Department of Mathematics ¡ University of Wisconsin 
Madison ¡1999
Math Department receives NSF VIGRE Award
The Department of Mathematics has received a threeyear
$1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation within their VIGRE
program: Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical
Sciences. The VIGRE program was developed by NSF's Division of Mathematical
Sciences as a way of increasing the pipeline of domestic students going into
mathematics. Besides the demand for mathematicians at universities, there is also
a huge demand for welltrained mathematicians in industries.
The Department plans to build on its tradition of
excellence in graduate education that goes back more than 100 years, with the
successful training of approximately 950 PhDs in Mathematics who now occupy
important positions in universities and industries throughout the USA and
indeed the world. For more than 25 years it has also had a successful
postdoctoral program (the Van Vleck program), with more than 80 Mathematics
PhDs continuing their training in research and instruction under the mentorship
of established researchers and educators.
The grant provides funding for undergraduate research
and other creative experiences, graduate fellowships, and postdoctoral
fellowships. The Mathematics Department's program seeks to sustain, strengthen,
enhance, revise, and integrate the various areas of mathematics education at UWMadison:
(1) Mathematics Undergraduate Education, (2) Applied Mathematics, Engineering,
and Physics Undergraduate Program (AMEP), (3) Mathematics PhD Program within
the Department of Mathematics, (4) Applied Mathematical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Program within the Center for Mathematical Sciences, and (5)
Postdoctoral Training in Pure and Applied Mathematics.
The goals of the program include: broadening the mathematics education of undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows so that they will be able to interact better and communicate effectively with scientists and engineers, and carry out high&level mathematical research; strengthening the traditional undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral programs in core mathematics; decreasing the time to the PhD degree.
VIGRE graduate fellowships have been awarded to ten
graduate students, seven of whom are new students this year. VIGRE postdoctoral
fellowships have been awarded to two mathematicians who have just received the
PhD. Several faculty members are beginning research projects with
undergraduates that are being funded by the VIGRE grant. You can read more about
these people inside this newsletter.
Some of the highlights of our new initiatives include:
A laboratory component in one or more undergraduate
courses will be developed that will clearly illustrate the successes and
limitations of applied mathematics modeling of physical problems. The
experiments would be demonstrations carried out to clearly illustrate points
and not to train students for experimentation. Potential courses for such a
component are: Applied Dynamical Systems and Chaos, PDEs, Introduction to
Applied Mathematics, and undergraduate and graduate Fluid Mechanics.
An Integrated Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty
Research Lab in Spatial Systems will be developed. Individually and in groups,
students will study various spatial systems from combinatorial and
probabilistic perspectives, with some use of computer simulation. Research
questions that arise in faculty and postdoctoral fellows research will be
described to students who investigate these and other questions that surface in
their course of investigation. Possible participants included one or two bright
high school students, e.g. students from local high schools who are among the
winners of the Wisconsin Mathematics Talent Search.
With the effective use of VIGRE funds, we plan to
recruit quality American graduate students with offers of traineeships (VIGRE
fellowships and Teaching Assistantships); provide graduate students with a
quality graduate program, including interdisciplinary training that gives
experience in solving practical mathematical problems; reduce the timetodegree
by targeting substantial fellowship money on a small group of students who have
the potential of becoming research mathematicians at top universities and labs.
Cognizant of the fact that many graduates do not work
in academic settings, we plan to widen the scope of the current Mathematics PhD
program in the Department of Mathematics, supplying our graduate students with
the necessary experience in solving practical mathematical problems. To these
ends, we are planning to start an Applied Mathematics Consulting Project. This
would take the form of nonstandard graduate courses for mathematics graduate
students whose main goal is to set up interdisciplinary cooperation, at a
research level, between mathematics graduate students and researchers in other
fields at the University. This course will be taught for the first time in the
spring by Paul Milewski, with the help of the VIGRE Van Vlecks, Dan Knopf and
Chris Raymond. The goals of this project are to foster new connections between
researchers in mathematics and other disciplines and to encourage interaction
between mathematics graduate students and faculty in other disciplines.
A biweekly VIGRE Brownbag Seminar is meeting this
semester with participation from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and
undergraduate students. Attendance averages 25 per meeting. The format for the
first few meetings has been short talks describing oneÆs research interests or
a specific problem. We follow the ôruleö that when someone sits down after
talking, someone else gets up and starts talking. At one session, there were
four speakers: an undergraduate student, a postdoc, a faculty member, and a
graduate student!
