School of Mathematics Newsletter - Volume 23 - 2017

Head Lines

Peter OlverLooking outside my window on this beautiful spring afternoon, I can watch the ongoing renovation of Tate Laboratory, the traditional home of the Physics Department and, when complete, it will house the Department of Earth Sciences along with those parts of Physics which did not move to the new Nanotechnology Building. Fortunately the construction has not been too noisy or annoying. The new Tate promises to be spectacular — the entire building was torn down, except for the mall facade, which was retained due to its historic significance. But sitting in Vincent Hall makes me envious of our Physics colleagues. Indeed, with the Tate reconstruction, Vincent now has the dubious honor of being the oldest building in the College of Science and Engineering, having experienced no serious renovation since the 1960’s when the wings connecting us to Murphy Hall (now the exclusive home of Journalism) were added. And even that was funded with infrastructure money from the National Science Foundation! So Math now occupies the most dilapidated building on the historic Mall. But I am pleased to report that this situation is finally reaching the attention of the University Administration, and, while I do not expect a quick solution to this problem (barring an unexpected influx of private funds) at least we are making our way up the lists of University buildings in need of serious renovation. And some short term fixes, particularly establishing much-needed study space for informal interactions among students, faculty, instructors, etc, are in the works. I hope to have an even more optimistic tale to tell in next year’s newsletter.

One reason for this sudden attention to Vincent is the arrival of Samuel Mukasa, our new CSE Dean, who assumed his duties last September. Dean Mukasa originally hails from Uganda, and is an internationally recognized researcher in geophysics, whose research has shed new light on the evolution of continents and has relevance to issues of climate change. He came to the University of Minnesota from the University of New Hampshire, where he served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Before that, he spent 21 years on the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he was chair of the Department of Geological Sciences. I have enjoyed working with Dean Mukasa over the past 8 months, and appreciate his stated support for mathematics within the College and the University.

In Departmental news, we hired two new faculty this year: Ru-Yu Lai works in applied mathematics, specializing in inverse problems arising in geophysics, medical imaging, and condensed matter physics. She has been a postdoc at the IMA and the department, and will return as a tenure track assistant professor this fall. Vlad Vicol is a rising star in analysis of partial differential equations and fluid mechanics, having made major new contributions to the classic NavierStokes equations. Vlad will remain at Princeton University for one more year, joining us in Fall, 2018 as a tenured associate professor. Meanwhile, Hao Jia, whom as you may recall we hired last year, will be moving to Minnesota from Princeton this coming fall. Hao also works in the analysis of partial differential equations, and is a University of Minnesota alum, having completed his Ph.D. here in 2008 under Professor Vladimir Sverak.

I am especially pleased to report that our long serving (54 years and counting! ) colleague Al Marden and his wife Dorothy have endowed a Professorship in our Department. Starting in 2024, two Marden Professors will be selected every five years from among the exceptional tenured faculty. I look forward to the appointment of the first Marden Professors in 7 years.

In further transitional news, Professor Bert Fristedt is retiring at the end of this academic year. Bert is well known for his contributions to probability and the study of Markov processes. Details can be found inside the Newsletter. A dinner in Bert’s honor will be held on May 1. In addition, Janette Minette, a much appreciated long time staff member whom many of you will remember, will retire at the end of May.

In sad news, we held two Memorial Services for departed colleagues. On February 24, 2017, we honored Emeritus Professor Steven Gaal, an internationally recognized number theorist, who passed away in March, 2016. Earlier, on September 23, 2016, we honored Emeritus Associate Professor Howard Jenkins, an analyst who served as Associate Head of the Department in the 1970’s.

As usual, this newsletter is chock full of activities and successes of our programs, our faculty, and our students. Thank you for your continued support of the School of Mathematics. I welcome your feedback, questions, or suggestions — either stop by, call, or send me email.

Mathematically yours,

Peter Olver


Welcome to New Faculty

Jeffrey CalderJeffrey Calder

Jeffrey Calder joined the School of Mathematics in the fall of 2016. He was born in Markham, Ontario in the Toronto metro area and grew up there except for an eight-year stint in Phoenix. His parents still live in Canada along with other family members.

Jeff was an undergraduate at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Engineering (offered through the School of Engineering, with a strong emphasis on pure math) and a master’s degree. He worked as an intern for a 16-month interval between his third and fourth years of undergraduate study during which time he designed algorithms for digital TV processing and got a patent. He spent the summer before beginning his master’s degree at INRIA in Sophia Antipolis, France working with Rachid Deriche on brain-imaging problems. The opportunity arose through his senior project on similar topics, supervised by Abdol-Reza Mansouri, who also supervised his master’s thesis.

He obtained his Ph. D. at the University of Michigan. He had a pair of co-advisors, one from mathematics (Selim Esedoglu) and the other from electrical engineering (Alfred Hero). His thesis was on PDE scaling limits for nondominated sorting. The latter is an algorithm to sort points in the plane by peeling away minimal points layer-by-layer. Jeff’s thesis work showed that if you sort more and more random points this turns out to be the same as solving a PDE. This insight leads to a speed-up of the algorithm in some regimes. Since nondominated sorting in the plane is related closely with Hammersley’s process used to analyze longest increasing subsequences, Jeff’s work is within shouting distance of integrable probability and random matrix theory.

After graduating from Michigan in 2014, he took a postdoc at Berkeley. He counts Craig Evans and James Sethian as his mentors in Berkeley, but he also says he worked more or less on his own. He began work on a new research direction at Berkeley, namely convex peeling. This is a process for sorting points in the plane or higher dimensions by removing, layer-by-layer, the extreme points of the convex hull of the point-cloud. As was the case with nondominated sorting, there are PDEs to describe the limit as you peel larger and larger sets of random points. Since arriving in Minnesota Jeff’s research has taken another turn, this time toward graph-based semi-supervised learning. The latter applies to data sets from a wide range of sources: social media, medical diagnostics, protein sequencing (inferring 3-D structure from the amino acid sequence), speech recognition and webpage classification, to name just a few targets. The setup is a partially labeled graph with edges weighted by the degree of similarity of the data stored at the nodes. The goal is to predict labels at all the nodes. To make a cartoon of it, the problem is to predict how you voted based on how your friends voted. More seriously, given a database of many medical images of which some fraction have been diagnosed by pathologists, the problem is to diagnose all the images using various numerical measures of similarity of the images. Jeff is working on proving PDE scaling limits for graph-based learning with random geometric graphs.

