Faculty News Briefs

February 2012

On January 6, 2012 Sarah-Marie Belcastro, a lecturer in our department, gave two talks at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston. Her talk titled "Counting Kempe-Equivalence Classes for 3-Edge-Colored Cubic Graphs" was given at the AMS Special Session on Recent Trends in Graph Theory, and her talk titled "Epistemological Culture and Mathematics" was given at the MAA Session on the Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematical Practice. She also had two works in the juried Mathematical Art Exhibit. They can be seen at http://gallery.bridgesmathart.org/exhibitions/2012-joint-mathematics-meetings/smbelcas. Sarah-Marie was interviewed for an independent radio producer's piece. The sound can be heard at http://www.npr.org/2012/01/10/144984603/a-unique-expression-of-love-for-math, and photos are posted at http://aridanielshapiro.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/math/. She published an invited survey article titled "The Continuing Saga of Snarks" in the January 2012 issue of College Mathematics Journal 43:1, 82-87. She also has two pieces in the juried Lafayette College Museum exhibit, "Sticks, Strings, and the Mobius," which is described at http://galleries.lafayette.edu/2011/09/01/sticks-hooks-and-the-mobius-knit-and-crochet-goes-cerebral/.

Emeritus Professor Jim Humphreys spoke in the AMS Special Session on Linear Algebraic Groups at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings held January 4-7, 2012 in Boston. The title of his talk was "Special Nilpotent Orbits and Modular Lie Algebra Representations." Professor Ivan Mirkovic and Professor Eric Sommers also gave talks in that session.

Professor Rob Kusner delivered the closing lecture in the Symposium on Analysis of Geometric Evolution (SAGE) held at the University of Texas at Austin January 10-13, 2012. His sage talk, titled "Soap Bubbles & Polynomials: Moduli Spaces of Complex Projective Structures and CMC Surfaces," marked the 10th and 20th anniversaries of his 1992 and 2002 Texas Geometry & Topology Colloquia held at Rice University and Texas Tech, respectively.

Emeritus Professor Floyd Williams has been invited to be a Guest Editor, along with four other invitees, for the publication of a special issue of the journal Advances in Mathematical Physics. The title of the special issue will be "Mathematical Methods in Field and String Theories, Quantum Gravity, and Cosmology." It will be published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation on October 19, 2012. Two other special issues with different sets of guest editors are also planned for 2012.

Professor Hongkun Zhang recently received an NSF CAREER Award for her proposal titled "CAREER: The Nature of SRB Measures for Nonequilibrium Hyperbolic Systems." This is a five-year award for $400,000. Her proposal describes research in dynamical systems and ergodic theory with a focus on two particular topics: (1) statistical properties of nonequilibrium hyperbolic systems and (2) properties of SRB measures and related physical laws. The educational component consists of curriculum development, supervision of graduate students, and some special outreach projects. A CAREER award is the highest distinction that NSF can provide to junior researchers, and the program is extremely competitive.

On January 6, 2012 Professor Hongkun Zhang also gave an invited talk on "Billiards with Twists" in the AMS Special Session on Uniformly and Partially Hyperbolic Dynamical Systems at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meeting in Boston. Being an active member of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), she also served as one of the mentors for AWM Workshop participants on January 7.

January 2012

Professor Panos Kevrekidis had a busy fall. In September, he delivered a pair of plenary tutorial lectures at the Photonica 2011 Conference in Belgrade, Serbia. He was also invited during the same month to discuss his recent work on PT-symmetric quantum mechanics at the PTQM 2011 Symposium at the University of Heidelberg (September 25-28). In October he co-organized an Interdisciplinary Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Dynamical Systems in Granada, Spain, where he also presented his most recent work on Bose-Einstein condensates of ultra-cold atoms. He also lectured on this work more recently at a seminar at the Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling of the University of Maryland in December.

On October 13, 2011 Professor Andrea Nahmod gave a talk titled "On the Hyperbolic Cubic NLS and the Generalized Ishimori System in 2D" at the Differential Equations Seminar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. On October 27, 2011 she gave a talk at Smith College titled "Nonlinear Wave Phenomena: The Ubiquitous Dispersive Equations." Later that day she participated in a panel discussion with Professor Ruth Haas and the students in the NSF-funded, post-baccalaureate program for women in mathematics at Smith College.