The VIGRE program is under the leadership of Richard
A. Brualdi, Marshall Slemrod, Eric Bach, Thomas Kurtz, Paul Milewski, and Paul
Rabinowitz. The grant has been approved on scientific and technical merit for
five years, with an additional $1 million expected for years 4 and 5.
ANNUAL WISCONSIN REUNION IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
The Tenth Annual Wisconsin Reunion of Wisconsin Alumni and Friends
will take place at the annual AMS and MAA meetings in Washington, D.C. on
Friday, January 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.á
The location will be the Embassy Room, in the Omni Shoreham Hotel. As
always, there will be hors dÆoeuvres, a cash bar, and lots of interesting
talk among good friends. Last year there were more than 75 people at the
reunion. As usual, we are requesting a contribution of $5 to help defray
the costs.á We hope to see you in
Washington! 
Combinatorics of Lie Type in Madison
From June 6 to June 22, 2000, a Conference on
Combinatorics of Lie Type will be held in Madison. This conference, being
organized by Georgia Benkart, Peter Orlik, and Arun Ram, will honor Louis
Solomon for his distinguished career.
Invited speakers include: F. Brenti, M. Broue, V.
Chari, R. Charney, K. Erdmann, M. Geck, V. Ginzburg, J.C. Jantzen, A. Kleschev,
G. Lehrer, P. Littelmann, G. Lustig, O. Mathieu, A. Mathes, A. Okounkov, M.
Putcha, M. Reeder, T. Shoji, H. Terao, J. Thibon, M. Wachs, and A. Zelevinsky.
Information, including a registration form, on the
conference can be obtained, as it becomes available, at the WEB address
http//www.math.wisc.edu/~comblie/
Conference on Rings and Algebra
From September 8 to 10, 2000 , a Conference on Rings and
Algebras will take place in Madison. This conference, being organized by
Georgia Benkart and Efim Zelmanov, will honor J. Marshall Osborn for
his distinguished career.
The invited speakers for this conference are still
being determined.
More information, including a registration form, on
this conference can be obtained, as it becomes available, at the WEB address
http://www.math.wisc.edu/events/
It is a pleasure for me to write a few lines for
readers of this newsletter. As Chair I have overall responsibility for the
"smooth functioning" of the Department of Mathematics at UWMadison, a
task which may seem rather daunting. Fortunately the University of Wisconsin
has a tradition of faculty governance, hence in our department real authority
lies with the faculty, implemented through various committees. My main role is
to exercise a certain amount of "persuasion" and make sure that all the bills
get paid on time....
This system encourages a great diversity of ideas, and
we have no uniform view on research or teaching. Our colleagues are nonconformists,
individualistic and downright stubborn  but we wouldn't have it any
other way. The "department" is the collective aggregate of numerous individual
efforts, which are constantly changing and interacting. This allows us to
engage in meaningful and substantive discussions within a traditionally amiable
collegial setting. We do, however, all share the basic goals of total
intellectual honesty and the relentless pursuit of knowledge  perhaps
the two most essential components of any mathematical endeavor.
In this issue of the newsletter you will read about
recent activities here in Madison. I hope that you will find it interesting and
informative. As you will see, our department has taken important steps in
renovating its research and teaching programs. We will be facing important
challenges in replacing our distinguished older faculty (who have been retiring
in large numbers), but this will also be an exciting opportunity to shape the
department for years to come.
I hope that as a former student or simply as a friend
of Wisconsin mathematics you will keep in touch with us, either in writing or
by stopping by. For those of you who have provided financial support I wish to
thank you for your generosity. Even small amounts have helped provide a "margin
of quality" here in Van Vleck and all the faculty and students are deeply
appreciative of your support.
Alejandro Adem
Chair
Department of Mathematics
Two new tenuretrack assistant professors and
one new associate professor were hired last year:
Mikhail Feldman,
a new assistant professor, received the PhD from the University of California 
Berkeley in 1994; his thesis advisor was L.C. Evans. Feldman's early education,
up to a B.A. degree, was in the Ukraine. He was a Lecturer at the University of
Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1996 and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of
California  Berkeley from 1996 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999 he was Ralph
Boas Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University.
Dr. Feldman works on nonlinear partial differential
equations of elliptic and parabolic type, specifically on variational and
geometric evolution problems, viscosity solutions, regularity for elliptic and
parabolic systems and free boundary problems. He also works on Monge's mass
transfer problem and its application to PDE. Mikhail joined us in Madison this
fall and is a wonderful addition for our program in Partial Differential
Equations.
