About me

I am a fourth-year PhD candidate in the mathematics department at the University of Minnesota. I study analysis and probability, and in particular discrepancy theory and energy optimization. My advisor is Dmitriy Bilyk. I did my undergraduate work at Carleton College.

You can contact me at michmast "at" umn "dot" edu, or find me in Vincent 520 (in non-pandemic times...)

Find my CV here.

Find my masters thesis/oral exam paper (written Fall 2021) here.



Ongoing Projects

  • Greedy sequences on the sphere and their discrepancy

  • Lower bounds for the directional discrepancy in the plane

  • Discrepancy of projections of the Hamming cube into the plane

  • VC-dimension of classes of rotated rectangles

Publications (undergraduate)

Talks and Travel


  • May 23-27, 2022: attending and giving a short talk at "Workshop in Convexity and High-Dimensional Probability" at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA

  • June 13-17, 2022: attending "Harmonic Analysis and Related Topics" at Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona, Spain

  • June 27-July 1, 2022: attending "Point Distributions: Deformations and Rigidity" at LMS Research School at University College London

  • July 11-15, 2022: attending "Random and Deterministic Point Configurations" at Lluis Santaló School, Santander, Spain

  • July 17-22, 2022: attending "Workshop on Monte-Carlo and Quasi-Monte-Carlo Methods" at RICAM, Linz, Austria

    • Organizing (and speaking in) a special session `Quantifying Notions of Equidistribution on the Sphere' with Damir Ferizović


  • Oct 12, 2021: spoke in the Analysis Seminar at TU Graz (Graz, Austria) on "Problems in Directional Discrepancy"

  • Oct 5, 2021: spoke in the Analysis Seminar at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) on "Problems in Directional Discrepancy"

  • Oct 21, 2020: spoke in the Point Distributions Webinar on "Bounds for Star-Discrepancy with Dependence on the Dimension". Slides / Video


  • I am a co-organizer of the Point Distributions Webinar in Spring 2022.

  • I have participated in the UMN Directed Reading Program with several undergraduate students, reading on topics such as graduate probability theory, discrepancy theory, and energy optimization on the sphere.

  • I was a member of the UMN SIAM student chapter in 2019-2020. After the pandemic stifled our ability to host events with faculty, I helped compile a google drive with video introductions to the research of several UMN math faculty members open to taking students. If you would like access to the drive, please contact me.

  • In 2018-2019, I facilitated the Undergraduate Problem Solving Group. Since 2019 the group is facilitated by Ratul Biswas, Meagan Kenney, and Annie Schenck. Contact them for more information. Below are links to problem lists from past sessions.

2/19/19 Problems; 1/31/19 Problems; 11/14/18 Problems; 11/8/18 Problems; 10/31/18 Problems; 10/25/18 Problems; 10/17/18 Problems (thanks to Jacob Spear for the Problem-Solving Toolkit :))


Spring 2022: I am the instructor for an asynchronous online section of MATH 1272 (Calculus II).

Previously: Have lectured for MATH 1271 (Calculus I) in asynchronous online format; two sections of MATH 1272 (Calculus II) in synchronous online format; MATH 2243 (Linear Algebra and Differential Equations) in synchronous online format; MATH 1031 (College Algebra), conducted in-person until the class moved to synchronous online instruction; and TA'ed for MATH 1051 (Precalculus I).

Pre-graduate school: I taught 9th grade math at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in midtown Minneapolis in 2017-18.

Other: I also occasionally tutor math and statistics at the high school, college, and graduate levels through Advantage Testing of Minneapolis, since 2016.

Prelim Solutions

Algebra: Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016 #2 (see Adrienne Sands's writeup for the whole exam. Mine is an alternate solution to #2).

I worked on many of these solutions with Sally Jankovic and/or Liam Keenan. In addition to Adrienne's writeup linked above, Harini Chandramouli's writeups and Sunita Chepuri's writeups of 2010-2015 prelims were very helpful resources. If you find an error in one of my solutions, please feel free to let me know so I can correct it.


Outside of math, you might find me singing.