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Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

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Conference on Undergraduate Research in Mathematics
Our Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics will host a conference this weekend, Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, 2011. The centerpiece of the conference is a series 15-minute research presentations.
11 / 02 / 2011
Chris Griffin receives INSA award for academic achievement.
Congratulations to Christopher Griffin, who has been selected to receive the 2011 Sidney D. Drell Academic Achievement Award of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. INSA is the premier intelligence and national security organization that brings together the public, private and academic sectors to collaborate on the most challenging policy issues and solutions. The citation states, "Your research and work with The Pennsylvania State University has set you apart in your field and impacted the lives of intelligence professionals and servicemen and women".
10 / 31 / 2011
Sellers is awarded a Fulbright Fellowship.
We congratulate Professor James Sellers who has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He will use the fellowship to carry out research at the University of Linz in the latter part of next spring.
04 / 25 / 2011
Baum to receive honorary degree.
We congratulate Evan Pugh Professor Paul Baum who will receive an honorary degree from the University of Colorado on May 6.
04 / 25 / 2011
Chopra, Hile, Little promoted.
Our colleagues Neena Chopra, Cheryl Hile and David Little are being promoted to Senior Instructor/Senior Lecturer positions. We congratulate them on this well-earned recognition.
04 / 19 / 2011
Two Ph.D. defenses this week.
There are two Ph.D. defenses scheduled this week: Xiang Xu, Topics on Stability of Complex Fluid Models, advised by Professor Chun Liu, and Huan Sun, An Energetic Variational Approach to Modeling Complex Fluids and Its Numerical Simulations, advised by Professor Chun Liu and Assistant Professor James Brannick.
04 / 19 / 2011
Administrative Professionals Week.
Next week (April 25-29) is Administrative Professionals’ Week, an opportunity for faculty and graduate students to reflect on the debt we owe to the loyal and dedicated work of our administrative staff.
04 / 19 / 2011
Bressan to receive Fichera Prize.
We congratulate Eberly Professor Alberto Bressan on the award of the Fichera Prize from the Italian Mathematical Union. The prize is awarded once every four years to the author of a paper of great significance in the field of mathematical analysis and applications. A relevant paper is: Vanishing viscosity solutions of nonlinear hyperbolic systems, Annals of Mathematics, 161, 2005, 223-342, by S. Bianchini and A. Bressan. The prize will be awarded on September 12, the opening day of the 19th Congress of the Italian Mathematical Union, in Bologna.
04 / 11 / 2011
Halpenny to receive Staff Advisory Council Award.
We congratulate Becky Halpenny who will receive the Penn State Staff Advisory Council Award for 2011 at a ceremony on Friday, May 6.
04 / 11 / 2011
Bressan elected to Norwegian Academy.
We congratulate Eberly Professor Alberto Bressan on his election as a foreign member of the Royal Norwegian Academy of Arts and Letters.
04 / 05 / 2011
J. Xu named as SIAM fellow.
We congratulate Pentz Professor Jinchao Xu who was recently named one of 34 academics and professionals elected to SIAM’s 2011 Class of Fellows. Professor Xu is honored for contributions to the theory and applications of multilevel and adaptive numerical methods.
04 / 05 / 2011
Cornell - Penn State Symplectic Seminar.
The department will be hosting a Cornell-Penn State Joint Symplectic Seminar on Saturday April 9th, 2011. The talks will take place in 365 Willard. Nigel Higson, Mathieu Stienon, Aissa Wade, and Ping Xu are the hosts. Speakers include: Sam Evens (Notre Dame), Allen Knutson (Cornell), Alvaro Pelayo (IAS), and Boris Tsygan (Northwestern).
04 / 05 / 2011
Graduate Student Combinatorics Conference.
The department will be hosting the 7th Annual Graduate Student Combinatorics Conference on April 9-10, 2011 in 114 McAllister Building. The keynote speaker is Herbert Wilf of the University of Pennsylvania.
