Virginia Math Bulletin, November 2019

Virginia Math Bulletin, November 2019

Presenting the sixth issue of the Department newsletter: 2019 Virginia Math Bulletin.

View from the Chair

The last year was an eventful one for mathematics at UVa. We had a big year in terms of new tenured/tenure-track faculty. Two new assistant professors, Evangelia Gazaki and You Qi, joined our ranks, and we were also very fortunate to be able to recruit Ken Ono as the Thomas Jefferson Professor of Mathematics. Evangelos Dimou is joining our general faculty team that is focused on renewing our calculus program. Read ahead for profiles of all of our new faculty, as well as our new postdocs Bruno Braga, Anna Pun, and Charlotte Ure. It is particularly meaningful for me as chair to see the new faculty begin to shape the department and to assume their role as mentors for the next generation of mathematicians.

This year, we are gearing up for a major expansion of our postdoc program. One component of this relates to our ambitious plans to extend our smaller-class, interactive model for calculus to our applied calculus sequence. Smaller class sizes means more instructors, and additional postdocs will help with that. The other component relates to a large five-year NSF award to our topology-geometry group, which includes the hiring of two new postdocs each year for three years. Read ahead for an article on the new RTG grant (Research Training Grant).

Other highlights of this edition of the Virginia Math Bulletin include an article by Weiqiang Wang on his recent landmark work on Lie theory with his former student, Huanchen Bao, articles on undergraduate research projects conducted in the last year, and articles on activities of our AWM chapter (American Women in Mathematics). You can read about our Virginia Math Lectures by Fields medalist Andrei Okounkov and Pólya Prize winner Van Vu. There is an article about the career of Nat Martin, one of our emeritus faculty, who passed away this past year. He joined the department in 1959 and was a fixture here for nearly 40 years.

We are just now finishing up an intensive period of renovations to Kerchof Hall, including a renewal of our lounge and kitchen area. The Math Lounge is a dream given form, giving a place for all of us to socialize, meet, and interact. I hope that whenever you are in town, you will take the time to visit and see for yourself by joining us for one of our Tuesday/ Thursday teas. Or should I say coffees? We are testing Rényi’s claim that a mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

I am particularly grateful for the support of the larger community of graduates and former members of this department. We are looking forward to another exciting year in the department, with new discoveries, involving our very talented graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty. Please enjoy this newsletter and let us know what you think. We hope you will stay in touch and I welcome your comments and questions.

John Imbrie

Professor of Mathematics, Chair

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Last updated: Sunday, November 10, 2019