UNC Math Undergrads present their research at UNC Celebration for Undergraduate Research Poster Session

Several of our math undergrads got to show off their research at the annual UNC Celebration of Undergraduate

Research, hosted by the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research.  This year the following undergrads presented:


Matt Chancey

Matt Chancey, working with Physics Professors J. Silano, N. Parikh, and H. J. Karowski”, presented “Fission Fragment Damage Studies”

Grace McLaughlin2

Grace McLaughlin, working with Professor Laura Miller, presented:  The Effects of Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) Upside-Down Jellyfish (Cassiopeia) Motion on Stratified Density Layers”.

Gabi Stein

Gabi Stein, working with Professors Roberto Camassa, Rich Mclaughlin, and graduate student Claudia Falcon, presented: “Validity of Theory for Spheres Falling in Stratified Fluid:  Does Diffusion Play a Role?”.

Mitchell Underwood

Mitchell Underwood, working with UNC math postdoctoral scholar, Daniel Harris, presented “Droplet Generation by Cylinder Extraction from a Free Surface”.


Grace McLaughlin, supported last summer from a competitive SURF fellowship from the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research won first prize for her poster.

This coming summer, David Spencer, who will be working with Professor Jason Metcalfe, has been awarded a summer

SURF fellowship.


Congratulation to all of our scholars!

Professor Jane Hawkins delivers public lecture on Mathematical Modeling of Viral Dynamics from AIDS to Zika

Professor Jane Hawkins gave an invited lecture as part of the Jennifer Mills Lecture Series in Dewing Hall at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Her public talk was on Monday, April 4 at 8:00 pm and was titiled: Mathematical Modeling of Viral Dynamics from AIDS to Zika. During her visit there Dr. Hawkins also gave a talk to undergrad students entitled: Simplifying the Complex through Coding, Symbolic Dynamics, and Automata. Over two days Dr. Hawkins scheduled several meetings with small groups of undergrad women and visited an undergrad analysis class; at each meeting she talked about grad school preparation and various aspects of graduate training in the mathematical sciences.

Mathematics Department issues HB2 statement

In response to the recently passed NC House Bill 2 (HB2), the Mathematics Department at UNC has issued the following statement:


AWM chapter receives MAA Tensor Grant for Women and Mathematics

                                    We are excited to announce that our local student chapter of AWM (Association of Women in Mathemagtm_logotics) has received the MAA Tensor Grant for Women and Mathematics to fund a free math day camp for high school girls that will take place in the Math Department from June 13th to 24th, 2016. 

The camp is for rising 9th to 12th graders in the triangle area who are interested in mathematics. Campers will research the lives and contributions of historical women in mathematics, work on related math problems, and create a blog and podcast series about what they learn. More information about registration and volunteering can be found on the website girlstalkmath.web.unc.edu.

The Tensor Program is a competitive grant with applications open to schools nationwide. Katrina Morgan and Francesca Bernardi applied for the grant with the help of Dr. Hans Christianson and a wide base of support from department faculty. Katrina Morgan is the President of the UNC AWM chapter and a second year pure mathematics PhD candidate working with Dr. Jason Metcalfe. Francesca Bernardi is the UNC AWM chapter Secretary and a third year applied mathematics PhD candidate working with Drs. Roberto Camassa and Richard McLaughlin. 

Jiuzu Hong joins faculty

hongWe welcome our newest Carolina Mathematics faculty colleague, Jiuzu Hong, who joined the department starting January 1. Hong joins us from Yale University, where he was a Gibbs assistant professor during 2012-2015, and Tsinghua University, where he was a visitor for Fall 2015.

Hong grew up in China and received a B.S. and a M.S. in mathematics from there. He received his Ph.D in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Professor Joseph Bernstein. Hong works on representation theory and its interaction with algebraic geometry. He is interested in looking into mathematics from the perspective of the underlying symmetries, and he is open to learning new areas of mathematics.

Outside of mathematics, Hong enjoys playing ping pong, swimming and hiking. He is enthusiastic about establishing a new life in Chapel Hill.

Latest PDE mini-school held this week

Continuing their successful mini-schools from the past two years, the UNC PDE group held their latest mini-school this week. Each two-to-three day school features a series of lectures by a principal invited speaker. This week’s principal speaker was Patrick Gérard, giving a series of three talks on “Long time estimates of solutions to Hamiltonian nonlinear PDEs”. A particular hallmark of the mini-schools is that the principal speakers are asked to make the lectures accessible to graduate students and to provide an indication of some open problems in the research area. This workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number DMS-1501020 Professors Hans Christianson and Jason Metcalfe.

Congratulations to Hans and Jason for continuing these excellent workshops.

Sawon wins NSF CAREER award

The latest National Science Foundation CAREER award winner from Carolina Mathematics is Professor Justin Sawon, who was named in the most recent round of the annual competition. As the NSF describes, “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Sawon’s award is titled CAREER: Finiteness for Hyperkahler Manifolds, for five years with a total budget of $450,000. With this award, Sawon aims to show that every hyperkähler manifold can be deformed to a Lagrangian fibration, a hyperkähler manifold admitting a holomorphic fibre space structure. He then plans to establish general finiteness results by refining his earlier results for Lagrangian fibrations. The ultimate goal is a more complete understanding of the possible topologies of hyperkähler manifolds, which have a number of applications in physics. The award will also support educational activities including graduate mini-schools in geometry and topology (following the successful model of our PDE group) and partially supporting a UNC-faculty-led summer study abroad for undergraduates in mathematics.

Sawon is the fifth Carolina Mathematics faculty to win a CAREER award while a member of the department—all within the past decade—joining Peter Mucha in 2007, Jason Metcalfe in 2011, Laura Miller in 2012, and Jeremy Marzuola in 2014. Additionally, our Department Chair, Rich McLaughlin, won a CAREER award at Utah in 1997 and brought the grant with him when he moved to Carolina.

Congratulations, Justin!