# Faculty News Briefs

### November 2007

On October 7, 2007 Professor Tom Braden gave a talk in a special session on toric varieties at the fall meeting of the American Mathematical Society, which was held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The talk was entitled *A Ring Structure on Intersection Cohomology of Hypertoric Varieties.*

Professor Erin Conlon gave a talk at the Third Annual Geobacter meeting, which was held in Amherst, Massachusetts on October 22, 2007. The title of her talk was *Geobacter Sulfurreducens Transcription Factor Binding Site Discovery.*

Professor Brian Emond presented a paper at the E-Learn 2007 World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education, which was held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada during the period Qctober 15ñ19. The paper was entitled *Using an Online-Supported Text Homework System in Undergraduate Precalculus Classes: A Pilot Study.* The paper reports on the preliminary results of student performance in the new precalculus curriculum and the on-line student support system that instructors are using at UMass Amherst. He also received a second grant from the Center for Teaching for the training of precalculus instructors on the use of the system.

Professor Paul Gunnells spoke about Weyl group multiple Dirichlet series at both the Explicit Methods in Number Theory meeting in Oberwolfach, Germany (July 15ñ21, 2007) and the Maine/Quebec Conference on Number Theory and Related Topics at the University of Maine (September 29ñ30, 2007). He also participated in the Workshop on L-functions and Modular Forms, which took place at the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, CA, from July 30 to August 3, 2007. Professor Gunnells was a co-organizer of the five-day workshop on Low-dimensional Topology and Number Theory, which took place at the Banff International Research Station in Banff, Alberta during the period October 21ñ26.

The Aspen Center for Physics (http://www.aspenphys.org/) has invited Professor Rob Kusner and his UMass Physics colleague Chris Santangelo to lead a workshop on the Geometry of Condensed Matter (http://people.umass.edu/csantang/geometry.html) during June and July

2008.

Visiting Assistant Professor Ralf Schiffler gave a talk at the International Conference on Representations of Algebras and Related Topics, which was held at Northeastern University during the period October 5ñ7, 2007. His talk was entitled *A Cluster Expansion Formula.* He also gave a talk at the International Meeting on Representation Theory of Algebras, which took place in Sherbrooke, Canada during the period October 12ñ14. The title of his talk was "Cluster-tilted Algebras.

During the second week of October Professor Eric Sommers co-organized a workshop at INDAM in Rome, Italy with Professor Paolo Papi of the University of Rome (La Sapienza). The title of the workshop was B-stable Ideals and Nilpotent Orbits. Among the twenty talks, graduate student Molly Fenn presented her thesis work in a talk entitled *Equivalence Classes of B-stable Ideals,* and Professor Sommers gave a talk entitled *Minimal Points in Cells.*

On October 10, 2007 Professor John Staudenmayer gave a talk in the Department of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University. The title of the talk was *Density Estimation in the Presence of Heteroscedastic Measurement Error.*

Professor Emeritus Floyd Williams was one of six invited speakers at the Workshop on Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, and Their Representations, which was held at the University of California Berkeley during the period October 27ñ28, 2007. The workshop was organized by Professor Joseph Wolf. Professor Williamsís talk was entitled *Harmonic Analysis on a Hyperbolic Cylinder.*

### October 2007

Professor John Buonaccorsi was an invited presenter/participant at the National Institute on Aging Workshop on Statistical Methods for Longitudinal Data on Aging held in Bethesda, MD on June 13ñ14, 2007. John gave a talk at the workshop entitled *Measurement Error in Longitudinal Studies.*

Professor Rob Kusner lectured on *Nondegeneracy for CMC Surfaces* at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study conference on Geometric Analysis (September 7ñ11, 2007) and at the conference celebrating the 60th birthdays of Professor Bill Meeks and former UMass Professor David Hoffman in Buzios, Brasil (August 20ñ25, 2007). Between these two conferences, Rob was a member of IMPA in Rio de Janiero, where he and collaborator Karsten Grosse-Brauckmann wrote a new paper on conjugate Plateau construction of minimal surfaces in the Heisenberg group Nil(3) and CMC surfaces in H^2 x R, two of the eight *Thurston geometries* on 3-manifolds.

Professor Andrea Nahmod is giving a minicourse at the NSF-sponsored 10th New Mexico Analysis Seminar held in Albuquerque on October 11ñ12, 2007. The title of her minicourse is *Bilinear Operators in Analysis and PDEs.* Full details are available at the URL http://www.math.unm.edu/conferences/10thAnalysis/.