Professor Alexei Oblomkov gave series of lectures at Oxford University during the Thanksgiving break. The lectures focused on recent conjectures relating knot invariants, Cherednik algebras, and Hilbert schemes of points on singular curves. On December 1, 2011 he gave a colloquium talk at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill titled "Hilbert Scheme of Points on Singular Curves, Khovanov-Rozansky Invariants, and Rational Cherednik Algebras."

December 2011

Visiting Assistant Professor Christopher Chong and Martina Chirilus-Bruckner of Brown University co-organized a mini-symposium on Modulation Equations in Nonlinear Waves at the SIAM Conference on the Analysis of Partial Differential Equations in San Diego, CA, which took place November 14-17, 2011. He also gave a talk titled "On the Validity of the NLS Equation in Systems with Quadratic Resonances" at the same conference. On that trip he visited San Diego State University to continue collaboration with his former MS adviser Ricardo Carretero.

On November 14, 2011 Professor Paul Hacking gave a talk in the Yale algebraic geometry seminar entitled "Explicit Mirror Symmetry for Surfaces."

November 2011

On October 7, 2011 Visiting Assistant Professor Christopher Chong traveled to the California Institute of Technology to visit collaborators in the experimentalist research group of Chiara Daraio. He also gave a talk on his research in Discrete Nonlinear Schrˆdinger Equations in their group seminar. On October 25, he invited Markus Daub of the University of Stuttgart to give a talk in the departmentís Applied Analysis and Computation Seminar.

During the period October 20ñ22, 2011 Professor Michael Lavine attended a workshop at DIMACS on writing curriculum modules with environmental science content for math and stat classes.

Emeritus Professor Floyd Williams gave a colloquium talk at Baylor University in Waco, Texas on October 11, 2011. The talk was titled ìAutomorphic Analysis on Hyperbolic Space Forms, Including Black Hole Vacuums.

October 2011

Sarah-Marie Belcastro, a lecturer in our department, contributed a Wolfram Demonstration on Cutting Space into Regions with Four Planes, available at http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/CuttingSpaceIntoRegionsWithFourPlanes/. It may be useful for students learning about normal vectors to planes.

Professor Weimin Chen and Professor Danny Ruberman of Brandeis University organized a special session on Gauge Theory and Low-Dimensional Topology at the AMS Fall Eastern Sectional Meeting held September 10-11, 2011 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

On September 21, 2011 Visiting Assistant Professor Christopher Chong visited Brown University to work with colleagues and to present his work in the BU/Brown PDE seminar on the topic of "The Justification of the KdV Equation in Periodic FPU Chains." He also invited Professor Nathan Kutz and Dr. Eli Shlizerman of the University of Washington to visit the department on the following day. Dr. Shlizerman gave a talk in the Applied Analysis and Computation Seminar on the topic "Dimension Reduction: From Soliton Dynamics to Neural Networks."

Professor Richard S. Ellis participated as a "distinguished guest" in the 33rd Midwest Probability Colloquium, which was held October 13-15, 2011 at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Besides the regular programs, the conference celebrated Professor Mark Pinsky's 70th birthday and his long time contribution to this conference series.

Professor Rob Kusner spoke on "Knots and Links as Conformal Bands" at the Wake Forest University AMS meeting held during the last weekend of September 2011.

Professor Michael Lavine became Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Professor Ivan Mirkovic was one of the organizers of the four-week interdisciplinary conference held at the Physics-Mathematics Summer Institute (PhyMSI) at Luminy and Cargese in France during the period June 20 - July 16, 2011. He also attended all four weeks of the program. The program was devoted to enhancing the research infrastructure and interaction of the following fields of mathematics and physics: Affine and Double Affine Hecke Algebras, the Langlands Program in number theory, Affine Flag Varieties, Conformal Field Theory, Super Yang-Mills Theory, and the AdS-CFT Correspondence.

Professor Andrea Nahmod and Professor Gigliola Staffilani of MIT organized an invited session on Nonlinear Wave Phenomena at the AWM Anniversary Conference, 40 Years and Counting: AWM's Celebration of Women in Mathematics. The conference was held at Brown University on September 17-18, 2011.