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Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

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Koslicki and Yashinski receive GTA teaching awards.
Ph.D. students David Koslicki and Allan Yashinski are the Fall 2009 recipients of the Graduate Assistant Teaching Award. The Department of Mathematics gives these awards to graduate teaching assistants who have made outstanding contributions to teaching as determined by faculty visits, student evaluations, and solicited and unsolicited student comments. Each award consists of $250 and an award certificate. Congratulations to David and Allan!
12 / 17 / 2009
Staff/Faculty Appreciation Tea
A "Staff Appreciation of the Faculty" Tea will be held on Tuesday, December 8, at 2:30 p.m. in 114 McAllister. This Tea will include some items prepared and/or donated by the office and lab staff. Please stop by 114 to enjoy the food and to wish everyone happy holidays!
12 / 07 / 2009
Banyaga elected to African Academy of Sciences.
Professor Augustin Banyaga has been elected as a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. Congratulations, Augustin!
12 / 01 / 2009
Pritchard dissertation awards.
The Graduate Studies Committee has announced this year's winners of the Pritchard Dissertation Award. The graduate student winners are
11 / 16 / 2009
October visitors.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes these visitors.
  • Dr. Fan Wen from Ocean University of China is visiting 10/13/09-9/30/10. He will work in the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory with Professor Diane Henderson.
  • Prof. Jiequan Li from Capital Normal University is visiting 10/5/09-11/5/09. His office is 308 McAllister and his host is Professor Yuxi Zheng.
  • Dr. Erwin Karer from Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics (RICAM) is visiting 10/17/09-11/17/09. His office is 419A McAllister and his host is Associate Professor Ludmil Zikatanov.
  • Prof. Falai Chen from University of Science and Technology of China is visiting 10/18/09-10/23/09. His office is 227 McAllister and Willaman Professor Qiang Du is his host.
  • Prof. Bernard Deconinck from University of Washington is visiting 10/19/09-11/23/09. His office is 209 McAllister and Professor Diane Henderson is his host.
  • Prof. Jean-Francois Quint from Universite Paris 13 is visiting 10/24/09-11/22/09. His office is 209 McAllister and Shibley Professor Anatole Katok is his host.
  • Prof. Jonathan Block from University of Pennsylvania is visiting 10/12/09-10/16/09. The office is 232 McAllister and Evan Pugh Professor Nigel Higson is his host.
10 / 05 / 2009
Student chapter of SIAM.
Recently a student chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) has been founded here at Penn State. Students in all areas of the University are encouraged to join. There is no membership fee. The first event was a seminar talk, "Fourier analysis on iterative methods," by Mathematics graduate student Yao Chen.
09 / 25 / 2009
Simpson speaks in Computer Science Theory seminar.
Recently Professor Stephen G. Simpson gave a talk in the Theory Seminar of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. His talk was entitled An introduction to Kolmogorov complexity. His slides are available.
09 / 17 / 2009
Hager appointed Faculty Resident Scholar in the Penn State Learning Center.
Senior Lecturer James Hager was recently appointed to the position of Faculty Resident Scholar in Math and Physical Sciences in the newly formed Penn State Learning Center. Specific duties of this part-time appointment include: 1) provide liaison services between the Math Department and the newly formed Penn State Learning Center, 2) work with faculty members to identify areas within individual courses where students struggle, 3) work with faculty members to consider new pedagogy and curricular innovations, 4) develop and support a variety of learning situations that engage students and encourage them to take personal responsibility for their education, 5) Work with PSULearning-affiliated graduate students conducting research in teaching and learning, 6) work closely with the Center for Excellence in Science Education when it comes on line.
09 / 17 / 2009
Vaserstein to speak in Operations Research Colloquium.
Professor Leonid Vaserstein will speak in the Operations Research Colloquium here at Penn State. His talk is scheduled for September 8 at 4:15 PM.
09 / 04 / 2009
Visitors.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes these visitors.
