Faculty News Briefs

June 2009

Professor Panos Kevrekidis had a busy end of the semester. On April 14, 2009 he gave an invited talk on his research on discrete nonlinear Schrˆdinger and Klein-Gordon equations at MIT. He subsequently presented his recent work on dark solitons and their interactions in the AMS sectional meeting at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 25. More recently, he also gave invited presentations at the SIAM Dynamical Systems Meeting in Snowbird, Utah on May 19 and at Caltech on May 22.

Professor Daeyoung Kim gave an invited talk in the New Researchers Session at the Symposium on New Directions in Asymptotic Statistics, which was held at the Georgia Center in Athens, Georgia during the period May 15ñ16, 2009. The title of his talk was Visualizing Asymptotics: Using Confidence Distribution Sampling to Visualize Confidence Sets. On May 21 Daeyoung gave an informal, invited talk in the research group of Professor Hernando Ombao in the Center for Statistical Sciences in the Department of Community Health at Brown University. The title of his talk was Introduction to the Finite Mixture Model.

On May 29, 2009 the Dartmouth College Geometry and Topology Seminar, led by Craig Sutton, former UMass graduate student and now Dartmouth College assistant professor, heard Professor Rob Kusner deliver a talk entitled Moduli Spaces of CP^1-Structures and CMC Surfaces in R^3.

On May 5, 2009 Professor Michael Lavine delivered the address Spike Trains and Human Brains at the annual meeting of the Mount Holyoke chapter of Sigma Xi.

Professor Franz Pedit was invited to the workshop Surface Theory: Research in Pairs, which will be held at Kloster Benediktbeuern, Germany, during the period July 5ñ11, 2009. This workshop has no scheduled talks; upon arrival, participants will be asked to present their latest research ideas.

Professor Eric Sommers, on sabbatical for the spring semester, spent the month of April 2009 at the University of Poitiers in France as Professeur InvitÈ. While he was there, he gave a talk entitled Une DualitÈ pour les Orbites Nilpotentes. Eric is currently spending May and June at the Newton Institute in Cambridge, UK as a participant in the program Algebraic Lie Theory. He gave a one-hour talk in the program entitled Two Partially Ordered Sets Arising from Nilpotent Orbits. Together with Molly Fenn (Ph.D. 2008, now at North Carolina State), Eric organized a special session at the April AMS meeting at North Carolina State. The session was entitled Computational Methods in Lie Theory. Current Ph.D. student Chris McDaniel gave one of the twenty-minute talks. The title of his talk was The Strong Lefschetz Property for Co-Invariant Rings of Finite Reflection Groups.

May 2009

Professor Emeritus Edward Connors chaired the AMS Panel that awarded the Karl Menger Prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Reno, NV during the period May 11ñ15, 2009. This prize is awarded for the project that is judged as the best for its mathematical content. Ed continues to serve on the College Board Committee that administers the Calculus College Level Examination Program.

In April 2009 Visiting Assistant Professor Zhigang Han was selected as a recipient of the Residential First Year Experience (RFYE) Student Choice Award. The award is given to a member of the UMass Amherst community for making a significant impact on the lives of first-year students. On April 26, 2009 he gave a talk at the AMS Eastern Section Meeting in the Special Session on Symplectic and Contact Topology, which was held in Worcester, MA. The title of the talk was A Nonextension Result on the Spectral Metric.

Professor Rob Kusner was the keynote speaker at the Friends Select School Math and Science symposium, held on April 22, 2009 at his alma mater in his hometown, Philadelphia. Rob narrated two films about sphere eversions under the Earth-Day-inspired title What's the Best Way To Turn a Planet Inside-Out? On April 2 Rob delivered a colloquium lecture in the department entitled Moduli Spaces of Complex Projective Structures and Constant-Mean-Curvature Surfaces in R3.

Professor Michael Lavine has been awarded a five-year, $600,000 NSF grant through Five Colleges for an innovative program that will train three postdocs in statistical consulting while providing teaching in statistics at the colleges. Each of the postdocs will be supported for three years. The title of the project is An Innovative Model for Workforce Development in Statistics.

Professor Andrea Nahmod has been awarded a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the academic year 2009-2010. Professor Nahmod will spend the year in residence in Cambridge, MA. As the appointment letter states, she will join a class that included fellows of extraordinary breadth and accomplishment. They come from across the country and abroad, women and men at different stages of their careers representing different academic, professional and artistic fields. Further details about the fellowship are available in In the Loop.

During the current semester Professor Jenia Tevelev was a member at MSRI during the algebraic geometry program. He gave a talk at MSRI in a workshop on Combinatorial, Enumerative and Toric Geometry, which took place during the period March 23ñ27, 2009. His talk was entitled Compactifications of Subvarieties of Tori.

April 2009

On March 27, 2009 Professor George Avrunin gave an invited talk at the State of the Art in Testing and Analysis Day at North Carolina State University. The title of the talk was Applying Software Analysis Techniques to Healthcare.

On March 19, 2009 Professor Erin Conlon gave an invited talk in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Boston University. The title of the talk was Bayesian Meta-Analysis Models for Microarray Studies.

