Considering a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics?  VCU has a vibrant Ph.D. program in Systems Modeling and Analysis.  See this flyer, and for more information.

Cheng Ly

Assistant Professor

Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

Virginia Commonwealth University

Grace E. Harris Hall 4126


My primary research area is computational neuroscience, with a specific focus on the variability, or fluctuations, of cortical neural network activity and their dynamics with sensory inputs.  There are mathematical issues that arise, leading to challenges in: developing numerical methods to solve probability density equations, large-scale (Monte-Carlo) simulations, as well as applied analysis to describe such complicated stochastic systems.  A variety of models are required for different purposes because there is a wide range of biological complexity.  I have worked on: noisy neural oscillators, spiking stochastic networks, detailed biophysical cellular modeling, and questions regarding coding of sensory signals.  Click on this page for some online resources.

Previously, I worked on models in the financial services industry that was primarily data driven.  My work has always maintained a focus on statistical dynamics and how to better understand complex phenomena when having data is not good enough.


The following image was created on using abstracts of our publications with some edits.

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Recent News:

VCU hosts the Biology And Medicine through Mathematics conference, or BAMM!.  The last three (2016, 2017, 2018) were successful!  Hope to see you in May 2019.  Click here for details.

VCU recently started a SIAM Student Chapter.  I am currently the faculty advisor, email me if you are intersted in participating!

GitHub page with software related to some of our Publications.