  • Mr. Ming Fang from Peking University is visiting 9/1/09-8/31/10. His office is 10 McAllister and Assistant Professor Xiantao Li is his host.
  • Prof. Sergei Ivanov from Steklov Institute for Math, St. Petersburg Branch, is visiting 9/20/09-11/10/09. His office is 232 McAllister and Professor Dmitri Burago is his host.
  • Dr. Lewis Bowen from Texas A&M is visiting 9/27/09-10/15/09. His office is 209 McAllister and Shibley Professor Anatole Katok is his host.
  • Prof. Alexander Lytchak from University of Bonn is visiting from 9/23/09-10/7/09. His office is 234 and Associate Professor Anton Petrunin is his host.
09 / 01 / 2009
Spaeth accepts postdoctoral position in Korea.
Lecturer Peter Spaeth has accepted a postdoctoral position at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study in Seoul, starting September 2009.
08 / 28 / 2009
Sarig to speak at ICM.
Associate Professor Omri Sarig will give a 45-minute invited presentation at the International Congress of Mathematicians, August 19-27, 2010, in Hyderabad, India.
08 / 26 / 2009
Mullen serves on Fq9 conference committee.
Professor Gary L. Mullen served on the Organizing Committee for Fq 9, the Ninth International Conference on Finite Fields and their Applications, held in Dublin, Ireland, July 13-17, 2009. He is also co-editing the conference proceedings volume to be published by the American Mathematical Society in their series Contemporary Mathematics. He also gave a talk entitled "Dickson polynomials over finite fields; a different perspective."
08 / 14 / 2009
Mullen serves as Acting Department Head.
Professor Gary L. Mullen is serving as Acting Department Head from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.
08 / 14 / 2009
Jason Morton to join department as assistant professor.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes Jason Morton, who will join us as an assistant professor in January 2010. Jason received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. His research interests include geometry of probability models and algorithms.
08 / 13 / 2009
New lecturers and postdocs.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes these new lecturers and postdoctoral faculty.
  • James Adler received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests are in the area of computational mathematics. James will be a research assistant professor working with Distinguished Professor Jinchao Xu, Professor Chun Liu, Associate Professor Ludmil Zikatanov, and Assistant Professor James Brannick.
  • Brandon Chabaud received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota in 2009. His research interests include mathematical modeling and applied mathematics; numerical analysis; theory of PDE; equations of flow and numerical analysis of differential equations. Brandon will be a postdoc working with Willaman Professor Qiang Du.
  • Filiz Dogru received her Ph.D. from Penn State University in 2003. Her research interests include dynamical systems of billiard type and their relations to geometry and topology, in particular, polygonal dual billiards in the hyperbolic plane. Filiz will be a lecturer.
  • Johannes Kraus received his Ph.D. from the University of Salzburg in 1997. His research interests include numerical solution of partial difference equations, finite element methods, numerical linear algebra and algebraic multigrid and multilevel methods. Johannes will join the department as a research associate working with Ludmil Zikatanov and James Brannick.
  • Kagan Kursungoz received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 2009. His research interests include combinatorics and partition theory. Kagan will be a lecturer.
  • Donald Mills received his Ph.D. from Clemson University in 1999. His research interests include finite field functions and their applications to coding theory and cryptography; existence of primitive polynomials over finite fields satisfying certain properties; exponential sums over finite fields and combinatorial number theory. Don will be a lecturer.
  • Daniel Thompson received his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick in 2009. His research interests include ergodic theory and the statistical properties of hyperbolic dynamics and ergodic properties of geometric flows. Dan will be an S. Chowla Research Assistant Professor.
  • Li Tian expects to receive his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in August. His research interests include numerical solutions of partial differential equations and adaptive mesh generation. Li will be an S. Chowla Research Assistant Professor.
  • Heiko Todt expects to receive his Ph.D. from Penn State University in December of 2009. His research interests include partitions. Heiko will be an instructor.
  • Zhifei Zhang received his Ph.D. from Zhejiang University in 2003. His research interests include harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. Zhifei will be a lecturer.
