Prof. Vince wins Halmos-Ford award

 

Prof. Andrew Vince together with his coauthor Michael Barnsley were recipients of a 2018 Mathematics Association of America  Paul R. Halmos – Lester R. Ford Award for their paper “Self-Similar Polygonal Tiling” . The Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Awards recognize authors of articles of expository excellence published in The American Mathematical Monthly.

The award citation read in part:  Many mathematicians are familiar with the magical beauty of Penrose tilings. These famous aperiodic tilings of the plane involve two primitive shapes: the “kite” and the “dart.” They are non-local in the sense that one cannot distinguish between the uncountably many distinct Penrose tilings based upon examining any finite region of the plane. What about similar tilings that involve only one primitive shape? This fantastic article investigates the fascinating possibilities. It begins with a careful study of the tilings that arise from the “Golden Bee,” an unusual six-sided polygon closely related to the Golden Ratio. The authors then proceed to a general construction of self-similar polygonal tilings. Remarkably, many of their polygons are irregular in appearance and some are not even convex. Nevertheless, they still manage to tile the plane in startling and unusual ways. Many examples are studied, each of which is accompanied by dazzling full-color artwork.

New Faculty

It is a pleasure for the Mathematics Department at the University of Florida to welcome 13 new members of our department this Fall hired as part of the University of Florida’s Faculty 500 initiative. Our new Assistant Professors are Dana Bartosova (Logic), Luca Fabrizio Di Cerbo (Geometry), Arnaud Marsiglietti (Probability), James Pascoe (Analysis), Sara Pollock (Numerical Analysis), and Cheng Yu (Partial Differential Equations). Our new Lecturers are Amy Grady, Ian Manly, Melissa Shabazz, Corey Stone and Alex York. The new Visiting Assistant Professors are Ethan McCarthy (Logic) and Ryan Nikin-Beers (Biomathematics).

PhD alumnus receives the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship

Our graduate alumni, Dr. Jia-Jie Zhu, has recently been awarded the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, one of Europe’s most prestigious grant awards for junior scientists. Jia-Jie received doctoral training with Prof. William Hager and is currently a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen where he working on a project in reinforcement learning (RL) and optimal control, focusing on the scalability and data efficiency in robotic control applications. A profile with more details appears on the Max Planck news pages.

Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology

The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the Simons Foundation, has launched four new centers to bring mathematical perspectives to the biological search for the ‘Rules of Life’ — the underlying principles that govern how life functions. UF Mathematics Professor Peter Bubenik is one of 14 researchers in the $10M NSF-Simons Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology. Together with Hang Lu, a biological engineer at Georgia Tech, he will use topological data analysis to summarize morphological changes in order to understand the genetic basis of phenotype. Announcements appear on the news pages of Georgia Tech, the Simons Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Florida.

PhD alumna at the NSA

Dr. Aziza Jefferson, who received her PhD under Prof. Vatter in 2015, has been featured in an article in the National Security Agencies news. While a UF grad student she was an intern in the NSA’s Summer Program for Operations Research Technology (SPORT). “Once in the internship I decided to return full time because I found that I could truly help other people by solving interesting problems. I am not only able to use my mathematical skills, but engage my interests in other fields as well.”

Professor Ngonghala Featured in Press

A recent article by Assistant Professor Ngonghala on the ecology of rural poverty has been featured in several major science news outlets. His paper, entitled “General ecological models for human subsistence, health and poverty”, is discussed in detail in the on-line versions of both Science and Nature, two of the most prominent scientific journals. For the non-experts there is also excellent profiles in the UF News and Ytori Magazine.