Alex McDonough

About Me

I am a Krener Assistant Professor at UC Davis. I got my PhD at Brown University working under the supervision of Caroline Klivans. My current supervisor is Fu Liu.

In the Fall, I will be joining the University of Oregon as an RTG Postdoctoral Scholar under the supervision of Benjamin Young

Contact Info

UC Davis Math Sciences Building

Office 2224

amcd [at] ucdavis [dot] edu

Here's me at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia for the Encuentro Colombiano de Combinatoria (ECCO) in July 2022. 

Research Overview:

I study algebraic, geometric, topological, and dynamical combinatorics. 

I am especially interested in chip-firing and matroid theory, particularly where the two subjects intersect. Nevertheless, I tend to enjoy any project where I can play around with concrete examples to search for hidden structure. Thankfully, these kinds of projects are plentiful in combinatorics!

Seminar Links

See here for info about the UC Davis Algebra and Discrete Math Seminar

I was also one of the organizers for the 2023 FPSAC Conference which took place in Davis, CA. 

During Covid, I created the Graduate Online Combinatorics Colloquium with Galen Dorpalen-Barry and Andrés R. Vindas Meléndez.  I recommend this weekly seminar to any grad students interested in combinatorics (regardless of your background). 


Last summer, I got engaged to Julia Schedler, a statistician working remotely at Rice University! She's currently working with the Houston Health Department to analyze wastewater data in order to predict and prevent the spread of Covid. In the Fall, she will begin a tenure track Assistant Professor job at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She's also spent some time exploring my tiling construction using R. 

One of my favorite hobbies is playing, collecting, and reading about board games. A well written board game instruction manual has many of the same characteristics as a well written research paper (such as clear logic, judicious structure, and plenty of examples). I feel that learning new games has been great practice for learning new mathematics, and teaching rules to others has been great practice for lecturing! If you are curious about my collection, here is my BoardGameGeek Profile.