### September 2007

On June 19, 2007 Professor Tom Braden gave a talk entitled *Hyperplane Arrangements and Hypertoric Varieties* at a workshop on combinatorics and topology held at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was also awarded a two-year NSA grant totaling $61,120 for a project entitled *Equivariant Topology of Singular Varieties.*†

Professor John Buonaccorsi gave an invited talk entitled *Measurement Error/Errors-in-variables in Longitudinal Models* at a special National Institute on Aging Workshop on Statistical Methods for Longitudinal Data on Aging. The workshop was held in Bethesda, MD during the period June 13--14, 2007.

Professor Richard S. Ellis was a member of the International Advisory Committee for the workshop on Dynamics and Thermodynamics of Systems with Long Range Interactions: Theory and Experiments, held in Assisi, Italy during the period July 4--8, 2007. He gave a talk at the workshop entitled *Ginzburg-Landau Polynomials and the Asymptotic Behavior of the Magnetization in the Neighborhood of a Tricritical Point.*

Professor Paul Gunnells participated in the workshop Arithmetic Harmonic Analysis on Character and Quiver Varieties, which took place during the period June 4--8, 2007 at the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, California.

Professor Panos Kevrekidis gave a number of lectures during the past few months. In April 2007 he gave an invited talk at the 5th IMACS Meeting in Athens, GA. At the beginning of May, he visited the University of Kansas and gave a mathematics colloquium there. Panos then participated and presented an invited lecture in the first UMass-Heidelberg Workshop on Modeling and Computation in Physics, Mathematics and Biology, which took place at UMass Amherst during the period May 21ñ23. He then traveled to Snowbird, UT, where he gave another invited lecture at the SIAM Dynamical Systems Conference at the end of May. Finally, in June, he presented one of the six invited lectures at the Workshop on Analysis and its Applications, organized by the Mathematics Department of the University of Athens, Greece; Professor Markos Katsoulakis was also an invited speaker at the workshop. All of these talks focused on Panosí recent joint work with experimental and theoretical colleagues on the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates, optical solitary waves in photorefractive crystals, and acoustic waves in strongly nonlinear phononic crystals.

In June 2007 Professor Markos Katsoulakis co-organized the workshop Mathematical and Computational Methods for Accelerated Molecular, Stochastic and Hybrid Simulation, which was held at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) in Crete Greece. The website and poster of the conference are available at the URL http://www.tem.uoc.gr/~workshop07/. Markos was also awarded a grant totaling $336,172 from the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation for a project entitled *Multiscale Methods for Many-Particle Stochastic Systems: Coarse-Graining and Microscopic Reconstruction.* Among other activities the grant will support graduate students working on their PhDs during the period 2007--2010.

Visiting Assistant Professor Ralf Schiffler was awarded an NSF grant totaling $87,048 for the period 2007ñ2010 (DMS-0700358). He spent the period June 27--July 14, 2007 at the University of Sherbrooke, where he continued his joint research with I. Assem and T. Bruestle and gave two talks at the local algebra seminar. The titles of his talks were *Formules de Developpement dans les Algebres Amassees* and *Algebres Amassees et Surfaces Triangulees.* Ralf also attended the International Conference on Representations of Algebras (ICRA XII), which took place at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland during the period August 15--24, 2007. At the conference he gave a talk entitled *Geometric Realizations of Cluster Categories.*

During July 2007 Professor John Staudenmayer became an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Theory and Methods Section.

Professor Jenia Tevelev received a grant from the National Science Foundation for his project entitled *Geometry of Compact Moduli Spaces* (DMS-0701191). He gave a talk entitled *Modular and Tropical Compactifications* during his stay at IHES in June and July 2007 and a second talk entitled *Mori-theoretic and Tropical Aspects of Terada, Naruki, and Sekiguchi Cross-ratio Varieties* during the conference Analysis and Geometry on Complex Varieties, which took place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia during the period August 15--20, 2007. Jeniaís paper entitled *Compactifications of Subvarieties of Tori* was published in the American Journal of Mathematics, 129, no. 4 (2007).

On June 25, 2007 Visiting Assistant Professor Yorghos Tripodis gave a talk at the International Symposium on Forecasting held in New York City. The title of the talk was *Forecasting in Linear Autoregressive Models with Heteroscedastic Measurement Error.* On July 30 he gave a talk entitled *Forecasting Contemporaneous Aggregated Time Series* at the Joint Statistical Meeting held in Salt Lake City.

Professor Emeritus Floyd Williams has been invited by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley to organize a two-week graduate workshop in number theory and physics during the period June 16--27, 2008. Entitled *A Window into Zeta and Modular Physics,* the workshop will host up to forty students, including Floydís two Ph.D. students, Shabnam Beheshti and Jennie DíAmbroise. The lectures by Floyd and four other professors will cover the following topics: spectral and non-spectral zeta functions, heat kernel asymptotics, Bose-Einstein condensation, black holes and gravity in extra dimensions, and modular invariance in conformal field theory.