08 / 13 / 2009
Current NSF-DMS Research Grants.
Currently 39 Penn State faculty members are Principal Investigators in research projects funded by the National Science Foundation's Division of Mathematical Sciences. They are: Akritas, Andrews, Baum, Berlyand, Bressan, Brown, Brownawell, Du, Eisentraeger, Formanek, Fricks, Henderson, Higson, Jenssen, Katok, Krainer, Levi, B. Li, R. Li, W. Li, X. Li, Lindsay, Liu, Mazzucato, Nistor, Papikian, Pesin, Petrunin, Richards, Sarig, Shen, Simpson, Wu, Wysocki, J. Xu, P. Xu, Yao, Yee, Zikatanov.
08 / 13 / 2009
Fall Visitors.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes these visitors for Fall 2009.
  • Ms. Xiaoting Xu from Xiangtan University is visiting 8/1/09-5/15/10. Her office is 316 McAllister and her hosts are Distinguished Professor Jinchao Xu and Associate Professor Ludmil Zikatanov.
  • Prof. Zhifei Zhang from Beijing University is visiting 8/24/09-12/31/09. His office is 230 McAllister and his host is Professor Yuxi Zheng.
  • Dr. Fabio Ancona from University of Bologna is visiting 8/1/09-8/9/09. His office is 332 McAllister and his host is Eberly Professor Alberto Bressan.
  • Prof. Rinaldo Colombo from Universita degli Studi de Brescia is visiting 8/2/09-8/23/09. His office is 209 McAllister and his host is Eberly Professor Alberto Bressan.
  • Prof. Victoria Sadovskaya from University of South Alabama is visiting 8/15/09-11/15/09. Her office is 428 McAllister and her host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
  • Prof. Boris Kalinin from University of South Alabama is visiting 8/15/09-11/15/09. His office is 428 McAllister and his host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
  • Prof. Konstantinos Chatzikyriakou from University of Thessaly is visiting 8/15/09-12/31/09. His office is 232 McAllister and his host is Professor Stephen Simpson.
  • Prof. Qian Guo from Shanghai Normal University is visiting 8/15/09-8/31/10. His office is 332 McAllister and his host is Willaman Professor Qiang Du.
  • Mr. Sylvain Arguillere from Ecole Normal Superieure is visiting 8/15/09-1/31/10. His office is 419A McAllister. His host is Professor Dmitri Burago.
  • Miss Guozhu Yu from Sichuan University is visiting 8/20/09-8/19/11. Her office is 316 McAllister and her host is Distinguished Professor Jinchao Xu.
  • Dr. Iyer Gautam from Carnegie Mellon University is visiting 8/3/09-8/15/09. His office is 332 McAllister and his host is Associate Professor Alexei Novikov.
  • Prof. Keita Yokoyama from Tohoku University is visiting 8/25/09-9/4/09. His office is 209 McAllister and his host is Professor Stephen Simpson.
08 / 04 / 2009
June visitors.
  • Prof. Boris Hasselblatt from Tufts University is visiting 6/9/09 to 6/25/09. His office is 428 McAllister and his host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
  • Mr. Alexander Grigo from Georgia Institute of Technology is visiting 6/11/09 to 6/23/09. His office is 332 and his host is Distinguished Professor Vadim Kaloshin.
06 / 10 / 2009
Birth announcement.
We congratulate Staff Assistant Amy Stover on the birth of her daughter, Katelyn Amy Stover, on Tuesday June 2.
06 / 10 / 2009
Faculty promotions.
Anna Mazzucato, Alexei Novikov, and Wen Shen have been awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in our department. In addition, Kris Wysocki has been promoted to full Professor. Congratulations to Anna, Alexei, Wen and Kris!
05 / 26 / 2009
Morton joins department as a new Assistant Professor.
Jason Morton from Stanford has accepted our department's offer of a tenure-track position jointly in our department and the Department of Statistics. Jason's work in "algebraic statistics" applies ideas from algebraic geometry and combinatorics to study statistical models. He will join us full-time next spring semester (Spring 2010).