Journeying to Minnesota along with Jeff are his wife Hayley and daughter Violet (2 years old). Hayley has an undergraduate degree in music and is an amazing pianist according to Jeff. The family is still looking for a piano for their new house. Back in Toronto, Hayley taught English, music and special education. She would like eventually to return to teaching. Jeff grew up playing hockey and is looking for a league.

Featured Colleagues

Maria-Carme CaldererCarme Calderer

Carme grew up in a small town north of Barcelona, towards the end of the Franco regime in Spain. There was a great deal of tension during this era, and the government suppressed the Catalan language and culture. Children who wanted to learn to speak Catalan were forced to sneak around in small groups of two or three, to avoid drawing attention to themselves, in order to meet with priests and other adults who would instruct them. During her teenage years, Carme decided to fight against the regime and helped smuggle books that had been banned by the Franco government. On Sundays she often joined a group of people who hiked into the Pyrenees with empty backpacks, where they met others who had trekked through the mountains with books about Spanish and Catalan history and culture. After filling her backpack with this contraband, she hiked back towards town and the next link in the chain. Typically the group loaded the books into the trunk of a car which had been parked along the way; the driver then distributed the books to bookstores around the Barcelona area, where they could be purchased on the sly.

Carme knew from a very early age that she wanted to work in a scientific field. She credits her grandfather for cultivating this interest. During her early years she spent long hours in his metalwork shop, where he made a variety of tools, frames, and other household items. She was fascinated by his explanations of what he was doing and the properties of the metal and other materials kept there. He encouraged her to experiment with them. By age five Carme was keeping a log of her tests - asbestos was a favorite material to experiment with! - and by the time she was seven, her skills had developed to the point that she could assist with some of his work, such as knife-sharpening.

The educational opportunities in her town were somewhat limited, so instead of a local high school, Carme attended a boarding school away from home before enrolling at the University of Barcelona. She recalls that the course offerings weren’t as diverse as they are in our own department, but students received a solid grounding in the core areas of Analysis, Geometry, Algebra, Topology and PDEs, often using the Bourbaki books. Despite this advanced coursework in mathematics, Carme still leaned towards physics at this point; as she says, “that’s where the interesting problems were!” She was especially drawn to differential equations, whereas the mathematics faculty had more of an emphasis on algebra. She particularly remembers the quandary faced by Carles Simó, who was trained in dynamical systems but was interested in branching out to numerical analysis. At that time, his university colleagues didn’t think the use of a computer would amount to serious or proper mathematics, so in order to get a terminal on his desk he had to switch fields to celestial mechanics, where computations were more acceptable.

For graduate school, Carme searched for a department that could nurture her love of mathematics and physics. She found the blend she was looking for at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. One of the faculty there told her, “Around here we do a lot of applied mathematics, and people in the field need to understand and use the science as well as the mathematics.”

When Carme finished her PhD in 1980, there were fewer research postdocs available in Europe than there are now, so she took the advice of her advisor, John Ball, to spend some time in the United States. She accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor position at the University of Maryland; her original intent was to stay in America for one year before returning to Barcelona, which is not how things unfolded. During her time at Maryland, she also spent a summer at Johns Hopkins, where she first worked with Jerry Ericksen, who became an important collaborator throughout her career.

Another important collaboration dates back to her time at Maryland: in her last year there, she met Doug Arnold, her future spouse, and also now a member of our department. Doug had to ask her out three times before she finally said yes. Unfortunately, their first date occurred late in the academic year, after she had already been on the job market and accepted a tenure track job at Oregon, over 2,800 miles away. Carme stayed in Eugene for two years and enjoyed her time immensely, but eventually looked for other positions so that they could reduce that distance.

From 1984-86 Carme was at the University of Delaware, followed by three years at George Mason University, but throughout this period she frequently spent time in Minnesota, at the IMA. In 1989 she and Doug were both at the IMA, which was the first time they managed to live in the same location together. During this year she was also able to continue her collaboration with Jerry Ericksen, who had moved from Johns Hopkins to Minnesota in 1982. She fondly recalls their project that year, modeling fluid flow and predicting the alignment of fibers in kevlar, in an effort to create a thicker material than the thin sheets of kevlar that had typically been used until that time.

In 1989 she and Doug moved to Penn State University, where they remained until joining our department in 2002. In addition to her active research program, Carme was highly involved in the undergraduate program at Penn State, advising students, organizing internships, mentoring groups, and serving as the undergraduate director. In recognition of her work, Penn State presented her with the Teresa Cohen Service Award in 2002. In our own department, she has continued to mentor both undergraduate and graduate students, and advises the undergraduate math club, along with Willard Miller. Meanwhile, she has continued to publish important work in modeling liquid crystals, polyelectrolyte gels, and other areas. Based on this innovative work she was named as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in the inaugural class of 2012.

When asked what she likes to do outside of mathematics, Carme quipped, “More mathematics!” She then added that she loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, especially when she goes back to Catalonia to visit family and can head into the Pyrenees again. Nowadays she can do those hikes without a heavy backpack of banned books, but she still has a strong interest in Catalan and European affairs. In addition to her mathematical work, she enjoys attending conferences on social and political issues, such as a workshop on the Future of Europe at the Kennedy School of Government last month, or a panel in Paris discussing the energy future of Europe. She is also active in the Catalan community in the Twin Cities.

Karel PrikryKarel Prikry

Karel Prikry was born in 1944 and grew up in a community of around five hundred people in the south east of what is now the Czech Republic. The region has seen its share of fighting through the course of history and, in the aftermath of the Second World War, Karel would play with spent Russian and German artillery shells. In an earlier century Napoleon was stationed nearby for the Battle of Austerlitz and Karel used to go past that spot on his way to a collective farm where he worked during the summers. When he came to attend high school he took the train to go to Vyškov which, although a small town, was bigger than the place Karel lived.

At school he found himself surrounded by a strong mathematical culture, at least in some respects. Teachers were inspiring and had high expectations. Mathematical Olympiad competitions were part of this culture and were organized at different levels, with a district level and a national level. Everyone knew about these contests and Karel participated in them three times, starting at age 15. In his second year he won at the district level, and he repeated the performance the year after that at the age of 17. That year he went on to the National Olympiad, which he won. However, he found the International Olympiad more difficult, and did not do well.

