Maeve Lewis McCarthy


I'm an Applied Mathematician working as Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Murray State University. Iím originally from Galway, Ireland and received my BSc and MSc in Mathematical Physics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. I received an MA and a PhD in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University. I am a former Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics. I am Director of the MSU ADVANCE project.


Contact Info


1.         US Mail: Mathematics & Statistics,  Murray State University, 6C Faculty Hall, Murray KY 42071-3341

2.         Phone & Office: (270) 809-2489, 6C-12 Faculty Hall

3.         E-mail:






My Research Interests


My main mathematical research interests are inverse problems in differential equations and the development of mathematical models for biological phenomena.


Inverse Problems involve the use of optimization techniques to determine model parameters from available data. I am particularly interested in applications involving eigenvalues. In mechanical problems, eigenvalues represent vibrational information. The mathematics involves Sturm-Liouville problems and singular techniques. In biological applications, eigenvalues often represent growth rate information. We use capture-mark-recapture methods, projection matrix modelsand linear algebra to estimate biological properties like fecundity.

Iím also interested in the behavior of invasive species, mosquitoes and cells that are being affected by chemotaxis. Mathematically, all of these are modeled by nonlinear partial differential equations. I have developed methods to identify the unknown parameters in the PDE models, and in some cases to control certain phenomena. Recently, I have become interested in the Arizona Tiger Salamander which displays facultative paedomorphosis in certain populations. One morph eats the juveniles, while the other does not. I am currently developing mathematical models to describe this phenomenon.


I am also interested in the recruitment and retention of women faculty in science at rural institutions like Murray State. In conjunction with Paula Waddill, Robin Zhang, Echo Wu and Steve Cobb, I work on the MSU ADVANCE project which is a National Science Foundation funded project to study recruitment and retention of women in STEM.







Research Publications


  1. Carrie Diaz Eaton, Maeve L. McCarthy, M. Drew LaMar, Progress in the Quantitative Preparation of Biologists in the United States of America, submitted.
  2. M.L. McCarthy, D. Wallace, H. H. Whiteman, E. T. Rheingold, A. M. Dunham, O. Prosper, M. Chen and E. Hu-Wang, Modeling the population dynamics and community impacts ofAmbystoma tigrinum; a case study of phenotype plasticity, Mathematical Biosciences 2017 June; 288: 35-45.
  3. Rachel Levy, Edmond Chow, Byong Kwon, Katherine Socha, Maeve McCarthy, and Peter Turner, SIAM Education Subcommittee Report on Undergraduate Degree Programs in Applied Mathematics, SIAM Review, 2017; 59 (1); 199-204
  4. Maeve McCarthy, Howard Whiteman, A model of inter-cohort cannibalism and paedomorphosis in Arizona Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum, International Journal of Biomathematics, 9 (2016), DOI: 10.1142/S1793524516500303.
  5. Donald Adongo, Maeve L. McCarthy, Ryan Walls, An Integer Programming Model of Fire Station Allocation in Murray, Kentucky, Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Sciences, 74†† (2013), pp. 37-42.

6.     Don Hinton, Maeve Lewis McCarthy, Bounds and optimization of the minimum eigenvalue for a vibrating system, Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations, No. 48 (2013), pp. 1-22. (Abstract, PDF)

7.     K. Renee Fister, Maeve McCarthy, Seth Oppenheimer, Craig Collins, Optimal control of insects through sterile insect release and habitat modification. Mathematical Biosciences 2013 Aug; 244(2):201-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2013.05.008 (PDF)

