Summer faculty research travel

For many of our faculty, summer is a time of international travel to attend workshops and conduct research in other locations. As just a couple examples., we check in on the travels of our department chair, Rich McLaughlin.

IMG_1608In June, Rich traveled to Shanghai Jiao-Tong University as an organizer and invited lecturer at NYU Shanghai’s International Conference on Mathematics of Nonlinearity in Neural and Physical Science. Other invited speakers from Carolina included Roberto Camassa and co-organizer Greg Forest. Also attending the conference from Carolina, Katie Newhall is pictured here with our former Carolina colleague David Cai.

IMG_2006Later, Roberto and Rich traveled together to Tibet, where they met with four math professors from Tibet University, including one who works on understanding the geophysical processes associated with Nantso Lake, situated at over 15,000 feet above sea level. As a large, stratified, salt water lake, this site is of particular interest to Rich and Roberto’s research.

These two trips of course represent only a sample of the many far-ranging research travels of our faculty this summer.

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

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.

Summer 2014 faculty presentations

While the Department remains very busy with summer classes, summer is also a time for many faculty and students to focus on research and to travel to collaborate and present their work in nationally and internationally recognized venues.

Idris Assani co-directed a summer school on Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems in M’bour, Senegal, June 4-14.

Joe Cima gave an invited talk at the Seventh Conference on Function Spaces at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, May 20-24.

Ellen Eischen gave invited talks in the conference p-adic Variation in Number Theory at Boston University, June 2-6, and in the Caltech Number Theory Seminar. She has also been invited to participate in the Algebraische Zahlentheorie workshop at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, Germany, and the Connections for Women: New Geometric Methods in Number Theory and Automorphic Forms workshop at MSRI.

Jingfang Huang co-organized the workshop Mathematics in Action: Modeling and analysis in molecular biology and electrophysiology in Suzhou, China, June 2-5. Huang will also give an invited talk at the Beijing Computational Science Research Center (CSRC).

Shrawan Kumar is giving a invited series of four lectures at the University of Pisa, Italy on “The saturated tensor product problem,” June 24-27.

Jeremy Marzuola co-organized a week-long workshop in May on Dynamics in Geometric Dispersive Equations and the Effects of Trapping, Scattering and Weak Turbulence at the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery. Marzuola was also an invited speaker at the Stability of Solitary Waves Workshop at the Centro di Ricerca Matematica Ennio De Giorgi in Pisa, Italy. He then visited the Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany to speak in a workshop and participate in their trimester on harmonic analysis and PDEs.

Jason Metcalfe spoke at the same Banff workshop in May on Dynamics in Geometric Dispersive Equations and the Effects of Trapping, Scattering and Weak Turbulence and gave a pair of invited seminar talks at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Laura Miller and a number of her group members are off to Osaka, Japan for the Joint Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Mathematical Biology and the Society for Mathematical Biology, July 28 to August 1, where Miller will give one of the invited plenary talks.

Karl Petersen’s passport has been busy, between a conference on Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems in Torun, Poland, and talks that he gave in Tartu, Estonia and Rouen, France. Petersen will also give a mini-courses lecture series at the 4th Pingree Park Dynamics Workshop: Foundations and Frontiers in Symbolic Dynamics, July 14-17 in Colorado.

In similarly country-hopping travel style, Justin Sawon has given talks at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, Netherlands, and at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and has others scheduled at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and as an invited speaker at the 9th Pacific Rim Conference on Complex Geometry, July 27 to August 1, in Gunsan, South Korea.

Sasha Varchenko will be one of the invited speakers at New Trends in Quantum Integrability, an International Conference on New Trends in Quantum Groups and Integrable Systems, August 18-22, at University of Surrey, UK.

Carolina Mathematics will also be well represented at the the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting, held this year in Chicago. Greg Forest will speak in a session on Nonlinear Fluids. Jeremy Marzuola and Laura Miller are both speaking in a session organized by Miller on Plant and Protist Biomechanics. Sorin Mitran is presenting in a session on Mesoscale and Nonlocal Models of Materials with Microstructure. And new faculty arrival Katie Newhall is speaking on “Dynamics of Ferromagnets” in a session on Applications in Nonlinear Dynamics with Chaos, Stochasticity, and Multiple Scales.

Patrick Short named 2013 Goldwater Scholar

thumbnailPatrick Short, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in applied mathematics and quantitative biology, has been awarded a 2013 Goldwater Scholarship. Among his multiple undergraduate research activities at Carolina (described in the full story available through UNC News), Patrick has done work on a sensitivity analysis of a mathematical model of the mitotic spindle, in collaboration with Professor Greg Forest, postdoctoral associate Paula Vasquez, and Prof. Kerry Bloom (UNC Biology). His genetic network data analysis started during his summer internship at Oxford has also continued here at Carolina in collaboration with Professor Peter Mucha.

Congratulations to Patrick on this important honor.

Addendum: Patrick Short has also received the Bardos Award from the American Associate for Cancer Research, enabling him to participate in AACR’s annual meetings for two years. He attended his first of these meetings recently, as described in an article on the AACR meeting out of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and in Patrick’s own post in the OURblog.

Prospective graduate students visit Department

Today and tomorrow (March 22-23), the Department of Mathematics hosts its annual campus visit event for prospective students in our graduate program. Today’s activities focus primarily on the academic program in the Department, transitioning after dinner to an opportunity for the visiting prospective students to explore campus and Chapel Hill tonight and tomorrow. Over 30 students have been offered admission to our graduate program for Fall 2013, with a significant number of those students visiting the campus this weekend to help guide their decisions about where to continue their studies.

Professors Greg Forest and Laura Miller discuss research topics with interested prospective students.

Graduate student Justin Allman describes his work.

Professor Pat Eberlein discusses the graduate program with prospective students.

Special thank yous to all of the faculty, students and staff who helped put this event together.

Forest elected to chair SIAG on Life Sciences

Greg Forest has been elected to a two-year term as the new Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on the Life Sciences, starting January 1. The Activity Groups within the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics “provide a more focused forum for SIAM members interested in exploring one of the areas of applied mathematics, computational science, or applications.” “The SIAM Activity Group on the Life Sciences was established to foster the application of mathematics to the life sciences and research in mathematics that leads to new methods and techniques useful in the life sciences.” In addition to his position as Grant Dahlstrom Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Forest is also a member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Co-Director of the Institute for Advanced Materials, and Director of the Carolina Center for Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics. His research in areas including lung biology, diffusive and viscoelastic transport properties of soft materials, nematic fluids and nanoparticle dispersions, cell mechanics, and viral-antibody interactions is well placed for his new role as a SIAG Chair. Congratulations to Greg on this honor and good luck to him in the associated activities involved in this new position.

Research presentations at Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting

Carolina Mathematics will be well represented next week at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) in San Diego. Professors Roberto Camassa, Greg Forest, Rich McLaughlin, and Laura Miller, along with multiple undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral trainees from their research groups will present their latest research findings. The DFD is regularly one of the most important fluid dynamics meetings of the year, with presentations provided by a broadly interdisciplinary collection of international scientists, and the numerous contributions from Carolina Mathematics is consistent with the strong presence of applied mathematics in our Department.

Visualization plays an important role in fluid dynamics, as exemplified here with photographs from the poster “Pancake vortices formed by a plume trapped in sharp stratification” by Carolina undergraduates Michael Baker, Johnny Reis and Jeremy Ward (in collaboration with others in the Joint Fluids Laboratory) and with images of vorticity contours and velocity vectors from swimming and turning jellyfish by Laura Miller’s group.

Scheduled research presentations representing Carolina Mathematics (information about contributors available from links):