Kiko Kawamura | Department of Mathematics

Kiko Kawamura

Principal Lecturer
PhD(Mathematics), Nara Women's University, JAPAN (1998)

About me: I grew up in Kyoto, an ancient city in Japan. According to my mother, my birth was extremely difficult for her. In fact, she had to suffer almost three full nights without using any anesthetic! It took so much time because I did not make the umbilical cord long enough to get out! This was a clear display of my personality at an early age: a determined optimist.

Looking back to my childhood, I was slow at learning. Some people are good at memorizing formulas quickly and can apply them without having a deep understanding, but I am not. My grade for math was not great at all. However, I still believed that math could make the world a better place, so I persevered.

I received my DSc (Doctor of Science, which is officially proved as equivalent to PhD in U.S.) from the Nara Women's University in 1998. Getting a DSc must have been a great surprise for my parents. Let me introduce the Nara Women's university briefly. In Japan, there are 99 national universities, but this university and Ochanomizu University, located in Tokyo, are the only two national universities that accept female students only. These two universities rank among the leading Japanese institutions of women's higher education with their first rate academic level.

I had a wonderful graduate student's life with a lot of freedom. While Prof. Kako, my official advisor in the Nara women's university, was not a specialist of fractals but computational algebra, he allowed me to contact with specialists working in other universities so that I could join their seminars to learn the basic idea of fractal analysis. My thesis advisor was late Prof. M. Yamaguti, a professor emeritus in the Kyoto university. Meeting with him changed my life completely. He was a great, caring and open-minded professor who stimulated me strongly to go abroad.

After earning my PhD, I came to UNT as a post-doctoral research fellow. However, my spoken English was difficult for some to understand. In fact, I went to the IELI (Intensive English Language Institute) as a student, starting with Level 3! Although this period of studying English so intensively was difficult, it was fun to learn a different culture and people. It also helped me understand myself and my background better. While traveling abroad is fun (I have been to Brazil, Costa Rica, Singapore, China, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, France, Austria, Netherlands, Canada, England and Scotland), it's totally different from being embedded and living in the culture.

More about me?



  • Teacher of Merit, Science's Regeneron Science Talent Search, 2020.

  • J. H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award (nominated) UNT, 2014 and 2019

  • College of Science Faculty Award for Teaching, UNT, 2019

  • Teaching Excellence Spotlight Award, CLEAR, UNT, 2018

  • College of Science Faculty Award for Service, UNT, 2018

  • Recognition for Exceptional Teaching, Stanford University, 2015

  • Yale Educator Award, Yale University, 2015

  • Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Mathematics, UNT, 2013

  • Best Graduate Student Award Nara Women's University, 1995

    (University-wide award with certificate of merit and prize money)