05 / 26 / 2009
Formanek will retire.
Professor Edward Formanek plans to retire at the end of this academic year. Ed has been a member of the department since 1978 and we're very grateful for all of his contributions. Congratulations, Ed!
05 / 26 / 2009
Levi publishes new book on physical reasoning.
Professor Mark Levi has published a new book for readers with some kowledge of precalculus and geometry. The book is entitled "The Mathematical Mechanic" and it it Professor Levi shows how physical reasoning may be used to solve mathematical problems and illuminate mathematical concepts. According to Louis Nirenberg this book is "absolutely delightful."
04 / 29 / 2009
Departmental tea in honor of administrative staff.
Wednesday April 22 is designated nationwide as Administrative Professionals’ Day. We thank all the administrative staff who make such a huge contribution to the smooth running of the Department of Mathematics. To mark the occasion, a special departmental tea will be held on Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:00.
04 / 20 / 2009
J. Xu to speak at ICM.
Distinguished Professor Jinchao Xu will give a 45-minute invited presentation at the International Congress of Mathematicians, August 19-27, 2010, in Hyderabad, India.
04 / 17 / 2009
Julia Hallgren is born.
We congratulate Assistant Professors Kirsten Eisentraeger and Sean Hallgren on the birth of Julia Claire Hallgren on April 6, 2009. Mother and daughter are doing well.
04 / 16 / 2009
Departmental awards ceremony.
The department's annual awards ceremony took place on Tuesday, April 14 at 6 PM in 114 McAllister. We honored the recipients of undergraduate scholarships and prizes, graduate and faculty teaching awards, and service awards. Refreshments were provided.
04 / 16 / 2009
New seminar series on probability.
Wei-Biao Wu from the Statistics Department of the University of Chicago will visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 21-22. He is the first speaker in the new seminar series on probability, a joint initiative of the Mathematics and Statistics departments. More information can be found here.
04 / 16 / 2009
Willett receives ZZRQ Award.
Graduate student Rufus Willett has been selected to receive the ZZRQ Award. This annual award honors outstanding achievement by a doctoral candidate who has contributed to the sense of community within the department. The award is made possible through annual contributions from alumni and friends of the Department of Mathematics.
04 / 16 / 2009
Meeting for Penn State Mathematics faculty from non-UP campuses.
On Saturday, April 11, 2009, our department will host a meeting for Penn State Mathematics faculty from non-University Park campuses. This is an opportunity to learn what is going on in mathematics throughout the PSU system. We welcome our colleagues from the Commonwealth Campuses.
04 / 09 / 2009
April visitors.
We welcome visitors to the Department of Mathematics for the month of April:
04 / 09 / 2009
Hile, Ocneanu, Parsons, Mullen, Schulte receive departmental teaching and service awards.
We congratulate the recipients of departmental teaching and service awards:
  • Mary McCammon Teaching Awards: Lecturer Cheryl Hile, Professor Adrian Ocneanu.
  • Don Rung Teaching Award: Senior Instructor Cindy Parsons.
  • Teresa Cohen Service Awards: Professor Gary Mullen, Senior Instructor Pat Schulte.
These and other graduate and undergraduate awards and scholarships will be presented at the Departmental Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Tuesday April 14 in 114 McAllister Building. All are welcome to this event.
03 / 30 / 2009
Kelli Wilkinson to join administrative support team.
Next week Kelli Wilkinson will join us as an Administrative Support Assistant.
03 / 23 / 2009
Wells receives Distinguished Teaching award.
David Wells, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Penn State New Kensington, has received the university's Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching. Congratulations, David!
03 / 23 / 2009
Berlyand organizes workshop in modeling of biological systems.
Professor Leonid Berlyand is co-organizing a workshop at SAMSI this fall entitled "Self-Organization and Multi-Scale Mathematical Modeling of Active Biological Systems".
03 / 16 / 2009
Martin Bridson to deliver Marker Lectures.
