Faculty News Briefs

September 2010

Professor Eduardo Cattani was the co-director of a Summer School and Conference on Hodge Theory, which took place during the period June 14 - July 2, 2010 at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. He also gave two five-lecture courses during the School, titled Introduction to K�¤hler Manifolds and Introduction to Variations of Hodge Structure. There were more than 100 participants in the School including more than 50 participants from developing countries. The School was co-sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and the Clay Mathematics Institute. The poster for the School is available at http://www.math.umass.edu/~cattani/ictp_poster.pdf. Founded in 1964, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) operates under the aegis of two United Nations Agencies: UNESCO and IAEA and is regularized by a seat agreement with the Government of Italy. Its goals are the following:

\t(1) Foster the growth of advanced studies and research in physical and mathematical sciences, especially in support of excellence in developing countries;

\t(2) Develop high-level scientific programs keeping in mind the needs of developing countries, and provide an international forum of scientific contact for scientists from all countries;

\t(3) Conduct research at the highest international standards and maintain a conducive environment of scientific inquiry for the entire ICTP community.

Professor Qian-Yong Chen gave a talk on July 15, 2010 at the SIAM annual meeting. His NSF proposal was funded in August.

On June 30, 2010 Professor Richard S. Ellis gave a colloquium talk in the Berlin Probability Colloquium in Berlin, Germany. This colloquium is joint with Technical University Berlin, Humboldt University, and Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics. His talk was an introduction to the theory of large deviations titled From Large Deviations to Statistical Mechanics: What Is the Most Likely Way for an Unlikely Event To Happen?

Professor Paul Hacking gave a talk at the conference Rationally Connected Varieties and Birational Geometry, which took place May 21-22, 2010 at Princeton University. The title of his talk was Deformations of Log Canonical Surface Singularities. Paul also gave a talk at the conference Vector Bundles on Algebraic Curves: New Invariants and Stability Conditions, which took place June 14-18, 2010 at Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Portugal. The title of his talk was Exceptional Vector Bundles Associated To Degenerations Of Surfaces.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis had a very busy summer and beginning of the fall semester. During the period June 25-29, 2010 Panos participated in the second International Meeting on Nonlinear Waves and Their Applications held in Beijing, China. He organized a session there on Bose-Einstein Condensation and delivered a talk on his recent work on the topic. Graduate student Chenyu Wang also participated in the meeting. Subsequently, Panos visited the University of Heidelberg and the University of Hamburg in July and August 2010 in the framework of the last year of his Humboldt Research Fellowship. During that time period he was also one of the principal speakers at the workshop on Coherent Structures in Evolutionary Equations, held in Leiden, Netherlands from July 12 until July 16, 2010. Then in the beginning of September he participated in the conference Dynamics in Samos, held in Samos, Greece. At that conference he received the award for the biennial Stephanos Pnevmatikos Prize and delivered an invited lecture on dark solitons and vortices in BECs. Finally, during the period September 7-10, 2010 he participated in the Dynamics Days conference held in Bristol, UK, where he was one of the plenary speakers.

Professor Daeyoung Kim gave an invited talk at the Thirteenth Meeting of New Researchers in Statistics and Probability, which was held at University of British Columbia during the period July 27-30, 2010. The title of his talk was Using Confidence Distribution Sampling to Visualize Confidence Sets. He also gave a topic-contributed talk at JSM 2010 in the Topic-Contributed Papers Session on Recent Developments in Mixture Models and Applications (IMS, Section on Quality and Productivity), which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The title of his talk was Selection of Consistent Roots to the Likelihood Equation in Finite Mixtures of Location-Scale Distributions.

Professors Rob Kusner and Bill Meeks lectured on constant mean curvature surfaces in Banff, Alberta, Canada at the BIRS workshop on Semilinear PDE and the diGiorgi Conjecture during the second week of August 2010.

Professor Ivan Mirkovic attended a three-week conference at Kavli Instite for Physics in Santa Barbara, CA as well as the following three additional conferences: Double Affine Hecke Algebras and Algebraic Geometry, held at MIT, May 17-21, 2010; Sheaves in Representation Theory, held on Isle of Skye in Scotland, May 23-28, 2010; Whittaker Functions, Crystal Bases, and Quantum Groups, held at the Banff International Research Station in Canada, June 6-11, 2010. He gave talks on modular representation theory.

Professor Eric Sommers participated in the Fifth International Conference on Representation Theory, which was held in Xi'an, China from August 9 to August 14, 2010. He gave a one-hour talk entitled Exterior Powers of the Reflection Representation in Springer Theory. In April 2010 he visited the University of Caen in France for a week. While there he delivered a talk entitled A Duality for Nilpotent Orbits.

Professor Jenia Tevelev received the following two grants: NSF grant DNS-0963853, AGNES - Algebraic Geometry Northeastern Series (with Paul Hacking as co-PI) and the Research Leadership in Action grant from the University of Massachusetts.

Professor Bruce Turkington participated in the Oberwolfach workshop on the Mathematical Theory and Modeling in Atmosphere-Ocean Science during the period August 8-14, 2010.

May 2010

Emeritus Professor Floyd Williams co-edited a research monograph, "A window into zeta and modular physics," with Professor Klaus Kirsten of Baylor University. The book, which is published Cambridge University Press, contains lectures and research articles on zeta functions, modular forms, and vertex operator algebras, with various applications to physics, including black holes and conformal field theory. It is part of the distinguished MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley) series (volume 57). Besides the lectures of Kirsten and Williams, this volume also contains articles by former graduate students, Dr. Shabnam Beheshti and Dr. Jennie D'Ambroise.

