Mathematics First-Year Seminar appears in campus video

Congratulations to Senior Lecturer Mark McCombs for appearing with some of his students in a new campus video highlighting the First-Year Seminar program. McCombs’ First-Year Seminar, MATH 58 “Mathematics, Art and the Human Experience” explores the relevance of mathematical ideas to art, music, film and literature, while also exploring how these fields in turn influence mathematical thought. More information about this course and other courses that McCombs teaches is available from his department web site.

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A brief story about the First-Year Seminar Program appears along with the embedded video on the website of the College of Arts & Sciences: http://college.unc.edu/2015/02/02/first-year-seminars/ .

Kenan-Biddle Partnership award funds joint Student Math Colloquium

Congratulations to Carolina Math graduate students Catherine Hsu and Dylan Muckerman, along with their peer at Duke, Humberto Diaz, for submitting a winning project proposal to the Kenan-Biddle Partnership to fund a joint Student Math Colloquium between the two campuses.

This program will bring speakers in for talks aimed specifically at students, increasing the interaction and collaboration between the students from UNC and Duke. The award letter notifying them of this award emphasizes that the “project demonstrates the cooperative effort and academic value the Kenan-Biddle Partnership was created to foster.”

Talks are scheduled to start this Spring, with information available on their webpage, where one can also subscribe to their listserv.

Additional congratulations and thank yous to Prof. Ellen Eischen for serving as the faculty adviser for the Student Math Colloquium.

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.