2014 Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest

The results from this year’s Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest are now in, with a strong showing from UNC.

Overall, 111 colleges and universities from 28 states participated, with a total of 786 participants. Leading the UNC contingent in scoring, Michael Greenberg scored 43 points out of a maximum possible score of 70, tying him for 11th place in the competition. Other top scorers include Annie Katsevich (58th), Marshall Lochbaum (63rd), and Joshua Gray (108th). Congratulations also to Moshe Feldman, Tyler Blanton, David Clancy, David Spencer, Dayton Ellwanger, and Xiaoyin Liu for scoring above 0, putting them in the top 40% of contestants.

Special thanks to the math club faculty mentor, Justin Sawon, for organizing our students’ participation in this contest.

Prakash Belkale named an AMS Fellow

Congratulations to Prof. Prakash Belkale, named in the new class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. The Fellows program recognizes members of the AMS “who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.” Prakash’s recognition, “For contributions to algebraic geometry and representation theory” makes him the tenth faculty member of Carolina mathematics to be recognized as an AMS fellow (see American Mathematical Society Fellows).

A big congratulations to Prakash for this notable recognition.

Fluids Lab in campus commercial

Congratulations to everyone in the Joint Fluids Lab for their appearance in the new 30-second campus commercial, “What is it that Binds Us to this Place” 2014 Edition.

Carolina Mathematics at SIAM NW14

Researchers from the Joint Fluids Lab between Mathematics and Marine Sciences are in England this week to present at the SIAM Conference on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures, held at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Organizing and speaking in a minisymposium on Stratified Fluids, Coherent Structures, and Their Interactions are Professors Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin, along with postdoctoral associate Dr. Shilpa Khatri. The minisymposium also includes a presentation from Carolina graduate alumnus Dr. Claudio Viotti, currently a postdoctoral associate at University College Dublin.

Even though they do not appear to be talking about this particular breaking waves experiment below at this week’s conference, noting their efforts at a nonlinear waves conference is as good as a time as any to show off the latest videos from the Joint Fluids Lab.

These videos (at 500 and 1000 frames per second) of a curling wave in the UNC Joint Fluids Lab NSF MRI wave tank were shot by Roberto Camassa, Rich McLaughlin, MASC Ph.D. student Elaine Monbureau and Mathematics Ph.D. student Chung-Nan Tzou using the high speed camera funded in the lab by (and with thanks to) the UNC Summer School.

Movies from the Chancellors Science Scholars Course

This summer brings to campus the second cohort of students in the Chancellor’s Science Scholar Program. Modeled after the nationally-recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC, the Program aims to provide a critical pathway to promote the success of exceptional students who aspire to become leading research scientists, with a commitment to increasing the representation of underrepresented minorities in the sciences.

This year’s entering Scholars were introduced to Mathematics through a pair of courses, one taught by Professor Rich McLaughlin that drew on activities in the Joint Fluids Laboratory, including use of a new Edgertronic high speed camera (videos below). This camera was purchased by the UNC Summer School specifically for this use, motivating the students’ mathematical investigations in this special class for their first summer in Chapel Hill.

Summer 2014 faculty presentations

While the Department remains very busy with summer classes, summer is also a time for many faculty and students to focus on research and to travel to collaborate and present their work in nationally and internationally recognized venues.

Idris Assani co-directed a summer school on Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems in M’bour, Senegal, June 4-14.

Joe Cima gave an invited talk at the Seventh Conference on Function Spaces at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, May 20-24.

Ellen Eischen gave invited talks in the conference p-adic Variation in Number Theory at Boston University, June 2-6, and in the Caltech Number Theory Seminar. She has also been invited to participate in the Algebraische Zahlentheorie workshop at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, Germany, and the Connections for Women: New Geometric Methods in Number Theory and Automorphic Forms workshop at MSRI.

Jingfang Huang co-organized the workshop Mathematics in Action: Modeling and analysis in molecular biology and electrophysiology in Suzhou, China, June 2-5. Huang will also give an invited talk at the Beijing Computational Science Research Center (CSRC).

Shrawan Kumar is giving a invited series of four lectures at the University of Pisa, Italy on “The saturated tensor product problem,” June 24-27.

Jeremy Marzuola co-organized a week-long workshop in May on Dynamics in Geometric Dispersive Equations and the Effects of Trapping, Scattering and Weak Turbulence at the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery. Marzuola was also an invited speaker at the Stability of Solitary Waves Workshop at the Centro di Ricerca Matematica Ennio De Giorgi in Pisa, Italy. He then visited the Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany to speak in a workshop and participate in their trimester on harmonic analysis and PDEs.

Jason Metcalfe spoke at the same Banff workshop in May on Dynamics in Geometric Dispersive Equations and the Effects of Trapping, Scattering and Weak Turbulence and gave a pair of invited seminar talks at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Laura Miller and a number of her group members are off to Osaka, Japan for the Joint Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Mathematical Biology and the Society for Mathematical Biology, July 28 to August 1, where Miller will give one of the invited plenary talks.

Karl Petersen’s passport has been busy, between a conference on Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems in Torun, Poland, and talks that he gave in Tartu, Estonia and Rouen, France. Petersen will also give a mini-courses lecture series at the 4th Pingree Park Dynamics Workshop: Foundations and Frontiers in Symbolic Dynamics, July 14-17 in Colorado.

In similarly country-hopping travel style, Justin Sawon has given talks at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, Netherlands, and at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and has others scheduled at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and as an invited speaker at the 9th Pacific Rim Conference on Complex Geometry, July 27 to August 1, in Gunsan, South Korea.

Sasha Varchenko will be one of the invited speakers at New Trends in Quantum Integrability, an International Conference on New Trends in Quantum Groups and Integrable Systems, August 18-22, at University of Surrey, UK.

Carolina Mathematics will also be well represented at the the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting, held this year in Chicago. Greg Forest will speak in a session on Nonlinear Fluids. Jeremy Marzuola and Laura Miller are both speaking in a session organized by Miller on Plant and Protist Biomechanics. Sorin Mitran is presenting in a session on Mesoscale and Nonlocal Models of Materials with Microstructure. And new faculty arrival Katie Newhall is speaking on “Dynamics of Ferromagnets” in a session on Applications in Nonlinear Dynamics with Chaos, Stochasticity, and Multiple Scales.

Fluids Lab research appears in Carolina Scientific

The Spring 2014 issue of Carolina Scientific includes a two-page spread titled “Underwater Snow” featuring the marine snow research of postdoctoral associate Dr. Shilpa Khatri and Professors Rich McLaughlin and Roberto Camassa.

“Beneath the breaking waves and sunlit ocean surface, a shower of snow begins to fall. This snow is not made of crystalline frozen flakes. Instead, it contains only phytoplankton cells, dead bits of once-living things, pieces of fecal matter and sediment that might be forming one of the largest carbon sinks ever found.” (Taylor Nelsen)

To read more, follow this link and scroll to pp.26-27.