Ethnically Chinese, raised in Southern California.

My name is pronounced (chEHng lee); Cheng is my first name and Ly (李) is my last name.

Work Experience

07/2019 – Present      Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Statistical Sciences

                                    and Operations Research.

08/2013 – 06/2019    Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Statistical Sciences

                                    and Operations Research.

10/2011 – 06/2013     Quantitative Modeler at The PNC Financial Services Group.

08/2010 – 10/2011     Postdoctoral Fellow with Brent Doiron at The University of Pittsburgh.

08/2007 – 07/2010     NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (MSPRF), with Bard

                                   Ermentrout at The University of Pittsburgh.


     •  Ph.D. in Mathematics, Courant Institute (NYU), May 2007. Advisor: Daniel Tranchina.

     •  M.S. in Mathematics, Courant Institute (NYU), September 2004.

     •  B.S. in Applied Mathematics, UCLA, June 2002.

Honors and Awards

     •  NSF CRCNS grant on Retronasal Olfaction, 2019-2022.

     •  Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians, 2015-2020.

     •  NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2007-2010.

     •  NDSEG (DoD) Fellowship, Courant Institute, 2003-2006.

     •  MacCracken Fellowship, Courant Institute, 2002-2007.

     •  NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) Honorable Mention, 2003.

     •  Phi Beta Kappa, National Honor Society, Eta of California, 2002.

     •   Summa Cum Laude, Highest Departmental Honors, College Honors, UCLA, 2002.

     •  Harbison Scholarship (full), UCLA, 1998-2002.

Memberships: SIAM (for Life), Organization for Computational Neuroscience, Society for Mathematical Biology, Virginia Academy of Sciences (for Life)


     •  Started VCU's SIAM Student Chapter and am currently the faculty advisor (SIAM at VCU).

     •  Referee for: PLoS Computational Biology, Journal of Neurophysiology, SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, Neural Computation, Journal of Mathematical Biology, PLoS ONE, Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology.

     •  Referee for submissions to the International Conference on Mathematical Neuroscience (ICMNS) in 2017, 2019.

     •  Referee for poster submissions to COSYNE in 2014, 2015, 2017.

     •  Referee for presentations at the 2014 Virginia Junior Academy of Sciences meeting.

     •  TA for summer school on “Mathematics for Biological Networks” at the University of Victoria (Summer 2010).