Virginia Math Bulletin, June 2016

Virginia Math Bulletin, June 2016

Presenting the third issue of the Department newsletter: 2016 Virginia Math Bulletin.

View from the Chair

The articles in this newsletter reflect the tremendous activity we had in the department during the academic year. It was an amazing year for us. The year began by welcoming to the department three new faculty: Thomas Koberda, Paul Bourdon, and Aseel Farhat. In the winter and spring we had an extremely active hiring season. As a result, five new faculty will be joining the department in 2016-17. Jennifer Morse comes as a Full Professor in Combinatorics, Julia Bergner as an Associate Professor in Algebraic Topology, and Juraj Foldes (PDEs), Francesco Di Plinio (Harmonic Analysis), and Sara Maloni (Low-Dimensional Geometry) join us as Assistant Professors. We welcome new post doctoral fellows: Axel SaenzRodriguez in Probability, and Ramanujan Santharoubane in Topology. We also welcome new staff member Allison Boese.

This year marked the start of anticipated changes in our undergraduate program as well. Our Distinguished Majors Program was reorganized and revitalized into a more robust experience. Under the direction of Paul Bourdon, our new Director of Lower Divisional courses, next year we will be beginning our movement toward smaller and more interactive Calculus classes. Two of our graduate students, Peter Bonventre and Katelynn Kochalski, will be helping to change the way we teach our Math 1310 courses next Spring. Our major program continues to be robust and challenging. This year we had what may be a record of nine of our majors being elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Work on Kerchof Hall continues. Last summer the front of Kerchof was completely redone, while this summer we have many offices being renovated. Our faculty sustains its excellence. Leonid Petrov won the Moscow Math Prize, while Ben Webster has been promoted to Associate Professor, won the Cory Family Teaching Award, and was a Kavli Fellow – the only pure mathematician invited to attend the Kavli Symposium at the National Academy of Sciences. Karen Parshall was elected to the important Nominating Committee of the American Mathematical Society and next year puts another hat on, becoming Chair of the History Department.

Please enjoy reading about these successes and changes, as well as other articles on ”Citizen Science”, on John Berman’s experiences helping train the U.S. Olympiad team last summer, about the activities of our Math Club, about our distinguished lecture series in the Institute of Mathematics, and about the activities of our alumni.

Craig Huneke

Marvin Rosenblum Professor of Mathematics

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Date published: Wednesday, June 1, 2016