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!

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!

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!

Fluids Lab takes home APS/DFD Milton van Dyke Award

fullsizeCongratulations to members of the UNC Joint Applied Math and Marine Sciences Fluids Lab for winning one of the top prizes in the Gallery of Fluid Motion at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. Their poster, Variable density vortex ring dynamics in sharply stratified ambient fluids, was honored with one of the Milton van Dyke Awards, named for the author of the classic fluid dynamics visualization book, An Album of Fluid Motion. Poster authors included Professors Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin, current postdocs Dan Harris and Pierre-Yves Passaggia, and former Carolina Mathematics students David Holz and Claudio Viotti and former postdoc Keith Mertens.

2015 Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest

Congratulations to all of the Carolina Mathematics students who participated earlier this fall in the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest., the results for which have recently been posted. This year’s contest included 701 participants from 99 schools in 28 states. Many of our students performed well, with 13 out of 17 placing among the top half of all entrants. Leading the Carolina contingent’s scores were Jiaxi Li and Shengding Sun with 19 points, tying them for 54th place. Also among our top scores, Jon Aycock and Yixuan Zou scored 16 points, tying them for 80th, while Tyler Blanton and Alvin Zhang scored 10 points, including them in a giant tie for 100th place in the field.

Thank you to Professor Justin Sawon, who once again advised competing students.