Dr. Airat Bekmetjev

Associate Professor of Mathematics
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Dr. Airat Bekmetjev teaches courses in mathematics, statistics, probability theory and discrete mathematics. His research centers on probability theory with its applications in computer science and statistics. He is actively involved in collaborative research with the students and faculty of the Department of Biology. His previous research also involved pebbling in graphs as well as statistical genetics.

Dr. Bekmetjev joined the Hope College faculty in 2003. His earlier professional experience included teaching at Gettysburg College and Arizona State University, and prior to his graduate study, four years as a researcher in Russia's Department of Natural Resources. In 2023, he served as a visiting professor in the Department of Economics of Maiji Gaquin University in Japan, with which Hope College has a faculty exchange program.

He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Association of America, American Mathematical Society and the Michigan chapter and national organization of Project NeXT (New Experience in Teaching).

AREAS OF Expertise

Dr. Bekmetjev’s professional training is in probability theory and discrete mathematics. He has worked on the problem of pebbling in graphs, which is related to optimal allocation of resources on communication and  transportation networks. More recently, his research has moved toward statistics in biology and statistical genetics. He is also involved in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ actuarial preparation program and the development of the program in statistics.


  • Ph.D., mathematics , Arizona State University, 2002
  • B.S., applied mathematics and computer science, Moscow State University, 1991


  • "Exploration of Graham's Conjecture in Graph Pebbing," Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant (with C. Cusack, C. Watson and A. Green), 2015-2017 
  • "Exploring Phenology Models of Insects," Great Lakes Colleges Association New Direction Initiative grant (with B. Yurk), 2012-2013
  • "Evaluating the Cost Effectiveness of Alternative Sample Designs for Genetic Association," National Institutes of Health AREA grant (with N. Tintle, S. Finch and D. Gordon), 2008-2010
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Case Study Award for "Pebbling Algorithms" (with C. Cusack), 2007

Selected Recent Publications

  • "Plylogenetic Relationships of Tilia (Malvaceae) Inferred from Multiple Nuclear Loci and Plastic Genomes," with J. Li et al., Journal of Plant Sciences, 2023
  • "Maple Phyloogeny and Biogeography Inferred from Phylogenomic Data," with J. Li et al., Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 2019
  • "Two-Pebbling and Odd-Two-Pebbling Are Not Equivalent," with C. Cusack and M. Powers, Journal of Discrete Mathematics, 2019
  • "Graph Pebbling Algorithms and Lemke Graphs," with C. Cusack, M. Powers and A. Green, Journal of Discrete Applied Mathematics, 2019
  • "Doppelgangers and Lemke Graphs," with C. Cusack and M. Powers, Journal of Discrete Mathematics, 2018

Outside the College

In his spare time, Airat enjoys hiking and jogging, especially in fall and summer. He practices taekwondo and other martial arts. He also likes to travel and experience new foods, cultures and customs.

Profile photo of Dr. Airat Bekmetjev
Dr. Airat Bekmetjev

Phone Number616.395.7525

VanderWerf Hall-Room 214 27 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423-3617
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