There was a clear path ahead for Karel in mathematics, and the next step for him was to go to Karlova Univerzita in Prague. He attended this university for the first two years of his undergraduate studies. He found these years to be a very exciting period. He was particularly inspired by Petr Vopěnka, a charismatic and distinguished figure who taught Karel in his second year, and was very much concerned with mathematics that was cutting-edge at the time. Vopěnka ran a seminar in set theory in which Karel participated, and they worked through recent developments, in particular the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis and the method of Cohen. Karel also participated in a Mathematics Club where he studied Godel’s incompleteness theorem at the age of 17. It seems that this type of activity was what really excited him. By contrast, he learned calculus just by reading it himself in books, which were reasonably inexpensive in Prague.

After two years at Prague, Karel transferred to Warsaw University with the assistance of a scholarship he had been awarded, and he finished the last two years of his undergraduate education there. He participated in the seminar of Andrzej Mostowski after an introduction by Vopěnka. Karel presented an account of Cohen’s paper at that seminar. He reports that picking up Polish was easy for him because of its common features with Czech. Apparently he obtained a Polish textbook during the summer and this enabled him to get a sufficient command of the language for mathematics.

In 1965 Karel left Europe behind and went to Berkeley for his Ph.D. Two major influences on him there were Robert Solovay and Jack Silver, and the work for his thesis (a topic known as Prikry forcing) came about from ideas from his time with Vopěnka and Mostowski developed through discussion with Solovay and Silver. Silver finished his own Ph.D. in the year Karel arrived, and accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He returned to Berkeley after one year, and became Karel’s adviser, Solovay having left to go to IBM.

Karel also recalls the logician Fred Galvin from this time at Berkeley. They had adjacent offices and would work, often until about 10pm, and then go together for pizza. A joint paper written with Galvin produced one of Karel’s better known theorems, referred to as the Galvin-Prikry theorem. Karel also mentions with pride his work from the 1990s with Lester Dubins, also a professor at UC Berkeley, on disintegration of finitely additive measures, pointing out that it had a large set-theoretic component.

Karel spent three years at Madison between 1968 and 1971, after which he took a 1 year position at UCLA. He came to Minnesota in 1972. Since then he has visited other institutions a number of times, often to visit his colleagues from earlier days, including Fred Galvin in Kansas, Tom Jech at Penn State and Eric Milnor at Calgary as well as others. He visited Cambridge twice and recalls the time in 1974-5 when he was taken to dine at high table in Trinity College by Béla Bollobás and was introduced to J.E. Littlewood.

In talking about the distinguished mathematicians he has known Karel shows great appreciation of their work and achievements, and it is apparent that knowing these people has been, for him, a high point of his life. He is, on the other hand, rather modest about other interests, but we know from personal experience that he will speak with knowledge and energy on certain topics, such as the British royal family. When questioned about this he explains that he likes to read history, especially the history of Europe and the time of the Second World War. He also points out that he likes to spend time in coffee shops; but adds with characteristically ironic humor that he wishes the time were more productive. We know what he means, and can offer no solution to this conundrum.

Ella Th orp in 1956Elizabeth Carlson (1896-2000), Gladys Gibbens (1893-1983) and Ella Thorp (c.1891-1973)

These three women all played substantial roles as faculty in the Mathematics Department, providing a total of 119 years of service between them. They were pioneers in mathematics at a time when few women had Ph.Ds.

Elizabeth Carlson in 1917Ella Alice Margaret Thorp and Sally Elizabeth Carlson were both born in Minneapolis, to parents who had emigrated from Norway and Sweden, respectively. Elizabeth Carlson retained fluency in Swedish throughout her life. Thorp attended East High School in Minneapolis, graduating in 1909 as valedictorian of her class. Carlson attended South High School, graduating in 1913, again as valedictorian of her class. Both were then undergraduates at the University of Minnesota, where they overlapped for the year 1913-14, at the end of which Thorp obtained her B.A. in mathematics. Given the smaller number of students then, it seems likely that they must have known each other. Carlson obtained her B.A. in 1917. After graduating from the U of M, both of these talented young women immediately went off to teach in schools, Thorp at Eagle Bend High School in central Minnesota for two years until 1916, and Carlson at McIntosh High School (not far from Bemidji) for a year until 1918. Carlson then taught at Knox College, Illinois, until 1920.

According to an article about her in the University of Minnesota Alumni News from January 1976, Ella Thorp was asked in 1916 by one of her favorite professors, who was then head of the Mathematics Department, to teach at the University. She hesitated because she had planned to go into business. His reply was, “When your Alma Mater calls you, you answer.” So she accepted and became Instructor, remaining in this position until 1950, when she was promoted to Assistant Professor (according to the Bulletin of the University of Minnesota). She retired in 1956, becoming Assistant Professor Emeritus. At that time she was awarded a Regents’ Certificate of Merit in recognition of her forty years of devoted service to the University of Minnesota.

The effect of Ella Thorp’s exceptional generosity and devotion to the Mathematics Dept. has continued to the present day as the result of a legacy of $145,000 she left, “to be used for the purposes of granting undergraduate and graduate scholarships to students majoring in mathematics.” The Ella Thorp Scholarship continues to be one of two departmental scholarships funding the most students: in 2016-17 eight students were funded by it. Because of this, many people know her name.

Going back to 1920 again, this was the year Elizabeth Carlson returned to the University of Minnesota Mathematics Dept, this time as a Teaching Assistant. She became a student of Dunham Jackson (featured colleague, 2012 Newsletter). We can only wonder what her expectations were at that time: presumably her intention was to obtain a Ph.D, but none had ever been awarded before in this department. It is notable that, together with Jackson’s other student Carey Morgan Jensen who graduated at the same time, Elizabeth Carlson became, in 1924, one of the first two people ever to obtain a Ph.D. in mathematics in Minnesota. She was then taken on as Instructor in the Mathematics Dept.

When Elizabeth Carlson arrived in 1920 she found three other women in the department: Ella Thorp, Minna Schick and Gladys Gibbens. Minna Schick was an Instructor with a 1917 M.A. from Northwestern University who left in 1922 to become Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of the Philippines.

Gladys Gibbens in 1914Gladys Elizabeth Corson Gibbens was born in New Orleans and attended Newcomb College and Tulane University as an undergraduate. In 1920 she had just got her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago as a student of Ernest Wilczynski, and at the University of Minnesota she became an Instructor.

