the council to make a difference in STEM Education and Employment in the NCR. (
    Read interview with Dr. Seshaiyer ). This forum coordinated by Washington Exec organized the first Annual STEM Symposium for the National Capital Region (NCR)! This all-day free event included exciting exhibits, inspiring speakers, and panel experts who will highlight just how vital it is to engage parents, students, teachers, corporate/government execs and non-profit representatives alike in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education and careers. Over 1,500 students, parents, teachers, corporate/government executives, and non-profit representatives attended the event. The symposium provided the opportunity for K-12 students in the National Capital Region (NCR) to showcase their achievements in STEM, and to interact with key business, education, non-profit and government leaders through real-life applications and presentations about how science, technology, engineering and mathematics impacts our community. From an industry leader perspective, professionals had the opportunity to establish and strengthen critical relationships between business and education professionals in our region. Leaders were also be able to gauge the STEM proficiency of the local prospective STEM pipeline. Dr. Seshaiyer joined members from Google, Northrup Grumman, NGA in an invited panel on "The Workforce of Tomorrow Are Your Kids Today: Local STEM Leaders Talk K-12 Pipeline at STEM Symposium" .

    Design Thinking Workshop to Promote Innovation and Creativity

    Recently Dr. Seshaiyer delivered a 10-day workshop together with two other GMU faculty (from Engineering and Education) called "Innovation Design" that was in collaboration with Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) which is one of the leading science and technology institutes in Korea, to a group of undergraduate science and engineering students. The workshop promoted design thinking, creativity, and project-based teaching and assessment practices with undergradaute engineering students as they worked to apply their discipline specific knowledge to solving real-world problems. The workshop was co-designed and delivered with Dr. Kwan Hong Lee (a graduate from MIT Media Labs) and Dr. Daniel Suh (POSTECH).

    What is collaborative Learing all about?

    The STEM Accelerator Program

    Recently the Washington Executive interviewed Dr. Seshaiyer about his views on STEM and its potential impact on students. The article can be found at:


    PEER Science is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics of importance to USAID and conducted in partnership with their NSF-funded collaborators. Areas in which both NSF and USAID have strong mutual interests include, but are not limited to Food security topics such as agricultural development, fisheries, and plant genomics; Climate change impacts such as water sustainability, hydrology, ocean acidification, climate process and modeling, and environmental engineering. Other development topics including disaster mitigation, biodiversity, water, and renewable energy. The PEER Science Cycle 2 Grant recepients can be found at
    PEER Science Awardees Website . The program received hundreds of applications and about 50 awards were made. Tanzania received an award with Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer as the US collaborator.

    Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer collaborated with the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology on creating a new Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science research program on Computational Mathematics, Modeling and Analysis of Biological, Bio-inspired and Engineering Systems. The proposed work will help increase STEM capacity in Tanzania through research projects that will benefit new advances in potentially providing scientific solutions to real-world problems from the areas of food security, environment, education, water and global health. Through these projects the participants will be able to work directly with the appropriate governmental agencies in Tanzania, to collect data that will help validate their computational models and help create better infrastructure. The proposed work will also help create the much needed awareness to pursue multidisciplinary real-world problem solving using STEM and in turn help increase STEM majors in the country. The proposal started with a workshop that was presented by Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer. More details about the workshop can be found NMAIST-GMU PEER Science .

    US National Commission on Mathematics Instruction

    The national adhering body to the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) is the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS, through the NRC, appoints the USNC/MI to conduct the work of the ICMI and foster other international collaborations in mathematics education. The National Research Council (NRC) Board of Mathematical Sciences, MSEB, CBMS, and NCTM provide nominees for selection to the USNC/MI. Dr. Seshaiyer from George Mason University was selected in 2013 to join this US Commission along with members from prominent universities. More details can be found in a recent article on his appointment
    here .

    Aspiring Summer Scientist Internship Program

    The George Mason University ASSIP is a program for high school and undergraduate students to gain research experiences working with faculty from Mason at the Prince William and Fairfax campuses of GMU. I mentored five students in 2012 summer (three high school students and two undergraduate students) and these projects went on to win some prestigious local and national awards. These include winning the poster competition at the Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Conference in Applied Mathematics (Joseph Renaud), the ASSIP art project (Alexander Zeller), fourth place in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the Mathematics category as well as becoming the Seimens Regional Finalists in 2012. I am most proud of the publication that resulted from this latter work with two high school students from Thomas Jeffeson High School for Science and Technology which was "on the stability of lung parenchymal lesions with applications to early pneumothorax diagnosis" published in the peer-reviewed journal "Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine." Some articles on this work with me was published in WashingtonExec and Fairfax County Public Schools .

    OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award

    Each year the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) awards outstanding faculty mentors for their positive impact on current and former Mason students and for having demonstrated support and engagement of undergraduate scholarship at Mason. I was happy to selected as one of the 2013 OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award recipients (see OSCAR Mentor Excellence Award )

    TEDx GMU Talk

    I was invited to give a TEDx talk at George Mason University. I selected the topic of Mathematics: A Multidisciplinary Universal Language , something that I strongly believe in and there is a great need to promote the awareness of this topic to the next generation problem solvers and creative thinkers. I had the privelege to join some great speakers who are pictured with me below.

    Volunteer Lecturer Program

    The Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP) that is sponsored by the Developing Countries Strategy Group of the International Mathematics Union (IMU) , in cooperation with International Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) and the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics. As a part of this program, I was able to participate in the Volunteer Lecturer Program at The Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Arusha (NM AIST-Arusha) twice (Aug 8, 2011 - Sept 2, 2011 and Aug 9, 2012 - Sept 6, 2012). More details about my participation can be found at