Faculty News Briefs

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.

September 2011

During the period June 27 - July 2, 2011 Professor Eduardo Cattani gave a week-long course titled "Mixed Hodge Theory and Variations of Hodge Structures" at the School on D-modules and Applications in Singularity Theory, which took place at the Mathematical Sciences Institute in Madrid, Spain. He also attended the First Latin-American School on Algebraic Geometry and Applications, which took place August 1-12, 2011 in Buenos Aires and Córdoba, Argentina. Professor Cattani co-organized one of the scientific sessions of the school.

On June 30, 2011 Professor Richard S. Ellis gave a talk in the Stochastics Seminar in the Institute of Mathematics, Budapest University of Technology in Budapest, Hungary. The talk was titled "From Large Deviations to Statistical Mechanics: What Is the Most Likely Way for an Unlikely Event To Happen?" On July 6, 2011 he gave a talk on his new book in the Asian Gallery of the Museum of Asia and the Pacific in Warsaw, Poland. His new book is titled "Blinding Pain, Simple Truth: Changing Your Life Through Buddhist Meditation."

During the period June 13-17, 2011 Professor Paul Hacking gave a course of three lectures on "Moduli Spaces of Surfaces of General Type" at the Algebraic Geometry Summer School on Minimal Models and Extremal Rays, held at the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kyoto, Japan. He also gave a talk titled "Symplectic Cohomology of Log Calabi-Yau Varieties and Log Gromov-Witten invariants" at the Conference on Logarithmic Geometry and Moduli, held at the Clay Mathematics Institute, August 29 - September 1, 2011.

During June and July 2011 Professor Rob Kusner collaborated with colleagues at TU Darmstadt and TU Berlin, organized a workshop at the CRM Ennio De Giorgi, and lectured at the European Science Foundation Conference on Knots and Applications in Pisa, Italy. Rob has been invited to lead the KITP Workshop on Knotted Fields to be held next June and July in Santa Barbara.

An 83-page survey by Professor William Meeks and Joaquín Pérez titled "The Classical Theory of Minimal Surfaces" was published in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 48 (2011), 325-407. Professor Meeks also gave lectures at an international geometry conference held in Seville, Spain in April 2011 and at another international geometry conference held in Forteleza, Brazil in August 2011.

During the period July 11-14, 2011, Professor Jenia Tevelev attended a Workshop on Moduli and Birational Geometry in Gyeongju, Korea, sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Pohang Mathematics Institute of POSTECH, Korea. He gave a talk titled "Boundary Divisors in the Moduli Space of Stable Surfaces."

On July 23, 2011 Emeritus Professor Floyd Williams was inducted into the Lincoln University Alumni Hall of Fame. Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO was the college that Floyd attended as an undergraduate. The awards ceremony, which also honored three other persons, was held at the Hilton Columbus in Columbus, OH. It recognized Floyd's work as a mathematician with an international reputation, as an ordained Christian minister, and as a musician who has given piano recitals in many places including Argentina, India, Russia, and the USA.

On June 20, 2011 Professor Hongkun Zhang gave a primary talk in the Workshop on Billiard Models in Classical Mechanics at the Field Institute. The title of the talk was "Spectral Analysis of the Transfer Operator for Sinai Billiards."