Professor Martin Bridson of Oxford University will give the 2009 Marker Lectures on Monday through Thursday, March 23-26. The talks are entitled
  • The language of symmetry and the grammar of space.
  • Dimension, rigidity, and fixed point theorems.
  • Approximately free groups.
  • Surfaces, subdirect products, and residually free groups.
The Monday talk, which is intended for a general audience, is at 8:00 PM. The Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday talks are at 4:30 PM. More information about the program can be found here, here, and here.
03 / 02 / 2009
March visitors.
The Department of Mathematics welcomes these visitors.
  • Mr. YaoHan Chen from National Chiao Tung University is visiting 3/1/09-1/31/10. His office is 234 McAllister. His host is Professor Winnie Li.
  • Mr. Karsten Kahl from Bergische Universitaet Wuppertal is visiting 3/7/09-3/23/09. His office is 419A McAllister. His host is Assistant Professor James Brannick.
  • Prof. Jean-Paul Thouvenot from Universite Paris 6 is visiting 3/14/09-5/6/09. His office is 209 McAllister. His host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
  • Prof. Zhijian Jerry Yang from University of Rochester is visiting 3/16/09-4/15/09. His office is 232 McAllister. His host is Assistant Professor Xiantao Li.
  • Prof. Robert Foote from Wabash College is visiting 3/15/09-4/11/09. His office is 209 McAllister. His host is Professor Sergei Tabachnikov.
  • Dr. Jon Chaika from Rice University is visiting 3/30/09-4/7/09. His office is 419A McAllister. His host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
03 / 02 / 2009
Mullen Career Development Professorship.
Professor Gary L. Mullen and his wife Beverly have made a joint pledge which will establish a Career Development Professorship in our department. When it is fully active the Mullen Professorship will be awarded to a junior faculty member for a three-year period and will provide supplemental salary and funds for new research and teaching opportunities. This is an outstanding act of generosity and we offer our heartfelt and sincere thanks to the Mullens.
02 / 23 / 2009
New Chowla professors.
Joining the department in Fall 2009 as S. Chowla Research Assistant Professors will be: Dan Thompson from the University of Warwick, who works in dynamical systems, and Li Tian from the University of South Carolina, who works in numerical analysis.
02 / 16 / 2009
Graduate Alumni Conference, April 3-5.
Our second Graduate Alumni Conference will take place on the weekend of April 3-5, 2009. As we did last year, we plan that a number of alumni of our PhD program will return to talk about their present careers and how these grew out of their work in our department. We will use the opportunity to invite potential graduate students who we would like to encourage to join our program next year; but the day will also be of interest to current graduate students and faculty. For more information, please consult Associate Professor Andrew Belmonte.
02 / 16 / 2009
Math movies at the library.
The Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library has instituted a wonderful movie series, the Friday Flicks. The venue for Spring Semester 2009 is 3:35-4:35 PM Friday afternoons in 211 Davey Lab (inside the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, 201 Davey).
02 / 09 / 2009
Andrews begins 2-year term as president of the AMS.
We wish Evan Pugh Professor George Andrews every success as he begins his two-year term as President of the American Mathematical Society this month. George writes, "I greatly look forward to my work as President of the American Mathematical Society. I shall support and promote mathematics to the best of my ability. This is a difficult time for the nation and an especially difficult time for mathematicians early in their careers. I hope to find ways to aid these people in their efforts to get established." For more information, see the AMS press release.
02 / 09 / 2009
Undergraduate research conference to be held in November.
For the second time, our department will host a Conference on Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, in November 2009. This conference will showcase mathematical research by undergraduate students through 15-minute contributed talks. More information can be found on the CURM website.
02 / 09 / 2009
Visitors, February 2009.
We welcome these visitors to the department this month:
  • Dr. Eveyth Deligero from University of Southeastern Philippines is visiting 2/16/09-5/15/09. Her office is 332 McAllister. Her host is Professor Svetlana Katok.