Associate Tom Braden gave a talk in the geometry/physics seminar at Northwestern University on May 11, on "Deformations of standard Koszul algebras and localizationin equivariant cohomology". From May 23 to 29, he attended a workshop/conference "Sheaves in representation theory" on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, where he gave a talk entitled "Hypertoric category O".

Professor Panos Kevrekidis participated in the Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting of the AMS, delivering an invited talk on his recent work on dark solitons and vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates. At the SIAM Conference on Mathematical Aspects of Materials Science in Philadelphia, he also gave a minisymposium talk. He then departed for Dresden, Germany where he attended the 8th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications. There he co-organized a session with Ricardo Carretero of SDSU and Dimitri Frantzeskakis of the University of Athens on Nonlinear Schrodinger Equations and their Applications, and he gave an invited talk on his recent work on granular crystals.

Professor Michael Lavine presented a paper with a coauthor at SAND 5, Statistical Analysis of Neuronal Data, in Pittsburgh, May 20-22.

Professor Franz Pedit participated in an Oberwolfach Conference on "Progress in Surface Theory" from May 2 to May 8. He delivered a lectured on "Description of constant mean curvature k-noids with Delaunay ends".

Professor Bruce Turkington participated in a workshop on Simulation Hierarchies in Climate Modeling held at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, UCLA, from May 3 to 7. He gave an invited lecture on A new approach to statistical closure for complex deterministic dynamics.

Professor Rob Kusner delivered the closing lecture Moduli Space of Complex Projective Structures and CMC Surfaces at the Mathematische Forschunginstitut Oberwolfach workshop on Progress in Surface Theory during his visit to Germany in May. He also served on a PhD panel at the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and lectured at the Technische Universitaet Berlin on Triangulations, Belyi, Abel, etc.: Complex analysis in service of combinatorial geometry.

Associate Professor Jenia Tevelev delivered a talk Hypertrees, projections, and moduli of stable curves at the Texas Algebraic Geometry Seminar (Austin, TX, April 17-18) and at the Algebraic Geometry Workshop in honor of S. Mori (Princeton, May 21-22). Recently, he was awarded a research grant on Compact Moduli Spaces of Curves and Surfaces from the National Science Foundation.

April 2010

On March 5, 2010 Professor John Buonaccorsi's new book, "Measurement Error: Models, Methods and Applications", was published by Chapman and Hall in their Interdisciplinary Statistics Series. From March through May, Buonaccorsi has been a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biostatistics (Medical School) and CEES (Center for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis) at the University of Oslo, Norway. He presented a CEES seminar on "Observation Error in Fitting Population Dynamic Models," and he taught a one-week course on "Observation/Measurement Error in Analyzing Biological Data."

On April 20 Professor Richard S. Ellis gave a talk in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Athens in Athens, Greece, entitled From Large Deviations to Statistical Mechanics: What Is the Most Likely Way for an Unlikely Event To Happen? On April 26 he gave a colloquium talk on the same topic in the Department of Mathematics at the Technion in Haifa, Israel.

March 2010

From March 15th to 19th Associate Professor Tom Braden participated in a workshop at American Institute of Mathematics on localization techniques in equivariant cohomology. He gave a talk entitled "Introduction to GKM theory" and led an afternoon session on intersection cohomology.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis attended the American Physical Society March Meeting in Portland, and then was invited to participate on the Frontiers of Nonlinear Waves Conference in Tucson, AZ in honor of V.E. Zakharov's 70th birthday At both meetings, Kevrekidis presented his recent work on dark solitons and vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates combining theory, computations and experiments.

Assistant Professor HongKun Zhang gave the Geometry Seminar at the Department of Mathematics at Washington University St. Louis on March 26, speaking on: "Spectral gap for deterministic and random billiards." She was also invited to be one of the plenary speakers at Eastern Illinois University for "the Annual Geometry, Dynamics and Topology Day" on March 27.

Professor Michael Lavine and his students, Zhiyi Sun and Yanbo Wang, presented a poster on spatial analysis of carbon dioxide flux on March 16 at the Twentieth Annual Harvard Forest Ecology Symposium.

On February 15, Professor Richard S. Ellis gave a colloquium talk in the Department of Mathematics at Oregon State University in Corvallis. His talk was an introduction to the theory of large deviations entitled "From Large Deviations to Statistical Mechanics: What Is the Most Likely Way for an Unlikely Event To Happen?" On February 18 Richard gave a talk at the University Convocation at Willamette University in Salem in which he discussed how Buddhist meditation can help alleviate the suffering caused by physical and emotional pain. He has a forthcoming book on this topic: "Blinding Pain, Simple Truth: Changing Your Life Through Buddhist Meditation."

February 2010

Prof. Panos Kevrekidis delivered the Mathematics Colloquium at Drexel on January 14, as well as the Physics Colloquium at Amherst College on February 11. In these talks, Panos discussed the recent work of his group on granular crystals, nonlinear optics of layered media and multi-component Bose-Einstein condensates.

On February 3, Prof. John Staudenmayer gave a talk "Novel analytical techniques for physical activity assessment" at the National Cancer Institute National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.