These women were evidently a presence in mathematics in Minnesota from the 1920s onwards. The American Mathematical Monthly lists accounts of MAA meetings that they attended. For instance, a meeting at Macalester College on May 27, 1922, was attended by 30, including Gibbens, Thorp, Dunham Jackson and most of the mathematics department. It reports that: “a paper was read by Miss Elizabeth Carlson, University of Minnesota (by invitation), ‘An analytic geometry treatment of the nature of conics generated by projective ranges and pencils.’” She spoke on a result of Steiner, originally obtained by synthetic methods, for which she had an analytic approach.

In terms of their promotion, Gladys Gibbens and Elizabeth Carlson followed parallel career paths at the University of Minnesota. Gibbens was promoted from Instructor to Assistant Professor in 1925, to Associate Professor in 1947 and to Associate Professor Emeritus when she retired in 1958 at the age of 65. Carlson became Instructor in 1924, Assistant Professor in 1928, Associate Professor in 1950 (the year of Ella Thorp’s promotion to Assistant Professor) and Professor in 1963; this was only two years before she retired in 1965 at the age of 69, when she became Professor Emeritus. In the Fall of 1965 Carlson taught as a Visiting Professor at Macalester College.

Looking at these dates with hindsight, we can only wonder at the thinking behind their spacing. It gives the appearance that a clock had started, with Elizabeth Carlson receiving promotion three years after Gladys Gibbens each time. It seems bizarre that the department could not have found its way to promote Carlson to Professor a little earlier. We can also only speculate about the difference it would have made to Ella Thorp’s career and promotion if she had obtained a Ph.D. Surely, today, she would have done so.

When Carlson, Gibbens and Thorp joined the Mathematics Department, it was not very big, compared to today’s department. The 1920/21 Annual Register of the University of Minnesota lists three Professors of Mathematics, four Associate Professors, one Assistant Professor and four Instructors. There was, however, also a Department of Mathematics and Mechanics listing six Professors (all kinds) and ten Instructors. It is thus hard to assess the size of mathematics at the university. Nevertheless, we leave the reader with the intriguing thought that if we consider only the ‘Department of Mathematics’, it is possible to argue that there was a more substantial female presence as a proportion of mathematics faculty during the 1920s, with three out of about twelve being women, than at any other time.  



Rivière-Fabes Symposium

The Rivière-Fabes symposium took place last Spring during the period April 15-17, 2016. It brought together over 50 mathematicians to Vincent Hall for an exciting program of talks and discussions. Last year’s conference, the 19th annual incarnation, continued the relatively new format where each of the four speakers delivers two one-hour lectures. The symposium featured an outstanding line-up of main speakers spanning partial differential equations, applied analysis, high-dimensional probability, harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory, calculus of variations: Andrea Bertozzi (UCLA), Fanghua Lin (Courant Institute, NYU), Jonathan Mattingly (Duke University), and Roman Vershynin (University of Michigan). In addition, we hosted over 40 young mathematicians who had a unique chance to learn some of the major recent breakthroughs in Analysis and PDEs and to interact with the established experts in their field. 

Yamabe Symposium

The eighth Yamabe Memorial Symposium took place from Friday to Sunday, September 30 - October 2, 2016. The Yamabe Lecture was initiated jointly with Northwestern University to commemorate the early passing of the brilliant Japanese mathematician Hidehiko Yamabe, who had been a faculty member at University of Minnesota and had just transferred to Northwestern, where his heart condition was not covered by health insurance as a “pre-existing condition”. The Yamabe Symposium, started in 2002 and held every two years at University of Minnesota, is an enhancement of the earlier Yamabe Lecture tradition. The theme of the Yamabe Symposium this year was Symplectic Geometry and Complex Geometry. Invited talks were presented by top mathematicians in these areas. Specifically, the symposium heard from Claire Voisin (CNRS Inst. de Math. de Jussieu), Paul Biran (ETH Zurich), Chris Wendl (Humboldt Univ. Berlin), Emmy Murphy (MIT), Mark McLean (Stony Brook), Valentino Tosatti (Northwestern), Kaoru Ono (Kyoto University) and Sai Kee Yeung (Purdue). The conference was well attended, with 50 registered participants. A majority of them were graduate students, postdocs and young researchers. Thirty-six participants came from Germany, Hong Kong and the U.K., and from across the U.S. and Canada. Partial support for their travel and for conference expenses was provided through funds from the National Science Foundation, the Yamabe Fund and the School of Mathematics.

MAA Meeting

In 1916, the first meeting of the Math Association of America (MAA) North Central Section was held at the University of Minnesota. In recent years the section meetings have been held at nearby colleges and state universities, but the Fall 2016 meeting returned to the University campus in honor of the section’s Centennial celebration. Over 70 people joined in the festivities, including invited lectures by three current or recent MAA Presidents, all of whom are from our section: Deanna Haunsperger (Carleton College), Joe Gallian (UMN-Duluth), and Paul Zorn (St. Olaf College). David Bressoud of Macalester College has also served as President of the MAA, but was unable to attend.

Calculus Meeting

The second meeting of the Collaboration for the Advancement of Learning Calculus (CALC 2) was held at the University of Minnesota, October 13-15, 2016. The workshop brought together ten institutions, six from the Big Ten, to discuss innovation in teaching Pre-Calculus and Calculus. One major topic was the integration the various technologies in use, including the MAA’s WeBWork, Duane Nykamp’s Math Insight, MOLS, LON-CAPA (used at Purdue) and Ximera (Ohio State). Sharing resources for active learning, developing online courses and open source materials is an ongoing goal of this group. The next meeting is planned for Ann Arbor, MI in July 2017.

Remembering Former Colleagues

Steven GaalSteven Gaal

Steven Alexander Gaal was born as István Sándor Gál on February 22, 1924, in Budapest, Hungary. He received his Ph.D. in 1947 from the University of Budapest under Frigyes Riesz and Lipót Fejér. His thesis problem had its origin in a letter Paul Erdős wrote to Pál Turán, in which he mentions a prize problem posed by the Netherlands Mathematical Society. Gaal solved it and with Erdős jointly published the solution, giving him an Erdős number of 1, which he re-earned in a subsequent two-part collaboration in 1955.