Ken Ono, a
new associate professor with tenure, received the PhD in Mathematics from the
University of California  Los Angeles in 1993, with a thesis written
under the supervision of Basil Gordon. He spent one year at the University of
Georgia, one year at the University of Illinois at Urbana&Champaign, and
two years at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton before assuming a
tenuretrack assistant professorship at the Pennsylvania State University
in 1997. Dr. Ono is on leave this year and will join us in Madison beginning
with the fall 2000 semester. Ken is a 19992001 Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation Research Fellow and also has received a 19982004 NSF Career
Award (which combines research with educational activities). This year he was
selected as one of the twentyfour 1999 David and Lucile Packard Fellows.
The Packard Fellowship is a five year award totaling $625,000. Since the
inception of the Packard Fellowships, Ken is the 11th mathematician and the 7th
UWMadison faculty member to have received a fellowship.
The Number Theory Foundation, a nonprofit organization
which provides private research support for research in number theory and which
typically funds conferences, decided this year for the first time to award a
Number Theory Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Ken won the right to offer
the position, a two year postdoctoral fellowship (with a possible extension to
a third year) which comes with a teaching load of two courses per year.
Ono's primary research interests are in number theory.
He works on questions related to elliptic curves, modular forms and partitions.
His recent work on partitions, which he describes as "breaking a number up into
sums" has led to surprising new perspectives on the deeper structure of
connections between partitions and more complicated abstract objects in
arithmetic geometry. With the recent solution of the 350 year old "Fermat's
Last Theorem" problem, number theory has solidified its position as one of the
most publicly visible areas of mathematics. Modern applications of number
theory to reliable transmission of information (errorcorrecting codes)
and the secure transmission of information (cryptography) have brought new
urgency to research in number theory.
Patrick Speissegger, a new assistant professor, received the PhD from the University of Illinois in 1996 with a thesis in the area of model theory and its applications to real algebraic geometry, written under the supervision of L. van den Dries. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Fields Institute in Toronto in 199697. Since 1997 he has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, with a six months leave spent at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley) in 1998. At Toronto, Patrick is credited with turning around a "moribund" thirdyear logic course (aimed at students not specializing in mathematics).
Dr. Speissegger's research lies in the general areas
of model theory and real algebraic geometry. The notion of ominimal
expansion of the field of real numbers provides a suitable setting for studying
generalizations of the theory of semialgebraic sets, and he is interested in
finding new explicit examples of such expansions.
During his years as a graduate student at the
University of Illinois, Patrick constructed two such examples in joint work
with Lou van den Dries. Both expand the structure of globally subanalytic sets
and define the exponential function; moreover, one of them also defines the
Riemann zeta function on all real numbers greater than 1, while the other
defines the Gamma function on all positive real numbers.
More recently, building on work by Alex Wilkie as well
as by JeanMarie Lion and JeanPhilippe Rolin, he showed that any ominimal
expansion R of the field of real numbers has in turn an ominimal
expansion P(R), called the Pfaffian closure of R, that is closed under taking
solutions to Pfaffian equations. He is currently working with JeanMarie
Lion and Chris Miller, to study further properties of such Pfaffian closures of
ominimal structures. Patrick will join us in Madison for the spring
semester of the current academic year.
The total number of new faculty hired in the last five years is now ten:
Yongbin Ruan, Paul Milewski, Leslie Smith, Fabian Waleffe, Eleny Ionel,
James Propp, Arun Ram, Mikhail Feldman, Ken Ono, and Patrick Speisseger.
With many more new faculty to be hired in the next several years, there
are a lot of changes taking place in Van Vleck Hall.
Van Vleck Visiting Assistant Professors
Five recent PhDs accepted threeyear
appointments this past year as Van Vleck Assistant Professors: Markus
Banagl, Dan Knopf, Rajesh Kulkarni, Christopher Raymond, and Bo Su.
In addition, Jonathan Pakianathan who had been a Lecturer for two years
accepted a oneyear appointment as a Van Vleck Assistant Professor. Anne
Shepler, who has a twoyear NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, also
received a halftime Van Vleck Assistant Professor appointment for the
academic years 200001 and 200102.
Markus Banagl
received the PhD from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in 1999
with a thesis "Extending Intersection Homology Type Invariants to nonWitt
Spaces" written under the direction of Sylvan Cappell. His research interests
are in extending generalized Poincare duality and intersection homology to nonWitt
spaces.
