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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

January 2015

Covering the period June 2014 – January 2015

In July 2014 Professor Tom Braden attended a workshop in geometric representation theory at RIMS in Kyoto, Japan.  He gave a three-part minicourse on “Recent Developments in Modular Sheaf Theory” and a research talk titled “Ringel Duality and Perverse Sheaves on Hypertoric Varieties.”

Senior Lecturer Brian Burrell and Dr. Allan Ropper wrote a book titled Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole, which was published in 2014. The UK edition of the book was the BBC Radio4 book of the week during the week of January 12, 2015. An actor read 15-minute excerpts from the book each weekday morning over BBC 4 radio. During that week the book stayed in the top 50 on Amazon.uk, and on Sunday, January 25, the book hit the top ten list of the Times of London for non-fiction at #9.

In August 2014 Princeton University Press published a book titled Hodge Theory that Professor Eduardo Cattani edited together with Phillip Griffiths (Institute for Advanced Study), Fouad Elzein (Paris), and Le Dung Trang (Montpellier and ICTP). The book announcement can be viewed at http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10288.html.

In July 2014 Professor Matthew Dobson gave two talks. The first talk, titled “Algorithms for the Stochastic Simulation of Steady Nonequilibrium Flow,” was given at WWCM-ECCOMAS in Barcelona, Spain, and the second talk, titled “Generalized K-R Boundary Conditions for Steady Nonequilibrium Flow,” was given at PCMI in Park City, Utah.

The article by Professor Richard S. Ellis titled “Jewish Journeys: Decoding the Torah's Wisdom by Jewish Meditation” was published online by Jewish Currents <http://jewishcurrents.org/jewish-journeys-decoding-torahs-wisdom-buddhist-meditation-29011>. Richard wrote this article in conjunction with his appointment as an adjunct professor in the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at UMass Amherst.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis was honored by being elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Panos is cited for “fundamental contributions to the understanding of localized solutions, of their stability in nonlinear wave equations, and of their relevance to applications from atomic physics, nonlinear optics, and granular crystals.” Further information about this honor is available at http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/two-umass-amherst-researchers-honored.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis had a busy summer. In late May 2014 he visited the University of Hamburg, giving an invited talk in the workshop on “Bose-Einstein Condensates in Waveguides: Curvature Meets Nonlinearity and Nonlocality.” He also visited the De Giorgi Center in Pisa, Italy, giving an invited lecture at the workshop on the “Stability of Solitary Waves.” Panos then visited collaborators at the University of Heidelberg in Germany during the month of July as well as collaborators at the University of Athens in Greece during August. In July Panos also participated in the AIMS Conference for Dynamical Systems in Madrid, Spain, and in August he participated in the SIAM Meeting on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures in Cambridge, UK. Panos gave invited talks on his recent work on granular crystals at the conference in Madrid and on vortices in atomic condensates at the meeting in Cambridge. In Madrid he also co-organized, with Ricardo Carretero, a session on “Nonlinear Schrödinger Equations and Their Applications,” while in Cambridge he organized a session on “Novel Challenges in Atomic Gases: Bose-Einstein Condensates and Beyond.” During the academic year 2014–2015, Panos is visiting the Center for Nonlinear Studies of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the capacity of the Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Scholar. Prior to departing for his LANL post, in September Panos presented an Applied Mathematics Colloquium  at the University of North Carolina and received the UMass Amherst Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the 2014 Faculty Convocation.

During the second week of June 2014 Professor Rob Kusner visited colleagues at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, giving a two-hour lecture on June 13 titled “Linear Area Growth for CMC Surfaces in S^3.”  Later in June and in July he was a research member of the IAS/PCMI program on Mathematics and Materials in Park City, Utah. Rob was invited to the Program on “Minimal Energy Point Sets, Lattices, and Designs” at the Erwin Schrödinger Institute in Vienna, Austria during the period October 12–18 in Vienna, Austria, where he spoke on “Coulomb Electrons on S^2 and the Möbius Energy of Hopf Links in R^3 and S^3.”  He also gave a long seminar at Penn on November 11 and a colloquium at Lehigh on November 12 on the same topic. In addition Rob has been invited as a Research Professor for the spring 2016 Differential Geometry program at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. During January 2015 he began commuting back and forth to Brown University's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics to help organize its spring 2015 program on Phase Transitions and Emergent Properties.

Professor Andrea Nahmod was honored by being elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in recognition of her “contributions to nonlinear Fourier analysis, harmonic analysis, and partial differential equations, as well as service to the mathematical community.” Further information about this honor is available at http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/nahmod-named-fellow-american-mathematical.

Professor Michael Lavine reports on the following activities:

  • He had two refereed publications accepted in the last half of 2014.
    1. Aaron Ellison, Michael Lavine, Peter Kerson, Audrey Barker Plotkin, and David Orwig, Building a Foundation: Land-Use History and Dendrochronology Reveal Temporal Dynamics of a Tsuga Canadensis (Pinaceae) Forest, Rhodora 116, No. 968.
    2. Minji Park, David Reckhow, Michael Lavine, Erik Rosenfeldt, Benjamin Stanford, and Mi-Hyun Park, Multivariate Analyses for Monitoring EDCs and PPCPs in Lake Water, Water Environment Research 86, November.
  • In the second half of 2014 he gave an invited talk titled “What is Bayesian Statistics and Why Everything Else is Wrong” in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA.
  • He wrote an article titled “Climate Change, Statistical Significance, and Science,” which comments on the improper use of statistics in a New York Times opinion piece. The article is posted at http://www.stats.org/climate-change-statistical-significance-and-science.

In September 2014 Professor Eric Sommers attended the workshop “Geometric Methods in Representation Theory” at Lancaster University in England, where he gave a talk titled “Exterior Powers of the Reflection Representation in Springer Theory.”

In July 2014 Professor Jenia Tevelev contributed several lectures to the summer school “Graduate Workshop on Moduli of Curves,” which was organized by Samuel Grushevsky, Robert Lazarsfeld, and Eduard Looijenga at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. The goal of the workshop was to introduce graduate students to the moduli theory of Riemann surfaces simultaneously from the viewpoints of algebraic geometry, topology, and Teichmüller theory. In September 2014 Jenia participated in a week-long conference “Tropicalization, Realization, and Algebraic-Tropical Correspondence” in Eilat, Israel. He delivered a talk “Non-Abelian and Spherical Tropicalization” based on his work and the work of his graduate student, Tassos Vogiannou.