After obtaining his Ph.D., Gaal served as an instructor at the University of Szeged and as an assistant professor in Budapest. He then went to the Centre National de la Recherche Scienti- fique (CNRS) in Paris, where he was from 1948 to 1950 with the rank of Attaché de Recherches; his supervisors were Jean Favard and Jacques Hadamard. It also was in Paris that Gaal first met Paul Erdős. Then Atle Selberg, of trace formula fame, was instrumental in bringing Gaal to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he served as Selberg’s assistant from 1950 to 1952. In 1953, he became Instructor and then in 1954 Assistant Professor at Cornell University, and was a Research Associate at Yale University from 1958-60. He and his wife Lisl both joined the faculty of the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota in 1960. Steven came as an Associate Professor and was soon promoted to Full Professor in 1963. During his time at Minnesota, he supervised 5 Ph.D. students.

Gaal’s research interests included both number theory and analysis. Robert Langlands, another very prominent number theorist, has said in a published interview that “...during this year [in Yale] a major event for me ... was a course of Stephen Gaal on analytic number theory, more precisely, on Hecke theory. His intent was to prepare himself, and incidentally us, for the study of the work of Atle Selberg ... I listened to Gaal’s lectures with enthusiasm ...” Gaal’s foundational 1949 paper on Diophantine approximations has recently had an enormous impact on the study of greatest common divisor (GCD) sums, including surprising connections to the Riemann zeta function. While at the University of Minnesota, he also wrote 2 well-regarded books: Point Set Topology and Linear Analysis and Representation Theory; both were later reprinted by Dover. He also wrote a manuscript entitled Lectures on Algebraic and Analytic Number Theory, which was printed by Jones Letter Service.

In 2004, Gaal was honored at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 80th anniversary as one of the “big five” group of distinguished Hungarian mathematicians. The other honorees were Janos Horvath, János Aczél, Ákos Csaszar and László Fuchs. Gaal went to Hungary to participate in the festivities where he gave a talk entitled When Is a Fibonacci Sequence Periodic? Gaal retired in 1993 and subsequently moved to Nevada, where he spent the last years of his life. He passed away on March 17, 2016, and is survived by his former wife Lisl (also an emeritus faculty in the School of Mathematics), daughters Barbara and Dorothy, their husbands, and three grandchildren.

On February 24, 2017, a memorial ceremony was held for Steven Gaal in the mathematics library. Several colleagues shared reminiscences of former times and spoke about his mathematics. The words of Steve’s daughter, Barbara, were particularly informative of personal history, and she spoke about her father’s love of music, the importance of mathematics for him, how he survived nearstarvation and bombings in wartime Budapest, how he became a licensed pilot in Minnesota, and many other things. She described how his mathematics got him through the war, and later got him out of Hungary during the Soviet period. At a moment when young men were being rounded up for military service, an officer asked who was good at mathematics; five people, including Steve, were selected on the basis of this, and he was sent to the air force. Because there were no planes, he spent the war trying to predict weather. Barbara then mentioned Steve’s gratitude to Selberg, who wrote him a letter in 1950 offering an Assistantship at Princeton with a financial arrangement that had required some creativity to organize. These were just some of the things she mentioned, and she painted a picture of a man who had lived a rich and interesting life.

Hillel GershensonHillel Gershenson

Our colleague Hillel Gershenson died August 6, 2016 after a long illness. Hillel was born March 27, 1935 in New York City. He attended t h e B r o n x H i g h School of Science, and then earned his undergraduate degree a t U n i v e r s i t y o f Wisconsin, Madison, entering at the age of 16 on the Ford Scholars program. He then spent a year at Harvard as a graduate student in chemistry, during which time he realized that what he really liked was the underlying mathematics, and hence returned to Wisconsin to received his MA degree in math in 1957. He then enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago, writing his thesis on stable homotopy groups of spheres under Professor Eldon Dyer (of Dyer-Lashof operations), and graduating in 1961. Following an instructorship at Princeton University (1961-63) and an assistant professorship at Cornell University (1963-68), during which time he visited the University of Aarhus in Denmark (1966-67), he joined the University of Minnesota in 1968 as Associate Professor of Mathematics. Hillel retired in 2006 to become Associate Professor Emeritus.

Hillel’s contributions include an analysis of the relationship between different methods for computing stable homotopy groups of spheres and a beautiful generalization of the Toda bracket, a secondary operation in homotopy groups. Hillel always described what he was doing to curious non-mathematical friends as “most inapplicable mathematics.” Once someone asked him at a party what his field of study was, and he said “Algebraic Topology.” His friend misheard him as saying “Algebraic Apology” and responded: “Oh, I have been waiting for such a long time for someone to apologize for Algebra!”

Hillel’s research focus was algebraic topology, but the teaching of mathematics was a passion. For many years Hillel taught future elementary school teachers as well as worked to improve math education for women and minority students. He served as Director of Graduate Studies as well as Director of Undergraduate Studies several times over his tenure. In a broader university framework, Hillel served two terms on the important Senate Judiciary Committee. He supervised two Ph.D. students: Tod Levitt, co-supervised with David Frank, now at George Mason University, and Melissa Shepard, now at the University of St. Thomas.

Hillel grew up in the Bronx, a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium, a team he supported until the Minnesota Twins won his heart. He was a keen birdwatcher and amateur historian. His first degree was in Chemistry and after switching to Mathematics he channeled his chemistry into baking, among his favorites were New York style bagels and Kentucky bourbon cake.

Hillel is survived by his wife of 54 years, Celia Wolk Gershenson, who has been teaching in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota; his sister, Beatrice; his children, Simma and Anne; and his granddaughters, Eleanor and Hazel. His youngest daughter, Rebecca, predeceased him.

A memorial ceremony was held for Hillel on October 21, 2016 in the mathematics library. Colleagues shared their memories of this gentle man and spoke about his work. Particularly memorable were the remarks of his wife, Celia, who spoke about the time when they met, how they were engaged while at Princeton, and how she got him to explain mathematics there. She commented that she came to realize that Hillel was doing mathematics even while he was doing the dishes! Hillel was a wise, kind-hearted colleague, and he will be missed.

Howard Jenkins

A memorial ceremony was held for Howard Jenkins on September 23, 2016 in the department library, attended by many colleagues and friends of the department. He passed away on November 23, 2015, and an item about him appears in the 2016 Newsletter.

