Faculty News Briefs

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.

January 2010

Professor Paul Hacking gave a talk entitled Smoothing Surface Singularities via Mirror Symmetry at the MSRI workshop Tropical Structures in Geometry and Physics, which took place during the period November 30 - December 4, 2009. A video of the talk is available at http://www.msri.org.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis had a busy fall. Panos was one of the principal speakers at the interdisciplinary workshop on periodic oscillations that took place in Granada, Spain during the period October 20-24, 2009. There Panos discussed his recent work on the oscillations and interactions of dark solitons in Bose-Einstein condensates. He also gave a related talk in December at the Condensed Matter seminar in the Department of Physics at UMass. Finally, in November Panos was one of the invited speakers at the workshop on Lattice Dynamical Systems that took place at Brown University. In his talk Panos discussed his recent work on the discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation and its applications, which also constitutes the theme of his recently published book by Springer-Verlag in the series Springer Tracts in Modern Physics.