Dan Knopf
received the PhD from the University of Wisconsin  Milwaukee in 1999.
His thesis, under the direction of Kevin McLeod, was titled "Quasiconvergence
of the Ricci flow." His research interests are in PDE and differential
geometry, particularly geometric evolution equations  the nonlinear heat
equations which give rise to curvature flows. His area of first interest is the
Ricci flow. Dan is one of our VIGRE Van Vlecks, being partially supported by
the Department's VIGRE Grant from NSF.
Rajesh Kulkarni
received the PhD in 1999 from Indiana University. His thesis "Clifford algebra
of binary forms" was written under the direction of Valery Lunts. His research
interests are in representation theory of quantized deformations of algebras,
geometric approach to Azumaya algebras and Brauer groups, and number theory
related to these issues. Rajesh is spending the fall semester at MSRI
(Berkeley) on a fellowship and will join us in the spring semester.
Christopher Raymond received the PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1999 from Northwestern
University where his advisor was Bernard Matkowsky. The title of Christopher's
thesis was "Melting Effects in Condensed Phase Combustion with Applications to
Combustion Synthesis of Materials." His research interests are in combustion
modeling where he uses techniques of asymptotic/singular perturbation analysis
of nonlinear parabolic systems, combined with numerical simulations using
adaptive Chebyshev pseudospectral methods. Chris is also a VIGRE Van Vleck,
being partially supported by the Department's VIGRE Grant from NSF.
Bo Su also
received the PhD in 1999 from Northwestern University. His thesis title was
"Existence of L\infty solutions for HamiltonJacobi equations,"
and his advisor was GQ. Chen.
His research interests include HamiltonJacobi equations, compressible NavierStokes
equations, hyperbolic conservation laws, and MongeKantorivich mass
transfer problems.
Jonathan Pakianathan, who has been at UWMadison since 1997, received the PhD from
Princeton University in 1997. His advisor was William Browder. His research
interests are in algebraic topology, group cohomology, Lie algebras, and group
actions. Recently he provided a striking counterexample to a conjecture of A.
Adem that the highest torsion in the integral cohomology of a finite pgroup
should occur infinitely often. He has been a very successful and popular
teacher here for two years.
Anne Shepler
received the PhD from the University of California  San Diego in 1999
with a thesis "Semiinvariants of finite reflection groups" written under
the direction of Peter Doyle. Her research interests are in geometry and
algebra, specifically finite reflection groups, invariant theory, and
hyperplane arrangements. Anne has received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship (her
mentor is Peter Orlik) and is concentrating on research this year. In 200001
and 200102 she will be teaching halftime as a Van Vleck Assistant
Professor.
Four assistant professors were promoted to associate
professor with tenure. They are Paul Milewski, Fabian Waleffe, James Propp,
and Arun Ram. In addition Associate Professor Yongbin Ruan has
been promoted to (full) Professor.
Paul Milewski
received a PhD in Applied Mathematics from MIT in 1993 and wrote a thesis under
the direction of David Benney. After two years as Gabor Szego Assistant
Professor at Stanford University, where his mentor was Joe Keller, he joined UWMadison
as Assistant Professor in 1995. Paul was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in
199799 and a UWMadison Lilly Teaching Fellow in 199798.
Under the latter he developed a course in Applied Dynamical Systems; in this
course, he successfully introduced the use of computers for visualization, with
the students using programs that he developed for mathematical
experimentation. That course is now a regular part of our offerings.
Dr. Milewski is an applied mathematician specializing
in asymptotic and numerical methods in fluid mechanics and wave propagation.
His goal is to understand complicated physical phenomena using mathematical
analysis and scientific computation. Paul has developed a new isotropic
equation for three dimensional water waves and has found striking new phenomena
for vortical flow in deep and shallow water. With colleague JeanMarc
VandenBroeck, he classified the possible singularities which can arise
on a freesurface; new axisymmetric singularities and a generalization of
the Stokes angle were found. They also did a numerical study of the generation
of gravity capillary solitary waves at the front of an object moving below a
free surface. Recently, he has been working on nonlinear waves in several
dimensions, developing novel numerical schemes to compute solutions of the
equations.
Fabian Waleffe
received the PhD in Applied Mathematics from MIT in 1989. He was a Postdoctoral
Research Fellow at the Center for Turbulence Research (Stanford University)
from 1989 to 1992. He then returned to MIT as Lecturer (199294) and
Assistant Professor (199498). He came to UWMadison as an
Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Engineering Physics in spring of 1998.
