Alexander Varchenko named Simons Fellow

Prof. Alexander (Sasha) Varchenko has been honored in the 2015 class of Simons Fellows in Mathematics, which provides “funds to faculty for up to a semester long research leave” with selection “based on the applicant’s scientific accomplishments in the five-year period preceding the application and on the potential scientific impact of the work to be done during the leave period.”

Sasha will use the leave provided by the Simons Fellows Program to spend the 2015-16 academic year working at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany, where he plans to work on research projects in quantum integrable models, representation theory, special functions and combinatorics.

Sasha is the third Carolina Mathematics faculty member named to this honor, joining Jim Damon (2012) and Ivan Cherednik (2013).

Congratulations to Sasha for this wonderful and well-deserved honor.

Summer faculty research travel

For many of our faculty, summer is a time of international travel to attend workshops and conduct research in other locations. As just a couple examples., we check in on the travels of our department chair, Rich McLaughlin.

IMG_1608In June, Rich traveled to Shanghai Jiao-Tong University as an organizer and invited lecturer at NYU Shanghai’s International Conference on Mathematics of Nonlinearity in Neural and Physical Science. Other invited speakers from Carolina included Roberto Camassa and co-organizer Greg Forest. Also attending the conference from Carolina, Katie Newhall is pictured here with our former Carolina colleague David Cai.

IMG_2006Later, Roberto and Rich traveled together to Tibet, where they met with four math professors from Tibet University, including one who works on understanding the geophysical processes associated with Nantso Lake, situated at over 15,000 feet above sea level. As a large, stratified, salt water lake, this site is of particular interest to Rich and Roberto’s research.

These two trips of course represent only a sample of the many far-ranging research travels of our faculty this summer.

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

Carolina Mathematics involved in first round of NIH BD2K awards

Congratulations to Prof. Greg Forest for his successful proposal to co-direct (with Michael Kosorok, Biostatistics) a new, multidisciplinary training Big Data to Knowledge training program funded by the National Institutes of Health. This award is one of only three awards in the inaugural set of BD2K institutional training grant awards, supporting “the overarching BD2K goal of training the biomedical workforce to fully utilize biomedical Big Data.” Kosorok and Forest have organized a program uniting 48 faculty members across 11 departments on campus, including multiple faculty involved from Mathematics, in order to provide trainees with six-week training modules that integrate informatics, statistics, and biomedical sciences, with a focus on big data.

Goodman recognized by top scholar-athlete

Carolina Mathematics Professor Sue Goodman appeared as an invited guest at the Scholar-Athlete Awards Luncheon held this week. Each of the Top 10 Scholar-Athletes—the five senior men and five senior women with the highest cumulative grade point averages—introduced a professor as a guest. Among the award winners, Alex Bales used his invitation to recognize Professor Goodman.

This recognition is just the latest in Sue’s career of accomplishments here at Carolina. With her retirement at the end of this academic year, we will clearly miss her as a colleague, and this latest award is just another piece of evidence about how much the students will miss her. Congratulations to Sue for this latest recognition.

Carolina Mathematics sophomore receives Goldwater Scholarship

Congratulations to sophomore mathematics major Anya Katsevich on her selection as a Goldwater Scholar!

Read more here…

Science Expo 2015

The annual Science Expo at UNC this past Saturday once again included a strong showing from Carolina Mathematics. The day started a little slowly, with the local public school district in Saturday school making up the many weather closings this past winter. But the event finished with a great turnout.

Special thanks go out to all of the graduate students from the department who make our participation in this event as big as it is, to Jeremy Marzuola for being the faculty organizer of our department participation in the Science Expo, and to graduate student Claudia Falcon for the many pictures shown below (click on them for higher resolution originals).

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Results from the 2014 Putnam competition

It was another strong year for Carolina Mathematics at the Putnam competition. Fifteen students from Carolina entered the competition, with scores led by sophomore David Spencer, who scored 47 (out of a maximum of 120 points), ranking him 99th out of 4,320 contestants. Other top scores from Carolina students include Michael Greenberg (41, ranked 130th), Marshall Lochbaum (28, ranked 466.5th), Annie Katsevich (22, ranked 623.5th) and Dayton Ellwanger (21, ranked 716th). Six other students from Carolina scored points (which in itself is always an accomplishment in this difficult competition, with more than a third of all entrants scoring 0).

The official campus team of Michael, Marshall and Annie—selected based on performances at the earlier Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest—placed 17th out of 431 teams.

A special thank you to Prof. Justin Sawon for mentoring the team, and congratulations to all involved!