### June 2007

Professor Markos Katsoulakis is organizing a workshop entitled *Mathematical and Computational Methods for Accelerated Molecular, Stochastic and Hybrid Simulation* at the Foundation for Research and TechnologyñHellas in Heraklion, Greece. It will take place during the period June 25ñ27, 2007. Details of the workshop are available at http://www.tem.uoc.gr/~workshop07/.

During the last week of May, Professor Rob Kusner lectured on the topic *Lengths of Knotted Bands and Raceways* at the Banff International Research Station conference on the *Mathematics of Knotting and Linking in Polymer Physics and Molecular Biology.* Part of this topic involves recent joint work with his former REU student Evan Innis, who plans to head to Oxford next year.

Professor William Meeks has been awarded a new NSF grant for the period 2007ñ2010. The amount of the grant is $153,165. On June 13 he will give a talk at the Geometry Day conference at the University of Marseille, and then the following week he will give a talk at the week-long geometry conference at Luminy. Billís two talks are entitled *The Classical Theory of Minimal Surfaces* and *The Classification of Embedded Minimal Planar Domains in R3.* During August he will participate in an international geometry conference on *Minimal and Constant Mean Curvature Surfaces,* which will take place in Buzio, Brazil. The conference honors the 60th birthdays of Bill and of David Hoffman, a former member of our department.

Professor Franz Pedit gave the following lectures in the spring:

A talk in the joint ETH-University of Zurich Geometry Seminar entitled *Conformal Maps from a 2-Torus to the 4-Sphere,*, April 25, 2007.

A talk at the Oberwolfach meeting *Advances in Surface Geometry* entitled *Tori of spectral Genus Zero,* May 4, 2007.

A public lecture in the T¸bingen City Museum entitled "What Do Mathematicians Really Do?", May 10, 2007.

During the week of June 19ñ22, Professor Emeritus Floyd Williams will give a 2-day mini-course on automorphic forms at Northwestern University on the occasion of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences. This is his second invitation to speak at the conference. The first was a one-hour address at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton in 1996. The conference at Northwestern University will also involve 12 other speakers.

### May 2007

On April 26, 2007 Professor Tom Braden gave the first of a series of two talks in the seminar *Basic Notions* in the Department of Mathematics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The title of the talk was *Counting Faces of Polytopes and Geometry of Toric Varieties.* On March 18 he gave a talk at a one-day mini-conference on *Toric Varieties, Polytope Duality, Mirror Symmetry, and Koszul Duality.* The title of the talk was *Polytope Duality and Koszul Duality.*

On March 28, 2007 Professor Erin Conlon gave an invited seminar talk in the Division of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota, and on April 12 she gave an invited seminar talk in the Department of Biostatistics at Boston University. The titles of both talks were *Statistical Methods for Integrating Multiple Sources of Genomic Data.* Erin was also recently invited to serve on a panel at the National Science Foundation to review proposals.

Professor Richard S. Ellis recently served on a panel at the National Science Foundation that reviewed proposals.

On April 2, 2007 Visiting Assistant Professor Roman Fedorov gave a talk at the seminar *Geometry-Algebra-Singularities-Combinatorics* at Northeastern University. The title of his talk was *Isomonodromic Deformations and Affine Lie Groups.*

Professor Paul Gunnells was a co-organizer of a special session entitled *Arithmetic Geometry and Automorphic Forms,* held during the weekend of April 14-15, 2007 at the meeting of the American Mathematical Society in Hoboken, NJ. On the Friday before the meeting he gave a talk in the Collaborative New York Number Theory Seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. The title of the talk was *Automorphic Forms and the Cohomology of Arithmetic Groups.*

On April 26, 2007 Professor Farshid Hajir gave a colloquium entitled *Recent Advances in Galois Theory* at Emory University.

Professor Markos Katsoulakis reports on the following three items.

His article entitled *Intermittency, Metastability and Coarse Graining for Coupled Deterministic Stochastic Lattice Systems* has been included in the list of *High-Profile Articles* of 2006 for Nonlinearity http://herald.iop.org/non/m7/cid/215282/link/682>. This collection consists of the top-downloaded papers published in 2006.

Markos was one of the invited speakers in the 2007 John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, held during the period April 28Ò30, 2007. The theme of the series this year was *Multi-Scale Modeling and Simulation in Materials Science.* Details on the series including the list of speakers are available at http://www.math.utk.edu/Barrett/.

Markos was invited to participate at the *Applied Mathematics Research-PI (Principal Investigators) Meeting* organized by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research at the Department of Energy. The meeting will take place at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during the period May 22Ò24, 2007.

A paper by Visiting Assistant Professor Yorghos Tripodis and Dr. J. Penzer of the London Schol of Economics was published in the April 2007 issue of Journal of Forecasting. The paper is entitled *Single-Season Heteroscedasticity in Time Series.*