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!

Dynamics Days 2016

The 35th edition of Dynamics Days US, a major long-standing international conference in nonlinear dynamics, kicks off today in Durham, co-hosted by Duke, Carolina, and NC State University. On the organizing committee representing are our own Professors Chris Jones and Peter Mucha. 20160107_135435Meanwhile, the program includes a number of Carolina Mathematics participants, including an invited presentations from Professor Katie Newhall, former UNC postdoc Professor Rudy Horne of Morehouse University, and our new colleague in Applied Physical Sciences, Professor Daphne Klotsa. A competitively-selected contributed presentation by current UNC postdoc Dr. Dane Taylor (pictured here), and many other Carolina connections throughout the conference.

Congratulations to all involved!

Undergraduates compete in programming contest

ICPCPicCongratulations to Carolina undergraduates Dayton Ellwanger, Forrest Li, and David Spencer (pictured here) for winning a trip to the world finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, to be held in Phuket, Thailand in May. Coming out of the Mid-Atlantic USA regional contest, which saw 185 teams from 62 tackle eight programming problems across five hours, their team, Dayton Goliath Trees, placed 4th, qualifying them for their upcoming trip to the world finals.

David is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science while Dayton is a double major in Computer Science and Physics with a Mathematics minor. The team was coached by Professor Ketan Mayer-Patel from Computer Science.

Wishing you all great luck at the finals in Thailand!

Carolina mathematicians address fundamental flow differences between round and square pipes

A team of Carolina mathematicians celebrated the appearance this week of their work in Physical Review Letters, with additional coverage through a focus story in APS Physics. Graduate students Manuchehr Aminian and Francesca Bernardi, along with Professors Roberto Camassa and Richard McLaughlin published “Squaring the Circle: Geometric Skewness and Symmetry Breaking for Passive Scalar Transport in Ducts and Pipes.”

APS Physics “provides daily online-only news and commentary about a selection of papers from the APS journal collection” including focus stories “geared toward students and non-experts… for an audience with a general interest in physics.”

Read the APS Physics focus story.
(Update: Read the UNC press release.)

Congratulations to all involved!

Nick Battista selected for Emerging Leaders in Science & Society

Congratulations to Carolina Mathematics Ph.D. student Nick Battista for his recent selection to to the Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (ELISS) class of 2016. The class of 2016 is the third year of the ELISS program, bringing together outstanding graduate and professional students from partner campuses (the class of 2016 drawing from Duke, Purdue, UC-Irvine, UW-Seattle, and UNC-Chapel Hill) to participate in a 15-month leadership development experience preparing students to cross disciplinary boundaries for the benefit of society.

Nick Battista is the first mathematician selected to the program. Indeed, we have it on good authority that Nick is the first math student to even make it past the first round of the selection process.

Congratulations, Nick!