Dr. Waleffe's primary research area is fluid dynamics,
and he focuses on issues related to the phenomenon of turbulence. He is
interested in computational, perturbative, and rigorous approaches to the
problem, as well as in developing simple models of the main processes. More
generally, his interests are in physical dynamical systems with applications in
mechanical and aerospace engineering and geophysics. FabianÆs current research
aims at elucidating the onset of turbulence in shear flows, such as flows in
pipes and channels. He has identified a nonlinear process that appears to be the
main ingredient responsible for the bifurcation of shear flows and the
maintenance of turbulence. This process, suggested by a massive amount of
experimental visualizations of "coherent structures." He formulated that
selfsustaining
nonlinear process and demonstrated its plausibility through careful analysis.
One of his current objectives is to fully characterize the bifurcations that
lead to a turbulent flow. Dr. WaleffeÆs appointment is 75% in mathematics
and 25% in engineering physics (College of Engineering).
After receiving the PhD in 1987 from the University of
California  Berkeley, James Propp spent one year as a Visiting
Professor at the University of Maryland and two years as an Adjunct Assistant
Professor at Berkeley. He was on the faculty at MIT from 1990 to 1998 (with
leave at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley in the falls
of 1992 and 1996). Jim was appointed assistant professor at UWMadison
beginning with the 199899 academic year but spent the 199899
academic year as a Visiting Scholar at MIT, working on a book on the Solution
of FermatÆs Last Problem and continuing with his research program.
Propp's research is broad and interdisciplinary. He
has made contributions to probability (Markov processes, ergodic theory),
combinatorics (plane partitions, number theory, graph theory, mathematical
games), random tilings, and integer programming. His work combines many
subfields of mathematics and impacts Computer Science and Statistical
Mechanics. Together with his student David Wilson, Jim invented an algorithm
known as Coupling From The Past. This simple and beautiful idea leads to a
means of obtaining reliable samples from the (exact) stationary distribution of
a Markov chain. A second major area to which Propp has contributed is random
tilings. These problems arise in statistical mechanics and the study of
quasicrystals.
Propp and others proved a conjecture about the deterministic limiting shape of
a random tiling of a planar region called the Aztec Diamond. Their result is
that there is a region of complete order and a region of random orientation,
and that the boundary between the phases is exactly circular.
In addition, to his research, Jim has a multifaceted
teaching record. At MIT he worked extensively in his Tiling Lab with
undergraduates, who produced good and publishable mathematics. Since joining us
in Madison for the fall semester this year. he is laying the foundation to
recreate this Lab here in Madison. As a way of getting to know undergraduates
(and for undergraduates to know him), he is taking an active role in the Undergraduate
Math Club. Next June, Jim will be an invited speaker at the Formal Power Series
& Algebraic Combinatorics (FPSAC) Conference held at Moscow State
University in Russia.
Arun Ram
also became an assistant professor at UWMadison beginning with the 199899
academic year. He received the PhD in 1991 from the University of California 
San Diego, spent one year at MIT on an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, held a Van
Vleck Assistant Professorship at Wisconsin from 1992 to 1995 (partially
supported by the same Fellowship), and was Assistant Professor at Princeton
University from 1995 to 1999. He was on leave in 199596 at the
University of Sydney with an Australian Research Council Senior Research
Fellowship. Arun joined us in Madison beginning with the fall semester of the
19992000 academic year. At Princeton he was codirector of the
Graduate Studies Program.
Dr. Ram's research is at the interface between
combinatorics and representation theory. He is an expert on Hecke algebras,
which have important connections with combinatorics, representation theory,
algebraic geometry, and number theory. He has determined the characters of the
finitedimensional Hecke algebras and Brauer algebras, constructed the
irreducible representations of affine Hecke algebras, and found a remarkable
generalization of the fundamental combinatorial notion of a Young tableau.
ArunÆs formulas for the characters of the Brauer algebra have played a critical
role in the theory of random orthogonal matrices in statistics, a topic with connections
to the longstanding problem of determining the zeros of the zeta
function.
Yongbin Ruan
received the PhD from the University of California  Berkeley in 1991.
Before joining our faculty as an Associate Professor in 1995, he was a Research
Instructor at Michigan State University (199193) and Assistant Professor
at the University of Utah (199396). Professor Ruan was awarded a Sloan
Research Fellowship (199597). In 1998 he gave an invited lecture at the
International Congress of Mathematicians.
