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Aklilu Zeleke, Ph.D.

Aklilu  Zeleke
  • Professor
  • LB Course Subject Area: Mathematics
  • Department of Statistics & Probability
  • Holmes Hall, W-25A
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 353-4504


  • The Calculus Sequences (LB 118, 119, 220),
  • Senior Seminar (LB 492)
  • Pre-Calculus (LB 117)
  • Statistics for Scientists (STT 231).


Dr. Zeleke received his Ph.D. from Temple University in 1997 and joined MSU in fall 2005. He teaches mathematics courses at Lyman Briggs College (LBC), and statistics courses both at LBC and the MSU Department of Statistics and Probability. His research focuses on four areas: probability (random walks, limit theorems), discrete mathematics and combinatorics, statistics education, and undergraduate research projects. He enjoys involving undergraduates in his research projects.


  • Ph.D. in Mathematics, Temple University
  • M.Sc. in Mathematics, University of Leipzig, Germany


  • Gateway Teaching Fellow, CREATE for STEM Institute, MSU, 2014
  • Faculty Mentoring Award, the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, 2014
  • MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan Quality of Undergraduate Teaching Award, MSUs highest teaching award, 2013
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Alma College, 2001
  • Project NexT Fellow, the Mathematical Association of America, 1998 1999
  • Certificate of Merit, Teaching Assistant, College of Arts and Sciences, Temple University, 1996


Research Projects

  • Recursive polynomials and their properties
  • Combinatorial identities via combinatorial, automated theorem proving and probabilistic approach
  • Stability of stochastic PDEs through random noise
  • A flip classroom model using real data in introductory statistics
  • The Dunning-Kruger (D-K) effect for introductory statistics students


  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Institute in Experimental Mathematics (SURIEM), National Security Agency (NSA), (H98230-19-1-0014), 2019, $94,917, Co-PI.
  • REU Site: REU in Applied & Discrete Mathematics, NSF, (DMS-1852066), 2019-2022, $261,739, 000, Co-PI. 


  • Closed Forms of Recursive Polynomials and Applications (with M. Haver*, K. Lee*, Wi. McDermott*, A. Wilson*, W. H. Yu}, Ars Combinatoria, 142 (2019), 175-195.
  • Exponential order statistics and some combinatorial identities (P. Vellaisamy), Communications in Statistics - Theory and Methods, DOI: 10.1080/03610926.2018.1508710
  • A Study of Students’ Attitudes Change and Performance Improvement in a Flipped Class (with C. Lee), Invited Paper, Refereed Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS10), Kyoto, Japan, July (2018).
  • Dunning-Kruger Effect for Students Taking Statistics Courses (with C. Lee), Contributed Paper, Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS10), Kyoto, Japan, July (2018).
  • Starting and Sustaining an Undergraduate Research Program: The SURIEM Experience at Michigan State University (with R. Bell), PRIMUS, Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2016.1240730
  • Extending the Constant Coefficient Solution Technique to Variable Coefficient Ordinary Differential Equations (with A. Mohammed), PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, Vol 25, Issue 6, 2015 7. Proofs of Ruehr's Identities (with S. Meehan*, A. Tefera, M. Weselcouch*), INTEGERS 14 (2014).
(* indicates an undergraduate coauthor)