AWM chapter receives MAA Tensor Grant for Women and Mathematics

                                    We are excited to announce that our local student chapter of AWM (Association of Women in Mathemagtm_logotics) has received the MAA Tensor Grant for Women and Mathematics to fund a free math day camp for high school girls that will take place in the Math Department from June 13th to 24th, 2016. 

The camp is for rising 9th to 12th graders in the triangle area who are interested in mathematics. Campers will research the lives and contributions of historical women in mathematics, work on related math problems, and create a blog and podcast series about what they learn. More information about registration and volunteering can be found on the website

The Tensor Program is a competitive grant with applications open to schools nationwide. Katrina Morgan and Francesca Bernardi applied for the grant with the help of Dr. Hans Christianson and a wide base of support from department faculty. Katrina Morgan is the President of the UNC AWM chapter and a second year pure mathematics PhD candidate working with Dr. Jason Metcalfe. Francesca Bernardi is the UNC AWM chapter Secretary and a third year applied mathematics PhD candidate working with Drs. Roberto Camassa and Richard McLaughlin. 

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!

Workshop on moduli and geometric invariant theory starts today

Prakash Belkale and Justin Sawon are organizing a workshop this weekend at UNC on New Developments in Moduli and Geometric Invariant Theory. The workshop includes 10 speakers from across the country speaking on Bridgeland stability conditions, moduli of stable complexes, and wall-crossing phenomena as tools for studying the birational geometry of moduli spaces of stable sheaves.

Support for the workshop is provided by the National Science Foundation under awards DMS-1446356 and DMS-1547117, the latter of which will continue to support workshops on topics in algebraic geometry and representation theory in 2016 and 2017.

Congratulations to Prakash and Justin and best wishes for a productive weekend.

New grants to department faculty

The past year has been another successful year for Carolina Mathematics faculty obtaining grants to support the activities of the department. In addition to the many awards that continue from previous periods, new grants over the past 12 months include the following awards:

Congratulations to everyone involved.

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.

PDE/Analysis Mini-Schools Continue for 2015

minischools2015Congratulations to Professors Hans Christianson and Jason Metcalfe for their new grant from the National Science Foundation to support the continuation of the UNC PDE mini-schools into 2017. Continuing from the success of their previous mini-schools, each 2-3 day school will feature a series of 3-5 lectures by a principal speaker. The talks are tailored to an audience of graduate students and are intended to introduce the audience to a modern and important class of research problems. Three to five complementary talks will be given by additional invited participants, often the principal speaker’s graduate students, postdocs, or young collaborators.

The first UNC PDE/Analysis mini-school of 2015 starts this week with 5 lectures by Gunther Uhlmann (University of Washington), beginning at a graduate student level and introducing a current research topic. The title of this week’s lectures is “Inverse Problems: Seeing the Unseen.” There will be several satellite talks by Uhlmann’s students and postdocs. The full schedule is available online.

The second mini-school of 2015 will be held April 8-10, with Alex Ionescu (Princeton) on “Water Wave Models in 2D and 3D: Regularity and Formation of Singularities.” The third mini-school will be this summer, with Steve Zelditch (Northwestern) on “Planck’s Constant, Time, and Stationary States in Quantum Mechanics.”

Congratulations again to Hans and Jason for continuing to bring these great events to Chapel Hill.