Professor Irina Mitrea, for contributions to partial differential equations and related fields as well as outreach to women and under-represented minorites at all educational levels, and Professor Igor Rivin, for contributions to geometry and related fields, pure and applied, were elected to the 2015 class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. The Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. The program was initiated with the inaugural class of 2013.
Temple University hosted its fourth Mathematics Circle program for middle school students on January 31, Feburary 7, February 14, and February 21, 2015 (all Saturdays). From the program announcement: "The Math Circle program focuses on enabling participants to build self-belief and mathematical confidence, on encouraging and nurturing excellence in mathematics and sciences, and on providing exposure to expert mathematical training and accomplished professionals who may serve as role models and mentors for the students."
The program is free for its middle school participants, and the program was fully enrolled within 24 hours.
The organizers of the 2015 Temple Math Circle were Professor Irina Mitrea, Associate Professor (Instructional) Maria Lorenz, Assistant Professor (Instructional) Ellen Panofsky, and Temple mathematics graduate student Christian Millichap. The program was sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the National Association of Mathematics Circles, the National Defense Education Program, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and the Department of Mathematics.
Temple University hosted its fourth annual 2015 Sonia Kovalesky Day, on Saturday, March 14. Fifty-eight young women in grades 5 through 8 participated. Workshops included How Math Changed Sports, Mathematics of Coloring, How to Solve a Rubik's Cube and its More Difficult Cousins, and Math and Art. There was also a mathematical competition for the participants. The event was organized by Professor Irina Mitrea with Dr. Maria Lorenz co-organizing. The workshop leaders were Temple students Ramya Ailavajhala (graduate, Bioengineering), Sogol Baharlou (graduate, Bioengineering), Erin McCole Dlugosz (graduate, Chemistry), Sarah Munson (undergraduate, Mathematics), and Julia Somers (graduate, Mathematics). Funding and support for this event was provided by the Mathematical Association of America, Temple University Mathematics Department, the National Defense Education Program, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division.
On Saturday, April 25 Temple University was host for the Philadelphia Undergraduate Mathematics Conference Series. Over 70 undergraduates, graduates, and faculty participated. Undergraduates gave talks on their research in mathematics, and there was a poster session for undergraduate and graduate students.
The plenary lecture, Integration using Algebraic Topology was delivered by Robert Ghrist (Andrea Mitchell University Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania). A minicourse, Analysis and Statistics in Number Theory, was presented by Austin Daughton (Franklin and Marshall College, PhD Temple 2012). There was also a session on professional development.
The faculty organizers were Djordje Milicevic (Bryn Mawr), Janet Fierson (La Salle University), Maria Lorenz (Temple University), Irina Mitrea (Temple University), and Ellen Panofsky (Temple University). The student organizers were Hussein Awala, Seth Epstein, Louis Graup, and Christian Millichap (all of Temple University). This conference series is supported in part by the NSF through the MAA Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences program.
Scott Ladenheim was awarded his PhD in mathematics on May 8, 2015. The title of his dissertation was Constraint preconditioning for saddle point problems, and his thesis advisor was Professor Daniel Szyld. Dr. Ladenheim is now a postdoctoral research associate, in the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, UK.
Christian Millichap was awarded his PhD in mathematics on May 8, 2015. The title of his dissertation was Mutations and geometric invariants of hyperbolic 3-manifolds, and his thesis advisor was Associate Professor David Futer. Dr. Millichap is now a tenure track assistant professor of mathematics at Linfield College, OR.
The winners of the 2015 Department of Mathematics Student and Postdoctoral Teaching and Service awards were as follows: Excellence in Teaching for a Postdoctoral Assistant Professor: Dr. Sunnie Joshi Excellence in Teaching for a Graduate Teaching Assistant: Matthew Lagro Graduate Student Service Award: Christian Millichap Undergraduate Student Service Award: Sarah Munson; Louis Graup; Mia Hunsicker; Seth Epstein
Temple University hosted the Graduate Student Conference in Algebra, Geometry, and Topology, May 16-17, 2015. There were approximately 85 student participants. The conference featured 30 minute research talks by graduate students, and there were four keynote lecturers: Julie Bergner (UC Riverside), Spaces, categories, and homotopical structures, Jessica Purcell (Brigham Young University), Low-dimensional interactions between geometry and topology, Chelsea Walton (MIT/Temple University), Quantum symmetry from an algebraic point-of-view, and Daniel Wise (McGill University), Counting cycles in graphs: A rank-1 version of the Hanna Neumann Conjecture.
