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.

# Home

## Department News

## Faculty News Briefs

### March 2019

**Kudos to our undergrads!!!**

The 34th annual *Jacob-Cohen-Killam Mathematics Competition*, open to all frosh and sophomores at UMass, was held 20 March 2019. The first place winner is Patrick Lei, who was also a winner last year. Guanghao Wei and Sattwik Das took second and third place, while Shirui Cao and Risen Luan share fourth place. This year's competition was organized by Professor Jenia Tevelev, and it continues to be sponsored by alumni John Baillieul, James Francis and Roy Perdue.

Two of our senior undergrads, Stefan Grosser and Wilson (Yike) Wang, were selected for the top 15% "Outstanding Poster Awards" from among more than 400 posters presented at the MAA undergraduate research poster session of the 2019 Joint (AMS & MAA) Math Meetings in Baltimore. The posters were on two projects, "Determinant formulas for counting linear extensions of tree posets" and "The minimum permanent of doubly-stochastic matrices with restricted positions," in the field of combinatorics. Stefan worked with Jacob Matherne (former VAP, now a member of the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study) and Assistant Professor Alejandro Morales; Wilson did a summer REU with Alejandro.

**And in other news...**

Associate Professor R. Inanc Baykur and his collaborator Osamu Saeki recently published an article Simplified broken Lefschetz fibrations and trisections of 4-manifolds in the *Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.*

Stathis Charalampidis spoke on "Peregrine solitons and gradient catastrophes in continuous and discrete NLS systems" at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore. He gave 4 colloquia, all titled "Nonlinear waves: From optics to matter waves and beyond" at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (8 February ), at San Jose State University (11 February), at Johns Hopkins (15 February), and at the New York Institute of Technology (26 February). Stathis will also speak about "Formation of extreme events in nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) systems" in the *11th IMACS International Conference on Nonlinear Evolution Equations and Wave Phenomena: Computation and Theory* at the University of Georgia, Athens on 17 April 2019.

On 6 March 2019, Associate Professor Erin Conlon gave the University of Connecticut Department of Statistics seminar "Parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo for Bayesian Hierarchical Models with Big Data, in Two Stages."

Professor Rob Kusner co-authored (with Hugh Bray, Michael Eichmair, Ailana Fraser, LanHsuan Huang, Fernando Coda Marques, Chika Mese, Bill Minicozzi, Karen Uhlenbeck & S.T. Yau) and helped edit an invited scientific tribute The Mathematics of Richard Schoen that appeared in the December 2018 *Notices of the American Mathematical Society.* At the beginning of spring break, Rob visited the Institute for Advanced Study; and at the end of the break, he gave an hour-long talk "Willmore stability and conformal rigidity of minimal surfaces" at the AMS meeting in Auburn, 15-17 March 2019, in the same special session that our incoming Marshall H. Stone VAP, Rafael Montezuma Cabral, also spoke.

Professor Franz Pedit spent 15-22 December 2018 at the *SFBTR 109: Discerete Geometry and Dynamics* of TU-Berlin to collaborate on the constrution of piecewise smooth conformal and isometric immersions into 3-space. Franz was invited to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai for the period 8-27 January 2019 to collaborate with Professors Indranil Biswas and Sebastian Heller on surface geometric aspects of Deligne-Hitchin moduli spaces. During 9-24 March, Pedit was invited back to *SFBTR 109*, pursuing various projects, including Hamiltonian flows on the space of immersions, and connections to the Novikov-Veselov and Davey-Stewartson hierarchies.

On 27 February 2019, Marshall H. Stone Visiting Assistant Professor Luca Schaffler gave a seminar talk at Washington University in St. Louis titled "Compactifications of an interesting family of K3 surfaces from 8 points in $P^1$".

Department Head and Professor Nathaniel Whitaker "got good quote" in last month's *New York Times* article For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’ !

On 8 March 2019, emeritus Professor Floyd Williams gave an invited colloquium talk titled "Ramanujan: A mini portrait of a super mathematical mind" at Western New England University (this was his third invitation to speak there).