Political Ties Award

We would like to congratulate Skyler Cranmer, Elizabeth Menninga, and Peter Mucha on their receipt of the *Political Ties Award* for their article, “Kantian fractionalization predicts the conflict propensity of the international system,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Vol. 112, No. 38) last fall. The Political Ties Award is given by the Political Networks section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the best article published on political networks the prior year. This award will be officially awarded at the PolNet Business Meeting at APSA, on Thursday, September 1, 2016.


Death of Joe Burton Linker Jr

Joe Burton Linker Jr., 92, born in Durham NC, raised in Chapel Hill NC.  He passed away on 7/21/2016.  He was a resident of Carol Woods Retirement Community to which he came after having been away from Chapel Hill for 47 years.  He was the son of math Professor Dr. Joe Burton Linker and Ione Markham Linker.

In 1944 he graduated from UNC-CH with a BS in Physics, then was immediately commissioned Ensign USNR receiving technical radar training at Harvard and MIT and was assigned pacific sea duty as radar officer on the naval cruiser as World War II came to an end. Returning to graduate school after active duty he was an Instructor in UNC’s Department of Mathematics as he took graduate physics courses pending entering NC State Engineering School.  In 1949 he completed his MS in Electrical Engineering degree and began his technical career at General Electric’s Electronics Laboratory in Syracuse NY.  He was honored to be made of member of Eta Kappa Nu, a member of Sigma Xi, and later, a Senior Member of IEEE.  He was soon licensed as a professional Engineer in New York.  He was a graduate of General Electric’s high recognized 3-year graduate Advanced Engineering “ABC” Course.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the J. Burton Linker  Distinguished Professorship in Mathematics (100550) at UNC-Chapel Hill,  with checks payable to the Arts and Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 6115, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6115, or at http://giving.unc.edu/gift/asf.

Professor Chris Jones selected as the Martin Kruskal Lecturer for 2016

Congratulations to Professor Chris Jones for being selected as the Martin Kruskal Lecturer for 2016.

The SIAM Activity Group on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures (SIAG/NWCS) awards this prize for a notable body of mathematics and contributions in the field of nonlinear waves and coherent structures. The prize honors Martin David Kruskal for his fundamental contributions in many areas of mathematics and science, including his single most celebrated contribution, the discovery and theory of solitons.

The members of the selection committee were Mariana Haragus (Chair), Alejandro Aceves, Peter Miller, and Robert Pego. They wish to recognize you for your “outstanding contributions to the stability analysis of traveling waves and seminal work on geometric singular perturbation theory and spectral theory.” Their citation continues: “As an inspiring mentor of young researchers, he has made a mark in the applied mathematics community.”

The prize will be awarded at the 2016 SIAM Conference on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures (NW16), to be held August 8-11, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As part of the award, he is invited to present a plenary lecture, the Martin Kruskal Lecture, at NW16.

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.