Head organizers for the conference were Temple mathematics graduate students Christian Millichap and Brian Paljug. David Futer was the faculty organizer. Temple graduate students Walter Jacob, Timothy Morris, Thomas Ng, Geoffrey Schneider, and William Worden were the graduate student organizers. The event was supported by the Department of Mathematics, by the College of Science and Technology, by the Temple University Graduate School, and by an NSF conference grant (Millichap PI; Futer and Paljug co-PI).
Farhan Abedin attended the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), Berkeley, Summer School Incompressible Fluid Flows at High Reynolds Number, July 27 to August 07.
Hussein Awala participated in the 6th Symposium on Analysis and PDEs, June 1-4, at Purdue Univeristy, and in the NSF-CBMS Regional Conference in the Mathematical Sciences, July 27-31 at North Dakota State University.
Hussein Awala and Luca Palluchini participated in the 8th Workshop on Geometric Analysis of PDEs and Several Complex Variables, August 3-7 in Serra Negra, Brazil.
Naeyong Kong participated in the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques-Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences Summer School in Probability, McGill University, June 15-July 11.
Kathryn Lund-Nguyen was a summer intern in Graduate-Level Research in Industrial Projects for Students (GRIPS)-Berlin 2015.
Thomas Ng attended the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley) Summer School Geometric Group Theory, June 15 to June 26.
Eric Stachura attended the Summer School on Current Topics in Mathematical Physics
Dr. Chelsea Walton joined the department in July 2015 as Selma Lee Bloch Brown Assistant Professor. Her research interests lie in noncommutative algebra, with a special focus on quantum symmetries.
Symmetry is a classical notion that arises in biology, architecture, music, and a variety of other fields. Mathematically, a symmetry of an object \(X\) is an invertible operation (or action) that sends \(X\) as a whole to itself. The collection of symmetries of \(X\) forms an algebraic structure: a group. Classically, symmetries are observed, yet in the quantum setting observability is rather unintuitive. So, in order to study symmetries of quantum objects, once needs to first replace the quantum object, say \(X_q\), with the algebra of functions \(A_q\) on \(X_q\). Generally, \(A_q\) has noncommutative multiplication. Secondly, one needs to work with certain generalizations of groups, namely quantum groups, which have the structure of a Hopf algebra. In fact, one can think of a Hopf algebra as the collection of symmetries of \(X_q\) that are not necessarily invertible. So, in particular, Walton examines Hopf actions on (noncommutative) algebras.
Walton's contributions to this field include the study (of the lack) of quantum symmetries on commutative domains, Weyl algebras, "Artin-Schelter regular" algebras, and path algebras of quivers. Results on deformations of "smash product algebras" arising from such actions have also been established.
Moreover, Walton also has interests and has made contributions in noncommutative algebraic geometry, a field which is especially useful to analyze noncommutative algebras whose origins lie in physics. In particular, in joint work with S. Sierra, Walton proved that the universal enveloping algebra of the Witt algebra is not noetherian, answering a 23-year old problem of C. Dean and L. W. Small.
Walton comes to Temple from MIT, where she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow and C.L.E. Moore Instructor, and from the University of Washington-Seattle, where she was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow. She completed her graduate work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of Manchester (as a visiting student) under the direction of Toby Stafford and Karen Smith. She is originally from Detroit, Michigan.
Walton's research is funded by the NSF.
Dr. S. Gillian Queisser joined our department in July 2015 as Associate Professor. Dr. Queisser's research interests include numerics and scientific computing, high-performance computing, and applications to the life sciences.
Queisser's primary research goal is to move the frontiers of computation-based neuroscience toward a discipline driven by physical first principles, numerical methods and large scale simulations. Since computational methods in neuroscience are currently based on analogies, rather than detailed physical models, Queisser and his research group use and develop numerical methods for large scale computing in order to solve systems of non-linear partial differential equations. These systems define continuum-based models of three-dimensional neuronal processes on intricate morphologies. Queisser's work on numerical and computational methods has brought forth new and robust grid refinement strategies for geometric multigrid methods exposed to highly complex computational domains, adaptive grid refinement, and space/time-parallel multiscale simulation methods.
Queisser is also currently extending his interdisciplinary approach to "virtual medicine" by coupling electrical, biochemical and mechanical processes, and by developing efficient numerical methods, to help transform medical procedure from an experience-governed discipline to an optimized and individualized process.
Queisser completed his PhD thesis in 2008 at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg. During his graduate studies he was Research Associate at the Simulation in Technology Research Group at the University of Heidelberg. From 2008 to 2010 he was Independent Research Group Leader of the Computational Neuroscience Research Group at the Cluster of Excellence CellNetworks at the University of Heidelberg. From 2010 until joining Temple, he was W-1 Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics of the Goethe University of Frankfurt.