Awards and Recognition

Maury Bramson

Professor Maury Bramson has been elected as a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of his excellence in original scientific research. He works in probability theory, including interacting particle systems, branching Brownian motion, and stochastic networks. The National Academy of Sciences is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.

Kai-Wen Lan

Prof. Kai-Wen Lan was awarded a 2016 Morningside Silver Medal of Mathematics for his outstanding contributions to the theory of arithmetic compactification of Shimura varieties and its applications to the arithmetic of automorphic forms. The Morningside Medal of Mathematics is awarded to outstanding mathematicians of Chinese descent to encourage them in their pursuit of mathematical research. They are awarded every three years at the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians.

Svitlana Mayborada

Prof. Svitlana Mayboroda has been awarded a Von Neumann Fellowship, a prestigious appointment at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, to visit during the Academic Year 2017-2018 in order to further her research program in partial differential equations and their applications. She has also been invited as a sectional speaker at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro.


A Retirement Dinner was held on May 13, 2016 to mark the retirement of our three colleages John Baxter, Larry Gray and Wayne Richter. Wayne had already retired in 2015 and a column about him marking this appeared in the 2016 Newsletter. John and Larry retired in 2016 and we acknowledge their careers here.

John Baxter

John BaxterJohn Baxter came to the University of Minnesota in 1970 as Assistant Professor immediately after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 1969. The title of his thesis was, ‘A class of ergodic automorphisms,’ and it was written under the direction of Mustafa Akcoglu. John was promoted to Associate Professor in 1976, and became Full Professor in 1984 until his retirement in 2016, remaining here except from some years spent at University of British Columbia (1974-5) and University of Toronto (1980- 1). His research was in probability, and it expanded into several different areas of this subject, as well as into ergodic theory. He was the Ph.D. adviser for four students and he supervised a large number of undergraduate senior projects - around 30 of them. He also served in administrative roles in a number of ways: he was Associate Head between 1995 and 1997, and IMA Associate Director during the summer and fall of 2007. John grew up in Sackville, New Brunswick, with an older brother, Fred. Sackville is the location of Mount Allison University, which is where John’s father, Clayton Baxter, was a professor of philosophy. John himself attended this school as an undergraduate and during his earlier years he would spend time in the summer hoeing and harvesting wheat at a farm his father had in rural Ontario. At the retirement dinner, many colleagues got up to share their recollections of John, and the universal theme was that he is one of the nicest, kindest people that one would hope to meet. More than once the speakers recalled how he had been helpful to them when they first arrived in Minnesota. Some spoke of more mundane details, such as how helpful he had been with typesetting issues to do with TeX, and other such things, and throughout this he has been a wonderful colleague with a positive attitude and a strong sense of humor. John’s kindness is framed by an outlook of genuine concern and kindness. In replying to the remarks about him, John spoke reflectively of the importance of shared human and intellectual values. Speaking of the department, he commented, “We do this well here.” We certainly hope that we do, and we also wish John and his wife, Angela, well in his retirement.

Larry Gray

Lawrence GrayMuch was written about Larry in the Newsletter in 2014, when he was a ‘featured colleague’, and his career and the remarkable range of his interests were indicated there. In brief, Larry received his Ph.D. in 1977 from Cornell University and came that year to Minnesota, where he remained apart from a year visiting UCLA in 1983- 84. He served the department as Director of Undergraduate Studies 2000-03 and was Head of Department 2003- 08. We refer the reader to the earlier article for more about his mathematical career and contributions. At the dinner held in honor of the three retirees, many colleagues commented on Larry’s personal qualities and varied interests, many of which would not be apparent from just seeing him in the department. He participates in many sports to a high level, including tennis and (more recently) golf. He has a volleyball court in his backyard and a shooting range in his basement. He has climbed a number of peaks, including Kings Peak (the highest point of Utah). He is successful at distance running. It was this ability that happened to place him about 250 yards from the second explosion in the 2013 Boston Marathon, as a result of which he found himself the recipient of some media publicity, including a television interview in a group of such survivors. Aside from this, Larry has built many telescopes (about ten of them); he hunts for mushrooms; he plays the piano particularly well and has found a role accompanying students in their recitals. We suspect that there are many other things he does that we don’t even know about, and predict that he will have a very busy retirement!

Marden Professorship Fund

Professor Albert Marden and his wife Dorothy have endowed a Professorship in our Department. Starting in 2024, two Marden Professors will be selected every five years from among the exceptional tenured faculty. This marks the 54 years of Professor Marden’s service to the Department and the University. The Department and College are very grateful to the Mardens for making this important and lasting gift.

School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs (MathCEP)

MathCEP’s fl agship program, the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP) is currently running in three locations throughout the state. Over 550 students are taking UMTYMP courses on the Twin Cities campus, with another hundred enrolled at the University’s Duluth and Rochester campuses. Next year will mark the first time UMTYMP Multivariable Calculus has run in Rochester in 10 years, and our Single Variable Calculus course will be held in Duluth after an absence of at least two decades. The demand for the program in the Twin Cities continues to be very strong; we administered over 800 qualifying exams this year to students vying for about 150 spots in the first year UMTYMP Algebra course.

Every year brings new transitions to MathCEP as our postdocs continue on to new positions and new instructors come aboard. This year we say farewell to Julie Rana, who accepted a tenure track position at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, beginning in September 2017. In her place we hired Kaitlin Hill, who is finishing her PhD in the Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics department at Northwestern University. Kaitlin will join our two first-year postdocs who are continuing to next year, Lauren DeDieu and Melissa Lynn.

The Director of MathCEP, Jonathan Rogness, continues to serve as faculty advisor for the department’s MS in Mathematics with an Emphasis in Math Education degree. Two students, Melinda Carlson and Alison Snyder, are scheduled to finish this degree by this summer, and will move on to positions at nearby high schools or community colleges in the fall.

Looking forward, the biggest news for MathCEP this year is that the center will expand in 2017-18 to include more of the faculty who are working on innovative undergraduate education programs in the department. Keep an eye on our website,, and next year’s newsletter for full details. The website also contains information about our summer and academic year enrichment programs for middle and high school students.

Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics (MCIM)

MCIM aims to expose our graduate students to the mathematical challenges and skills that arise in industry, while helping them become either leaders in industry or leaders in academia with broad background in industrial applications. It also aims to foster research collaborations between industrial and academic researchers.