04 / 05 / 2011
Colloquium showcases newly promoted colleagues.
This Thursday is the first of two special colloquia which will showcase the work of our newly promoted colleagues. The speakers will be Associate Professors Wen Shen and Ae Ja Yee. Each will give a short (half hour) talk, with refreshments in between the two installments.
04 / 05 / 2011
Instructors recognized for helping first-year students.
On March 21 a large number of Mathematics instructors were hosted at a First Year Experience Faculty Appreciation reception and luncheon in the Nittany Lion Inn. The instructors so honored were: Stephane Coutu, Nestor Handzy, Matthew Katz, David Koslicki, Bharath Narayanan, Christine Stachniewicz, Katarzyna Przybyla, Heiko Todt, Albena Zikatanova, Serge Ballif, Marc Fabbri, Sun Kim, Seunghoon Bang, Yanping Ma. The purpose of the program was to honor faculty members who have helped Penn State students excel during their first year. The students identified these instructors as instrumental to their success.
04 / 01 / 2011
Graduate Student Open House.
Coming up this weekend is the annual Graduate Student Open House, where we have an opportunity to meet prospective graduate students and tell them about some of the opportunities that are available in our department. Details are available from Andrew Belmonte, our Director of Graduate Recruitment.
03 / 28 / 2011
We welcome these visitors.
  • Dr. Keita Yokoyama from Tohoku University is expected to visit approximately 4/11/11-6/20/12. Professor Stephen G. Simpson is his host and his office is 308 McAllister.
  • Mr. Xiongwei Cai from University of Luxembourg is visiting 4/1/11-5/15/11. Professor Ping Xu is his host and his office is 232 McAllister.
  • Prof. Wancheng Sheng (232 McAllister), Mr Yanbo Hu (209 McAllister), Mr. Yujin Liu (234 McAllister), and Mr. Wei Xiao (234 McAllister) from Shanghai University are visiting 4/11/11-5/8/11. Professor Yuxi Zheng is their host.
  • Dr. Abed Bounemoura from IMPA is visiting 4/6/11-4/29/11. His office is 419A and his host is Distinguished Professor Vadim Kaloshin.
03 / 28 / 2011
Departmental Awards Ceremony.
On Tuesday, April 12 at 6 PM the annual Department of Mathematics Awards Ceremony will be held in 114 McAllister. This is an opportunity to honor those undergraduates who have been awarded prizes and scholarships, as well as the winners of graduate and faculty teaching awards and other distinctions. The Awards Ceremony is one of the most enjoyable of departmental occasions, and yes, there is food!
03 / 21 / 2011
Eisentraeger receives NSF CAREER award.
We congratulate Assistant Professor Kirsten Eisentraeger on the award of an NSF CAREER grant. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is an NSF-wide activity that offers the Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
02 / 19 / 2011
Chowla Research Assistant Professorship.
Aaron McMillan has accepted our offer of a Chowla Research Assistant Professorship. Dr. McMillan is a student of Alan Weinstein at Berkeley who works on Poisson geometry, especially problems related to the embedding of Poisson manifolds.
02 / 07 / 2011
Srikrishnan to receive University-wide teaching award.
Mr. Vivek Srikrishnan will receive the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award. Vivek joins a long line of outstanding graduate teaching assistants in our department who have received this University-wide award.
01 / 31 / 2011
Conference on Undergraduate Research in Mathematics.
On November 4-5 the Penn State Mathematics Department will host its 2011 Conference on Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. This conference will showcase mathematical research by undergraduate students through 15-minute contributed talks. Financial support is available. For more information and to register, please go to If you have any questions, please send email to or contact the conference coordinators, Professors Diane Henderson and James Sellers.
01 / 25 / 2011
Marker Lectures.
Marker Lectures The Marker Lectures in Mathematics for 2010-11 will be delivered in two weeks by Professor Piotr Chrusciel, Professor of Gravitational Physics, University of Austria. The schedule of talks is as follows.
