Katrina Morgan Published on Scientific American Observations Blog

Morgan’s article on the math and science behind analog and digital recording was posted on the Scientific American Observations Blog on Wednesday. The piece discusses auditory perception, the history of analogue playback, the Fourier transform, and the Sampling Theorem. Morgan describes to a lay audience how the Fourier transform explains why analogue playback is possible and how the Sampling Theorem makes digital audio file storage feasible.

Congratulations, Katrina!

Congratulations to Professor Jason Metcalfe, recipient of the inaugural Sue E. Goodman Award!

‘Jason Metcalfe graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2003 writing a thesis under Chris Sogge and spent time at Georgia Tech and Berkeley before coming to UNC in 2007, where is now a full Professor.  He does research in Partial Differential Equations, especially in areas related to nonlinear wave equations and General Relativity.  During his time here, Jason has taught many undergraduate courses, and worked on several successful research projects with undergraduates.  For his teaching, he has received great praise for his ability to take difficult concepts and through a combination of thoughtfulness, care and examples, explain them in ways that seem to connect with a remarkable number of students.  He has received multiple comments such as, “That is by far the most accessible a professor has ever been for me at UNC and this time was incredibly helpful. If I could take every math class at UNC with Jason, I would.” Also, “Professor Metcalfe is amazing. He goes above and beyond for his students. His course is difficult but fair and if you put the work in it definitely shows. He works so hard and it is greatly appreciated. The plethora of material he endows us with really helps too!!” If it were just one student saying such things, it would be an honor to have made such an impact.  However, that sentiments such as this are echoed by numerous students over numerous classes is truly remarkable.  It is an honor to give the inaugural Sue E. Goodman Award to someone who so embodies her devotion and passion for the craft of teaching.’ – Professor Jeremy Marzuola, UNC Chapel Hill Commencement Address, Mathematics Department, May 14, 2017. 

Congratulations Professor Metcalfe on this well deserved honor!

Date: September 26, 2017

Professor Richard Rimanyi named as Bowman & Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor

Congratulations Professor Richard Rimanyi for being named as the Bowman & Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor!

The Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship is one of the University’s most esteemed awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. These professorships help Carolina support its best teachers and scholars, providing a salary supplement, an annual fund for research, and a one-semester research and study assignment during the five-year term of the award. The late Gordon Gray, who graduated from UNC in 1930, and the estate of Bowman Gray Jr., a 1929 graduate, established the professorships in 1980 in the College of Arts and Sciences. Bernard Gray, UNC Class of 1972 and Gordon’s son, significantly enhanced the 5-year professorships with a gift in 1999 to expand the salary and research supplement, include a semester-long sabbatical.

Rimanyi is the third member of the Department to hold this position, joining Peter Mucha, who received the award in 2012, and Professor Sue Goodman, who held the award from 1991 to 1994.

Congratulations to Professor Rimanyi on this well-deserved recognition!

Date: September 6, 2017

Zeliha Kilic earns 2017 University Teaching Award

Twenty-four faculty members and teaching assistants have been named winners of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 2017 University Teaching Awards.

Zeliha Kilic and Dan Harris

Zeliha Kilic and Dan Harris

Date: April 5, 2017

Paul Cornwell Wins Student Paper Prize

Paul Cornwell

Paul Cornwell was invited to give a talk at a minisymposium from March 29 – April 1 and on March 30, Paul was awarded the Student Paper Prize at the IMACS Nonlinear Waves meeting in Athens, GA.

Huge Congratulations to Paul!!

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!