The joint IMA/MCIM Industrial Problems Seminar has been very active and hosted a wide range of industrial speakers from corporations that include 3M, Boston Scientific, Deep Machine, eBay, ExxonMobil, Honeywell, Medtronic, Merck & Co., National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Oneirix Labs, Target Corporation and Thomson Reuters.

The seminar talks provide a window on the daily activities of mathematicians in industry. Moreover, the industrial visitors get to learn about the strength and expertise within our department. These visits resulted in several summer internships as well as discussions that may potentially turn into collaborations. By early April, internships were arranged for our students in different companies, in particular, in 3M, Cray, Ecolab, Ford Motor Company, Kohl’s, US Bank and Government Agencies. Help with industrial positions was also offered to graduating students and current postdocs.

A research collaboration has been pursued with a 3M researcher, while involving a graduate student. It has been jointly supported by the IMA and the office of the vice president of research. Additional activities of MCIM include maintaining and updating a webpage with resources on industrial internships as well as working together with the SIAM students’ chapter at UMN, the Career Center for Science and Engineering and the Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics to help improve the professional development of our graduate students.

Math Library News

In addition to its regular services and provision of research and study materials, the Mathematics Library cooperated with the School of Mathematics on several events this year. Memorial services were held in the library for Emeritus Professor Steven Gaal, Emeritus Associate Professor Hillel Gershenson, and Emeritus Associate Professor Howard Jenkins. A dedication ceremony celebrated art works now gracing the main reading room that honor two former department Heads: an oil portrait of Emeritus Professor Hans Weinberger, which he kindly donated, and a metal bust of the late Emeritus Professor Johannes Nitsche, a gift from his family.

Exhibits on Big Data and John Napier enriched the library’s entryway, created by Library Assistant Lynn Tran while Mathematics Librarian Kris Fowler was away on a research leave. Science Librarian Jody Kempf also helped in making sure faculty members and students received the help they needed.

Minnesota Center for Financial & Actuarial Mathematics (MCFAM)

In 2016-17 MCFAM is fortunate to report on a year of industry and academic collaboration, program milestones and strong achievements from our students. We are also pleased to be developing and exploring new opportunities for interdisciplinary courses and programs with the School of Statistics, Industrial Systems Engineering and the Carlson Funds Enterprise. Both actuarial and master of financial math (MFM) students were successful in national and international academic competitions. Our UMN student actuarial team was one of 4 semi-finalists (out of 40+ teams) in the 2016 Society of Actuaries Case Competition. 

The case topic dealt with disruptors that impact health care benefit claims costs with a negative impact to financial results. Three MFM students participated in the University Trading Challenge in Philadelphia in late 2016. The team placed 1st (out of 15 teams) in the Portfolio Challenge. Two MFM students, Shen Wang and Nan Ma, collaborated on a research project (“Term Structure of Credit Default Swap Rates with Perpetual Debt and Jumpy Assets”) with John Dodson, MFM Instructor and Vice President of Quantitative Risk Management, at Options Clearing Corporation. They submitted their work to the Society of Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and were selected to present a poster at the SIAM Conference on Financial Mathematics & Engineering in Austin, Texas. The 51st Actuarial Research Conference (ARC), co-hosted by the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas, was held from July 28th-July 30th, 2016. In addition to academics from all over North America and Europe, the 51st ARC Organizing Committee included industry practitioners from local and national firms. There were 3 keynote speakers, 11 invited panels/sessions and 100 research and industry presenters in 9 parallel tracks over 2.5 days. Attendance at the Twin Cities ARC as well as corporate/professional organization sponsorships were the highest ever in the 51 years of the conference. 

MCFAM will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the MFM. The first of two alumni reunions will be held on Saturday evening, 6-10-17 in Vincent Hall. About 100 alumni, current students, MFM instructors and mentors will attend from all over North America. The second reunion will be held in Shanghai on 7-8-17 with at least 50 alumni and incoming fall 2017 MFM students from all over China and South Korea.


IMA News

After serving as director for nine years, Fadil Santosa is stepping down on June 30, 2017. Daniel Spirn will be taking over as director. In the past two years, the IMA has engaged its constituents in discussions about its future post NSF funding. Going forward, the IMA will increase its engagement with industry. With the support of Target and Cargill, both Minnesota based companies, the IMA is poised to become a powerhouse in data science research capable of addressing challenges from industry, government, and other disciplines. The IMA Data Science Lab, now in its second year, will play an important role in this development. Opening career pathways for young mathematical scientists will remain an important part of the IMA mission.

The IMA held its last annual thematic program on “Mathematics and Optics” for the 2016-17 academic year, hosting five exciting workshops on a wide range of questions that arise in the study of optical phenomena. Faculty from various University departments were in residence as long-term visitors, including Industrial and Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and of course, the School of Mathematics.

For the 2017-18 academic year, rather than an annual thematic program, the IMA will offer several programs of different lengths and scale. These programs take advantage of the IMA’s fl exibility, and the exciting topics refl ect the IMA’s nimbleness and willingness to take risks. The major programs include:

  • The Industrial Mathematics Clinic: Collaboratively Tackling Emerging Problems in Industry
  • Innovative Statistics and Machine Learning for Precision Medicine
  • Modeling, Stochastic Control, Optimization, and Related Applications
  • Multiscale Mathematics and Computing in Science and Engineering
  • SageMath Coding Sprints

Summer will be a busy time for the IMA. In addition to hosting workshops related to the 2017-18 major programs, there will be a second “Math-to-Industry Boot Camp” for graduate students and a fourth “Math Modeling Camp for High School Students,” held in conjunction with MathCEP. Finally, there will be three special workshops: at the end of June is “Recent Advances and Challenges in Discontinuous Galerkin Methods and Related Approaches,” celebrating Bernardo Cockburn; in August will be “Phaseless Imaging in Theory and Practice: Realistic Models, Fast Algorithms, and Recovery Guarantees;” and early September will have “Sensor Location in Distributed Parameter Systems.”

Undergraduate Program

Graduate teaching assistants Nicole Bridgland, Harris Mohammed Ismail, and Katherine Weber received the 2015- 16 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. The instructional evaluation committee received more than 750 nominations from students in support of their Math TAs.

Twenty math majors will be awarded 2017-18 departmental merit scholarships from the Christofferson, Dalaker, Gilquist, Hart, Lando, Othmer, Rasmussen, Segal, and Thorp funds, totalling $52,500.