  • February 7, 8 PM: “General Relativity: Mathematics and Experiment.”
  • February 8, 4 PM: “Black Holes.”
  • February 9, 4 PM: “Cauchy Problems for the Einstein Equations.”
  • February 10, 4 PM: “The Cauchy Problem on a Light Cone.”
The first lecture is intended for a general audience. All four lectures are in 114 McAllister.
01 / 24 / 2011
Dean's report on NRC rankings.
At last week’s Department Meeting we heard a very detailed and encouraging presentation from Daniel Larson, Dean of the Eberly College of Science, about the results of the recent National Research Council Survey of doctoral programs and what they mean for our department and the college. Here is the conclusion of the presentation: “There is a group of six universities clearly at the top in the basic sciences – Harvard, Berkeley, Princeton, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford. Penn State is at or near the head of the following group, and unambiguously in the top ten in the nation.”
01 / 24 / 2011
W. Li honored with Chern Prize.
At last month's International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians in Beijing, Professor Winnie Li was awarded the Chern Prize. This prize is presented every three years to mathematicians of Chinese descent who have made exceptional contributions to mathematical research or to public service activities in support of mathematics.
01 / 17 / 2011
Mazzucato wins Michler Prize.
Last month, Associate Professor Anna Mazzucato was awarded the Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize by the Association for Women in Mathematics. According to the AWM website, “Recently promoted associate professors face many challenges as they prepare to take on greater leadership in research and in the profession. The Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize will honor outstanding women at this stage of their careers.”
01 / 17 / 2011
Y. Chen hired as web programmer.
Our graduate student Yao Chen has been hired as a part-time web programmer. He will assist the Computing Systems Group with departmental web-related projects and occasionally handle some of the user requests sent to
01 / 17 / 2011
Student SIAM Chapter elects new officers.
In December 2010 the Penn State Chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics elected new officers: President, Kun Zhou; Vice Presidents, Peter Gael and Jingyan Zhang; Secretary, Qichuan Bai; Treasurer, Delin Wei; Webmaster, Dongmei Zhang. This group continues to organize seminars, including a recent one on December 7, an informal chat with distinguished professor Zuowei Shen of the National University of Singapore. Professor Shen shared his research and life experiences in Singapore and provided information about how to apply for postdoctoral positions at NUS.
01 / 17 / 2011
Hertz and Schwede join faculty.
We welcome two new colleagues who arrive this semester: Federico Rodriguez Hertz (Professor) who works in dynamical systems, ergodic theory, global analysis, and analysis on manifolds; and Karl Schwede (Assistant Professor), who works in algebraic geometry, commutative rings and homological algebra.
01 / 10 / 2011
We welcome the following visitors to the department:
  • Dr. Deborah Ajayi from University of Ibadan is visiting 1/1/11-12/31/11. Augustin Banyaga is her host and her office is 308 McAllister.
  • Prof. Livio Flaminio from University of Lille is visiting 1/10/11-2/7/11. Anatole Katok is his host and his office is 209 McAllister.
  • Prof. Stefano Luzzatto from Imperial College is visiting 1/10/11-1/16/11. His host is Yakov Pesin and his office is 232 McAllister.
  • Prof. Madeleine Jotz from EPFL is visiting 1/11/11-2/10/11. Her host is Ping Xu and her office is 332 McAllister.
  • Dr. Vaughn Climenhaga from University of Maryland is visiting 1/11/11-5/15/11. His host is Yakov Pesin and his office is 209 McAllister.
01 / 10 / 2011
Reception at Joint Mathematics Meetings.
Last week at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, Department Head John Roe hosted a reception for alumni and current members of our department.
01 / 10 / 2011
Perry to be honored by Graduate School Alumni Society.
Dr. William Perry, a Ph.D. alumnus of our department and former Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, has been recognized by the Graduate School Alumni Society with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented in a ceremony on March 26.
01 / 10 / 2011