Professor Paul Gunnells recently gave two talks. On March 30, 2009 he spoke at the MIT Number Theory seminar, where he gave a talk entitled Weyl Group Multiple Dirichlet Series. On March 16, he gave a talk in the Brown Algebra seminar entitled Elliptic Curves and Modular Forms over Q(zeta_5). This second talk discussed a joint project with Professor Farshid Hajir, who is also a member of the department, and with Professor Dan Yasaki, a former UMass Amherst postdoc who is now at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis together with post-doctoral fellow George Theocharis and graduate students Kody Law and Chenyu Wang recently attended the 6th IMACS Conference on Nonlinear Waves, held during the period March 23ñ26, 2009 in Athens, GA. All four researchers delivered talks at the conference. Panos also organized a mini-symposium on nonlinear Schrˆdinger equations and their applications jointly with collaborator Ricardo Carretero of San Diego State University. Kody received a student-paper prize for his research work and presentation on vortex dynamics in Bose-Einstein condensates.

On March 17, 2009 Professor Daeyoung Kim gave a talk at the meeting of the ENAR (Eastern North American Region/International Biometric Society) in San Antonio, Texas. The title of the talk was Simulation-based Visualization of Inference Functions.

On March 19, 2009 Professor Rob Kusner lectured on Moduli Spaces of CMC Surfaces and Complex Projective Structures in the Geometry and Topology Seminar at the University of Pennsylvania.

On March 20, 2009 Professor Michael Lavine gave an invited talk in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University. The title of the talk was Subjective Likelihood For An Assessment of Climate Change in the Ocean.

March 2009

Professor Emeritus Floyd Williams was invited to be the first speaker in a Distinguished Lecture Series at Medgar Evers College and also to speak at the New York Topology Seminar. Because the talk had information on topological deformation of black holes, it was decided that he give the same talk at the same time to both groups. Entitled Three Tenors: Ramanujan, Rademacher, and Einstein ñ a Convergence of Their Music, the talk was presented on February 19, 2009 in Brooklyn, NY.

Professor Robin Young recently gave four talks on his research. On November 18, 2008 he gave a talk at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta entitled On Shock-Free Periodic Solutions for the Euler Equations. The talk described his joint work with Blake Temple concerning progress on the long-standing question of the existence of periodic solutions for gas dynamics. On December 5, 2008 he gave two talks at Pennsylvania State University. The first, entitled Towards Shock-Free Periodic Solutions for the Euler Equations, discussed his joint work with Blake Temple. The second was entitled Interactions of Strong Shocks. On January 5, 2009 Robin participated in a special session on Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and Applications at the AMS/SIAM/MAA Joint National Meeting in Washington, DC, where he again presented his joint work with Blake Temple.

February 2009

Professor Paul Gunnells presented the talk On the Cohomology of Congruence Subgroups of SL(4,Z) at the conference Automorphic Representations, Automorphic L-Functions and Arithmetic, which took place January 19ñ23, 2009 at the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kyoto, Japan.

Professor Markos Katsoulakis and Professor Bruce Turkington were invited speakers at a conference honoring Andrew J. Majda's 60th birthday, held during the period January 15ñ24, 2009 at Fudan University in Shangai, China. The title of Markosís talk was Hierarchical and Multi-Level Coarse-Graining Methods, and the title of Bruceís talk was An Optimization Approach to Statistical Closure of Underresolved Hamiltonian Dynamics. Andrew Majda is a Morse Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences USA. He is the recipient of the National Academy of Science Prize in Applied Mathematics, the John von Neumann Prize of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Gibbs Prize of the American Mathematical Society. The conference website is http://math.fudan.edu.cn/science/Conference/ICCAM/.

Professor Markos Katsoulakis was an invited speaker at the Max-Planck Institute in Leipzig Germany, where he participated in the conference on Analysis of Stochastic Surface Evolution: From Microscopic Models to Large Scale Behaviour. The conference took place during the period January 27-31, 2009, and the relevant website is http://www.mis.mpg.de/index.php?id=3309. The title of Markosís talk was Mathematical Strategies and Error Quantification in the Coarse-Graining of Many-Body Stochastic Systems.

On January 16, 2009 Rob Kusner delivered a talk at the Applied Math and Computational Science Colloquium at the University of Pennsylvania. His topic was Moduli Spaces of CMC Surfaces and Complex Projective Structure.

On January 15, 2009 Professor Michael Lavine gave a seminar talk in the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability at UC Santa Barbara. The title of his talk was Subjective Likelihood. He also participated in a workshop held at NCEAS, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, during the period January 13ñ17, 2009. The title of his talk was Inference for Mechanistic Models.

In November 2008 Professor William Meeks was one of seven speakers at the annual Current Developments in Mathematics Conference at Harvard University. In December 2008 he gave a colloquium talk at the University of Notre Dame, and in January 2009 he visited the University of Warwick, where he gave a colloquium talk and a talk in the analysis seminar.

Professor Franz Pedit will give a colloquium talk at Notre Dame University on February 27, 2009. The title of his talk is Flowing Constant Mean Curvature Cylinders into Tori.

Professor Eric Sommers gave a talk entitled A Duality for Nilpotent Orbits at the Workshop on Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, and Their Representations at UC-Riverside. The workshop took place during the period January 17ñ18, 2009.

On January 2, 2009 Professor HongKun Zhang gave a two-hour seminar talk at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. The title of her talk was Correlations Decay by Coupling in Billiards.