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The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is a community of scholars committed to excellence in research and instruction. We offer a comprehensive set of curricula in our disciplines, from introductory-level general education courses to doctoral dissertation direction and postdoctoral mentoring. Undergraduate majors enjoy a broad array of options through which they can earn the bachelor's degree, and can also apply to participate in summer research activities. The Department's Ph.D. program appears among the top public graduate programs in the recent National Research Council rankings. The M.S. programs in both Applied Mathematics and Statistics contribute to an important pipeline of professionally trained students who enter the high-technology industrial sector.

Faculty News Briefs

April 2018

Visiting Assistant Professor Stathis Charalampidis gave a talk titled "Formation of rogue waves in continuum and discrete models: Theory and Computation" during the AMS Sectional Meeting at Ohio State University on Saturday 17 March.

Professor Michael Lavine attended the OSAC all-hands meeting in Chicago between 20 and 23 March as a member of the fingerprint subcommittee; OSAC is an arm of NIST. He became an Associate Editor for a special issue of The American Statistician on statistical inference in the 21st century, and had a paper "Frequentist, Bayes, or Other?" accepted for publication there.

In a research seminar at MSRI on 7 March, Associate Professor Alexei Oblomkov presented his joint work with Andrei Okounkov and Rahul Pandharipande. He is a Research Professor at MSRI for the Spring semester as a part of its Enumerative Geometry Beyond Numbers program. Alexei was also named a Simons Fellow for the year 2018. (The Simons Foundation supports a one-semester extension of his sabbatical leave, and Alexei plans to visit his collaborators during the Fall semester.)

Professor Franz Pedit gave colloquium talks, at the University of Innsbruck on 9 March and at the Technical University Vienna on 15 March, titled "Gradient flows of geometric variational problems: the elastic curve flow." He also gave a plenary lecture of the same title at the workshop Geometry of Submanifolds and Integrable Systems organized by the International Research Network Project “Symmetry, Topology and Moduli” at the Osaka City Advanced Mathematical Institute during 23-30 March. After that, Franz embarked for Beijing to spend 3 months in the Yau International Mathematical Institute at Tsinghua University.

On 9 March, Professor HongKun Zhang gave both a colloquium talk on "Various diffusion behavior of Lorentz gases" and a Dynamical Seminar talk on "Markov partitions for hyperbolic systems with singularities" at the Mathematics Department of Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis. Between 18-23 March, HongKun attended the conference New Developments in Open Dynamical Systems and Their Applications at Banff, Canada, of which she was one of the main organizers. The conference, supported by the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS), brought together more than 40 participants from around the world, including many leading experts in the field of dynamics related to open systems. Diverse branches of research in this field have applications ranging from quantifying the occurrence of rare events, such as large storms or financial crises, to understanding the fundamentals of thermodynamics. By studying connections between these various types of open systems, the conference promoted progress and fostered new directions of research in this rapidly developing area of dynamics.

!!! Newsflash !!!

Kudos to our three SCUDEM teams!!!

On Saturday 21 April, three teams from UMass Amherst presented their work for the Spring 2018 Student Competition Using Differential Equations Modeling (SCUDEM). Starting on 13 April, each team of three students worked together on their choice of one of three modeling scenarios. On the day of the competition, they were given an additional twist to their problem to address, before presenting their model in a 2-page executive summary as well as a 10-minute presentation.

The first team, consisting of Enya Truong, Henry Phan, and Sharath Ramkumar worked on "Modeling the Cool Kids," using graph theory and Markov Chains to explain how clusters of social interactions form and break. The second team, consisting of Fusheng Yang, Joe Shao, and Hui Kennedy worked on "Sorting Recyclables," where they modeled the separation of paper and cardboard materials with a fan. Their model included the differences in acceleration and drag on the two materials, and they were awarded "meritorious" mention. The third team, consisting of Jonah Chaban, Jimmy Hwang, and Artem Vysogorets also worked on "Sorting Recyclables." They included detailed modeling of tumbling paper along with random orientation of the paper stream, and they were awarded an "outstanding" mention (they also finished first in the Fall 2017 competition).

Assistant Professor Matthew Dobson served as the faculty coach for our three teams, and also led the morning development session for the other faculty coaches.