Visala "Rani" Satyam

  • Graduate Students

Began: Fall 2012

Research interests: (1) Student thinking and learning in elementary grades and collegiate mathematics, (2) role of spatial reasoning in mathematics (3) mathematicians' practice, and (4) mathematical beauty and aesthetics.


Visala “Rani” Satyam arrived at Michigan State University to join PRIME’s mathematics education doctoral program in the Fall of 2012. During Rani’s time here, she has developed a wide array of research interests ranging from student thinking and learning in elementary grades and collegiate mathematics to mathematical beauty and aesthetics.

Rani attended Tufts University, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics before making the ten-mile move to Boston. While in Boston, she worked as a data analyst for Compete, a web analytics company.

Rani Satyam PhotoNow, as a graduate student, Rani is conducting research and submitting papers for publication to various academic journals. Recently, Rani had a paper focused on the importance of surprise in mathematical beauty accepted by the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. In addition to this milestone, Rani is working towards completing her dissertation proposal, which she hopes to defend by the end of Spring 2016. Another academic achievement that Rani will complete at the end of Spring 2016 is obtaining a Master’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Michigan State University.

Although she is often buried in her work, Rani is sure to set aside time for herself on a regular basis. Recently, she started taking MSU grad fitness classes, her favorite being kickboxing. Rani is also an avid fan of reading and watching TV comedies. Currently, Rani is learning to play the ukulele, and hopes to explore more of Michigan this year, particularly the Upper Peninsula.

Rani with grads runningUpon her graduation, Rani commented that she “will miss the sense of community among the PRIME students, staff and faculty” and that she would like to be a professor of mathematics education in a mathematics department at a college or university.


Written by John J. Thomas, III