  1. Boris P. Belinskiy, James W. Hiestand, Maeve L. McCarthy, Optimal design of a bar with an attached mass. Electronic Journal of Differential Equations. Vol. 2012 (2012), No. 181, pp. 1-13. (Abstract) (PDF)
  2. Erwin, S., Huckaba, A., He, K.S., McCarthy, M. 2012. Matrix Analysis to Model the Invasion of Alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) on Kentucky Lakes. Journal of Plant Ecology (2012), doi: 10.1093/jpe/rts024. First published online: September 1, 2012. (Abstract, Full Paper)
  3. McCarthy, M., Fister, R. (2010). BioMapS: A Roadmap to Success. CBE Life Sciences Education, 9, 175-180.
  4. K. Renee Fister and Maeve L. McCarthy, Identification of a chemotactic sensitivity in a coupled system, Mathematical Medicine and Biology, 25 no. 3 (2008), pp. 215-232. DOI:10.1093/imammb/dqn015 ).(Abstract) (PDF)
  5. K. Renee Fister and Maeve L. McCarthy, Mathematics instruction and the tablet PC, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, to appear (DOI: 10.1080/00207390701690303).(Abstract) (PDF)
  6. Don Hinton, Maeve L. McCarthy, Optimization of the minimum eigenvalue for a class of second order differential operators, Recent Advances in Differential Equations and Mathematical Physics, Nikolai Chernov, Yulia Karpeshina, Ian W. Knowles, Roger T. Lewis, and Rudi Weikard, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Editors - AMS, 2006, pp. 207-226. (Abstract) (PDF)
  7. K. Renee Fister, Maeve L. McCarthy and Seth F. Oppenheimer, The identification of a time dependent parameter from a soil column experiment, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 66 no. 4 (2006) pp. 1407-1423. (Abstract) (PDF)
  8. Brandon M. Hale and Maeve L. McCarthy, An Introduction to Population Ecology, Journal of Online Mathematics.
  9. Robert Butera, Maeve L. McCarthy, Analysis of real-time numerical integration methods applied to dynamic clamp experiments, Journal of Neural Engineering 1 (2004) pp. 187-194. (Abstract) (PDF)
  10. Ian W. Knowles, Maeve L. McCarthy, Isospectral membranes: a connection between shape and density, J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 37 (2004) pp. 8103-8109. (Abstract) (PDF)
  11. C. Maeve McCarthy, William Rundell,The inverse eigenparameter dependent Sturm-Liouville problem, Numerical Functional Analysis and Optimization, 24 no. 1-2 (2003) pp. 85-106. (Abstract) (PDF)
  12. Boris P. Belinskiy, C. Maeve McCarthy, Terry J. Walters, Optimal turbines in the absence of an attached mass, European Series in Applied and Industrial Mathematics: Control, Optimisation and Calculus of Variations, 9 (2003), pp. 217-230. (Abstract) (PDF)
  13. K. Renee Fister, C. Maeve McCarthy, Optimal control of a chemotaxis problem, Quarterly of Applied Mathematics, 61 (2003), pp. 193-211. (Abstract) (PDF)
  14. C. Maeve McCarthy, Reconstruction of an impedance in two-dimensions from spectral data, Applicable Analysis, 81 (2002), pp. 1161-1177. (Abstract) (PDF)
  15. C. Maeve McCarthy, The inverse eigenvalue problem for a weighted Helmholtz equation, Applicable Analysis, 77 no. 1-2 (2001), pp. 77-96. (Abstract) (PDF)
  16. C. Maeve McCarthy, The Optimal Design of Tubular Structures, Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 114no. 1 (2000). (Abstract) (PDF)
  17. S. Lenhart, C. M. McCarthy (Editors), Control of Partial Differential Equations, Special Issue, Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics,114no. 1 (2000).
  18. C. Maeve McCarthy, Recovery of a density from the eigenvalues of a nonhomogeneous membrane, Proceedings of Inverse Problems in Engineering: Theory and Practice, 3rd International Conference on Inverse Problems in Engineering, June 13-18, 1999, Port Ludlow, Washington. (Abstract) (PDF)
  19. C. Maeve McCarthy, The Tallest Column -- Optimality Revisited, Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 101 no. 1-2 (1999), pp 27-37. (Abstract) (PDF)
  20. Steven J. Cox, C. Maeve McCarthy, The shape of the tallest column, SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis, 29 no. 3 (1998). pp. 547-554. (Abstract) (PDF1, PDF2)


Non-Research Publications


  1. Teaching Excellence: Sharing Part of Yourself, MSU Teaching Chronicles, Fall 2005, no. 1.






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Modified March 13, 2013