Dr. Queisser's research has been supported by the CellNetworks Cluster of Excellence and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Ahmad Sabra was awarded his PhD in mathematics on July 31, 2015. The title of his dissertation was Nonlinear partial differential equations and optical surfaces design, and his thesis advisor was Professor Cristian Gutierrez. Dr. Sabra now holds a postdoctoral research position in the Faculty of Mathematics, Infomatics, and Mechanics, Warsaw Center of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Warsaw, Poland.
Associate Professor David Futer was co-organizer of the conference, Classical and quantum hyperbolic geometry and topology, July 6-10, 2015, in Orsay, France. The conference was in honor of the eminent geometer Francis Bonohan. Professor Futer was also a co-PI on the NSF grant supporting the conference.
Professor Daniel Szyld has been named Editor in Chief of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal of Matrix Analysis and Applications. This journal was ranked 22 out of 251 by Science Citation Index for applied mathematics journals worldwide, and it is the leading journal in applied and numerical linear algebra.
Professor Shiferaw Berhanu was on the Scientific Committee for the 8th Workshop on Geometric Analysis of PDEs and Several Complex Variables, Serra Negra, Brazil, August 3-7. Professor Berhanu was also PI on an NSF conference grant supporting the workshop. Professors Berhanu, Gerardo Mendoza, and Irina Mitrea were among the main lecturers.
Associate Professor David Futer has been named Elinor Lunder Founders' Circle Member Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, for the 2015-2016 academic year. He will be on leave from Temple during this time.
Dr. Ahmad Sabra (Ph.D. Temple 2015) was selected to participate as a Young Researcher at the 2015 Heidelberg Laureate Forum, August 23-28. The participating Laureates are all winners of the Abel Prize, Fields Medal, or Turing Award. The goal of the forum is to foster interaction between Laureates and Young Researchers.
Associate Professor Vasily Dolgushev was awarded a new NSF research grant, Questions on Algebraic Operads and Related Structures. From the abstract: "The principal investigator is tackling the Deligne-Drinfeld conjecture on the Grothendieck-Teichmueller Lie algebra using the deformation complex of the operad governing Gerstenhaber algebras and Kontsevich's graph complex related to deformation quantization. The PI is working on a circle of problems related to the modular operad which is obtained by applying the Feynman transform to the operad governing commutative algebras. The PI also works on the problem of deformation quantization over a graded base and studies a higher categorical structure on homotopy algebras. The study of the Grothendieck-Teichmueller Lie algebra is motivated by its links to deformation quantization, the absolute Galois group of rational numbers and the theory of motives. Questions about the Feynman transform of the operad governing commutative algebras are motivated by the study of spaces of long knots." The award amount is $160K.
Professor Isaac Klapper is PI and Professor Daniel Szyld is co-PI on the new NSF grant, Collaborative Research: Connecting Omics to Physical and Chemical Environment in Community Microbial Ecology. From the abstract: "The investigators study an important microbial community type, namely biofilms driven by photosynthesis, particularly as subaerial biofilms (subaerial biofilms are generally non-submerged microbial communities, living together in close proximity in self-secreted polymeric matrices and exposed to air) on carbonate stones. The context of the project is cultural environments, specifically microorganisms that attach to stone and grow as biofilms. These communities can discolor and degrade cultural monuments, but, at the same time, can offer useful insights into many microbial communities by providing platforms for developing and testing hypotheses of microbial ecology. Biofilms inhabiting outdoor stonework have advantages in this respect. They contain the essential biocomplexity for survival in open, uncontrolled environments, but, because of the relatively stringent conditions typical of exposed stone, still have amenable ecologies, and also are known to demonstrate mutually beneficial associations with cooperating photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic organisms. Particularly important, their simplicity and accessibility make them well suited for use as subjects for development of prototype mathematical methodology needed for connecting omics-based cell-level metabolic models to physics-based community-level function models. The linkage of community data to community model is an essential piece, and one for which mathematics is central, in the broad program of transforming omics into useable theory of microbial communities which, in turn, is central to the program of modern microbiology. This project aims to construct multiscale population models capable of accepting omics (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics) and physical (e.g., temperature, light intensity) data at the microscale, and to develop mathematical methods for bridging the gap between community level omics and community level population models. The core target are the modes of regulation among microbial community members and how they are effected by the physical environment."
Professor Shiferaw Berhanu has been chosen to join the 2016 class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. He will be officially inducted at the upcoming annual Joint Mathematics Meetings, in Seattle, in January 2016. The Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.
Farzana Chaudhry, Assistant Professor of Instruction, was presented the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award, and Professor Martin Lorenz was presented the Dean's Distinguished Excellence in Mentoring Award, both at the 2015 College of Science and Technology Distinguished Faculty Awards Dinner, Sunday, November 8.
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