Math and computer science major Rahul Parhi was named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar. Math major Han Yong Wunrow received a 2017 Fulbright Award to teach English in South Korea.

Math majors Caroline Ahlgrim, Steven Gilpin, Maxwell Hammerlund, Braden Hausauer, Utkarsh Koshti, Amy Ngo, Renn Otto, Sam Penders, and Emily Ross were awarded merit scholarships from the College of Science and Engineering.

Faculty advisers selected nine Outstanding Graduates in Mathematics for 2017: Rajendra Beekie, Junyuan Chen, Grant Goodman, Tikhon Gritskevich, Christina Kyllo, Grace Meyer, Anh Tuong Nguyen, Sasha Pevzner, and Han Yong Wunrow.

Graduate Program

Graduate Student Fellowship Awards

Richard McGehee, Director of Graduate Studies in Mathematics and The Graduate School congratulates the following graduate students who received fellowships.

Loren Anderson, 2016 College of Science & Engineering (CSE) Graduate Fellowship, Gilad Lerman, advisor

Claire Frechette, 2016 College of Science & Engineering (CSE) Graduate Fellowship, Paul Garrett, advisor

John Goes, 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Robust High Dimensional Estimation, Gilad Lerman, advisor.

Marco Avila Ponce de Leon, 2016 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF), Modeling pancreatic cancer with the goal of improving drug delivery., Hans Othmer, adviser.

Ryan Matzke, 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship, Richard McGehee, advisor.

Alice Nadeau, 2016 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF), Understanding Human Impact on the Carbon Cycle through Dynamical Systems, Richard McGehee, advisor.

Adrienne Sands, 2016 Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship, Paul Garrett, advisor.

Ph.D. Graduating Students

Richard McGehee, Director of Graduate Studies in Mathematics and The Graduate School congratulate our recent graduating Ph.D. students (May 2016 to February, 2017).

Acosta, Javier, Convergence in law of the centered maximum of the mollified Gaussian free field in two dimensions, Maury Bramson, advisor, Financial Analyst, Allianz, Minneapolis, MN

Binder, Andrew, Development and Analysis of Computationally Efficient Methods for Analyzing Surface Effects, Mitchell Luskin, Advisor, Postdoctoral Associate, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Fu, Guosheng, Devising superconvergent HDG methods by M-decompositions, Bernardo Cockburn, advisor, Prager Assistant Professor, Applied Mathematics, Brown University, Providence, RI

Garver, Alexander, On the Structure of Oriented Exchange Graphs, Gregg Musiker, advisor, Postdoctoral Researcher, Laboratoire de Combinatoire et d’Informatique Mathématique de I’UQAM, Centre De Recherches Mathématiques and Université du Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Goh, Ryan, Pattern formation in the wake of external mechanisms, Arnd Scheel, advisor, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University, Boston, MA

Goodson, Heidi, Hypergeometric Functions and Arithmetic Properties of Algebraic Varieties, Benjamin Brubaker, advisor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Haverford College, Haverford, PA

Gunawan, Emily, Combinatorics of Cluster Algebras from surfaces, Gregg Musiker, advisor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Computer Science & Statistics, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN

Leifeld, Juliann, Smooth and Nonsmooth Bifurcations in Welander’s Ocean Convection Model, Richard McGehee, advisor, Teaching Specialist, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Mak, Cheuk Yu, Rigidity of symplectic fillings, symplectic divisors and Dehn twist exact sequences, Tian-Jun Li, advisor, Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

Moulton, Jeffrey, Robust Fragmentation: A Data-Driven Approach to Decision-Making Under Distributional Ambiguity, Gilad Lerman, advisor; Advising Team Quantitative Analyst/Data Scientist, Google, Mountain View, CA

O’Connell, Rosemary, A Computational Study of Cortical Spreading Depression, Yoichiro Mori, advisor; High Performance Computing Development Software Engineer, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Minneapolis, MN

Patrias, Rebecca, Combinatorial constructions motivated by K-theory of Grassmannians, Pavlo Pylyavskyy, advisor, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre De Recherches Mathématiques, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Université du Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Poling, Bryan, Towards a Framework for Simultaneous Feature Tracking and Segmentation, Gilad Lerman, advisor, Chief Engineer, Sentek Systems, Minneapolis, MN

Senou, Jessica, Weighted Differential Invariant Signatures and Applications to Shape Recognition, Peter Olver

Sharma, Amit, Higher Picard Groupoids and DW-Theory, Alexander Voronov, advisor; Postdoctoral Fellow, CIRGET, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Wei, Ning, Alternans, ephaptic coupling and their relation to ventricular arrhythmias, Yoichiro Mori and Alena Talkachova, advisors; Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Duke University, Durham, NC

Other News

Graduate students Kate Meyer and Shannon Negaard helped create and host a set of three exhibits at the National Math Festival in Washington, D.C., held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017. They were part of a team of 16 volunteers led by Professor of Mathematics Mary Lou Zeeman (Bowdoin College). The three exhibits were aimed at K–12th graders and illustrated mathematical aspects of the Earth’s climate.

Contacting Us

School of Mathematics University of Minnesota
127 Vincent Hall 206 Church Street S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455

Telephone: (612) 625-5591
Fax: (612) 626-2017

Department Head:
Peter Olver

Telephone: (612) 625-5591

Graduate Studies
Richard McGehee, Director

Telephone: (612) 624-6391

Undergraduate Studies:
Bryan Mosher, Director
Telephone: (612) 625-4848

Minnesota Center for Financial & Actuarial Mathematics (MCFAM)
Rina Ashkenazi, Academic Diector
Laurie Derechin, Executive Director
Telephone: (612) 626-8057

Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
Fadil Santosa, Director
Daniel Spirn, Deputy Director
400 Lind Hall 207 Church Street S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455-0463
Telephone: (612) 624-6066
Fax: (612) 626-7370

Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics (MCIM)
Gilad Lerman, Director

Telephone: (612) 625-2004
Fax: (612) 624-3333

School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs (MathCEP)
Jonathan Rogness, Director 4 Vincent Hall 206 Church Street S.E. Minneapolis, Mn 55455
Telephone: (612) 625-2861
Fax: (612) 626-2017

The Newsletter Committee is composed of Peter Webb (Chair), Greg Anderson, Wei-Kuo Chen, Bonny Fleming, Peter Olver, Jonathan Rogness, Harry Singh.