  • Prof. Eunheui Kim from California State University, Long Beach is visiting 2/1/09-2/28/09. Her office is 232 McAllister. Her host is Professor Yuxi Zheng.
  • Prof. Federico Rodriguez Hertz from IMATI-CNR, Pavia is visiting 2/8 /09-2/28/09. His office is 419A McAllister. His host is Shibley Professor Anatole Katok.
  • Prof. Taichia Lin from Taiwan National University is visiting 2/17/09-2/24/09. His office is 209 McAllister. His host is Willaman Professor Qiang Du.
02 / 09 / 2009
Mari Royer accepts new responsibilities.
Mari Royer has accepted the position of Administrative Support Assistant in the Department of Mathematics. This position was formerly filled by Rosemary Frank. We welcome Mari to this new role and thank her for her past work as receptionist in the department office.
02 / 04 / 2009
Schulte elected to Faculty Senate.
Senior Instructor Pat Schulte has been elected to a 4-year term as an Eberly College of Science member of the University Faculty Senate. We congratulate Pat on this achievement and expect her to be an important voice in University affairs. In addition Professor Sergei Tabachnikov has been elected to a 4-year term as an alternate.
02 / 04 / 2009
Sellers promoted to full professor.
The Dean has approved the promotion of James Sellers to the title of Professor of Mathematics (fixed term). We congratulate James on this recognition of his many achievements.
01 / 26 / 2009
Straub to leave department.
Our web page expert David Straub is leaving us today to take up an appointment in another department. The Department of Mathematics is extremely grateful to Dave for all that he has done to improve the quality and flexibility of our web presence. We wish Dave every success in his new position.
01 / 19 / 2009
Soto and Belmonte win fluid dynamics video competition.
Postdoc Enrique Soto and Associate Professor Andrew Belmonte were among the winners in the annual Gallery of Fluid Motion competition, held at the APS Divison of Fluid Dynamics meeting held in San Antonio, TX in November 2008. Their winning entry was entitled "Surface Texture and Pulsation Due to Balloon Bursting in Different Liquids", and can be viewed here. This is the fourth time that an entry from the Pritchard Lab has made it to the Gallery of Fluid Motion.
01 / 13 / 2009
Kaloshin recognized as Distinguished Professor.
President Spanier has conferred the title of Distinguished Professor on our colleague Vadim Kaloshin. This honor recognizes "exceptional, research, creativity and service to the University community". We congratulate Vadim on this outstanding achievement.
01 / 13 / 2009
Brown, Henderson, Higson, Tabachnikov, J. Xu granted sabbatical leave.
Associate Professor Nate Brown, Professor Diane Henderson, Evan Pugh Professor Nigel Higson, Professor Sergei Tabachnikov and Distinguished Professor Jinchao Xu have been granted sabbatical leave for all or part of the next academic year. University policy states "A sabbatical is a privilege which may be granted to an individual who has demonstrated by publication, teaching, exhibition or performance an above average ability in scholarship, research, or other creative accomplishment." Congratulations to our colleagues on their accomplishments which have led to this sabbatical leave, and best wishes for its success!
01 / 13 / 2009
Visitors.
We welcome two visitors to the department this semester:
  • Luca Stefanini got his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in March 2008. His research interests include symplectic and Poisson geometry and Lie groupoids and Lie algebroids. Luca will be a lecturer and will work with Professor Ping Xu.
  • Zhifei Zhang got his Ph.D. from Zhejiang University in June 2003. His research interests include harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. He will be a lecturer and work with Professor Yuxi Zheng.
01 / 13 / 2009
Min Zhong joins departmental staff.
We welcome Min Zhong to the departmental staff. Min is an accountant (CPA) who will be working with us over the next few months in managing the departmental budget and in developing procedures to help us track expenditures and plan for the future.
01 / 13 / 2009
Hofer to visit as Distinguished Visiting Professor.
Helmut Hofer (Silver Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute) will visit our department in January and March as Distinguished Visiting Professor. It is a great pleasure to welcome Professor Hofer back to Penn State.
01 / 13 / 2009