Jan Verschelde obtained his PhD in Computer Science in 1996 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL). After postdoctoral fellowships at the KUL, Michigan State University, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, he became a professor in the department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2000.
His main research focus is the development of algorithms and software for solving systems of polynomial equations, an important topic in computational algebraic geometry, which led to the software package PHCpack. Based on polyhedral homotopy continuation methods, PHCpack offers a blackbox solver to approximate all isolated solutions of polynomial systems. In joint work with
Andrew Sommese (University of Notre Dame) and Charles Wampler (General Motors Research Labs), new homotopy algorithms were developed for a numerical irreducible decomposition of algebraic sets, in an area which is often called numerical algebraic geometry. PHCpack is one of the optional components of the mathematical software system Sage.

His current research interests include tropical algebraic geometry and the application of general purpose graphics compute processors to path tracking algorithms. At UIC, Jan Verschelde teaches introductory courses to Python programming, symbolic-numeric computing, and Supercomputing.
For more info, visit http://www.math.uic.edu/~jan.