Dr. Ruan's research area is geometry & topology
and, increasingly so, mathematical physics. His presence at Madison has
contributed enormously to the vigorous renewal of our program in geometry &
topology. His work is at the forefront of one of the most active areas of
mathematical research. Yongbin is founder of a new and important theory called
quantum cohomology, which is used to define invariants for classifying
symplectic manifolds. With AnMin Li he found the first instances of
geometric maps which induce isomorphisms or homomorphisms (preserving algebraic
structure) of quantum cohomology. The maps that they discovered belong to the
subject of birational geometry, and one of Ruan's programs is to understand the
deep relationship between quantum cohomology and birational geometry. His
second major program is the solution of two conjectures in algebraic geometry 
the Mumford conjectures concerning characterization of rational surfaces in
higher dimensions by purely cohomological conditions. These conjectures fit
into RuanÆs quantum cohomology theory, and their solution may lie in physics,
which is the origin of quantum cohomology.
Melinda Certain Granted An Indefinite Appointment
Melinda Certain
(PhD 1974, R. Askey), who has been a Faculty Associate in the Department of
Mathematics since 1988, was recently granted an indefinite appointment. As the
name suggest, an indefinite appointment has permanent status and is for an
indefinite term; it is the analogue of tenure for academic staff appointments.
Dr. Certain is the coordinator of the very successful Wisconsin Emerging
Scholars Program (WES) whose main goal is improved success in calculus for
minorities and other groups of people which historically have been underrepresented
in advanced mathematics, science, and engineering. The program, open to all
qualified students, recruits minority and rural students (defined to be
students from small graduating classes). A major part of this recruiting takes
place in the summer when new freshmen come to Madison for the Summer
Orientation and Registration Program.
In addition to the crucial leadership role in WES,
Melinda also teaches one course each semester and engages in important outreach
activities involving area public schools. Included among these is the UW Mega
Math Meet for 5th and 6th graders in rural Dane County (outside of Madison).
Eight regional meets lead to the Mega Math Meet in Madison, typically in May,
at which eight teams vie for three trophies. The mathematics enthusiasm and
excitement at these meets is something worth experiencing. It has become
traditional for the Chair to greet the students and their teachers and to pose
a problem, requiring some insight. At the last two meets, one bright student 
much to the surprise of the chair  solved the posed problem in just a
few minutes! The student was awarded an elementary math book as a prize.
As usual, we have a number of visiting faculty this
year, who are teaching and collaborating in research with our mathematics
faculty.
Fall Semester Teaching Visitors include:
Michael Benedikt from Bell Laboratories (Naperville, Illinois). Dr. Benedikt (PhD 1993,
H.J. Keisler) is one of our recent alumni. His field of interest is
mathematical logic.
Rodney Downey
from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Professor Downey received
the PhD from Monash University (Australia) in 1982. His research area is logic
and computability theory.
Joan Hart
from the University of Dayton (Ohio). Professor Hart (PhD 1996, K. Kunen) is
also one of our recent alumni. Joan spent three years at Union College in
Schenectady (New York) as a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow. Her
fields of interest are set theory and mathematical logic.
Istvan Juhasz
of the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest).
Professor Juhasz, a frequent visitor to Madison, works on set theory and
mathematical logic.
Professors Benedikt, Downey, Hart, and Juhasz are
lecturing to graduate students in logic at different times throughout the fall
semester.
Edward Keppelmann of the University of Nevada  Reno. Professor Keppelmann (PhD
1991, E. Fadell) is also an alumnus of Madison. Ed's research field is
algebraic topology, especially fixed point theory. He is associate chair of the
Mathematics Department at Reno.
Yiming Long
of the Nankai Institute of Mathematics, Nankei University (P.R. of China).
Professor Long (PhD 1987, P. Rabinowitz) is Dean of the College of Mathematics
at Nankei University. His fields of interest include partial differential
equations, dynamical systems, global analysis, and symplectic geometry.
Ernesto VallejoRuiz of the Instituto de Matemßticas, UNAM (Mexico).
Professor VallejoRuiz received the PhD from the Heidelberg University in
Germany in 1988. His fields of interest are representation theory of groups,
algebraic combinatorics, and algebraic topology. Ernesto has also received a
Fulbright Grant from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Spring Semester Teaching Visitors include:
Sergey Bolotin
of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Professor Bolotin, a frequent visitor to
Madison  he last taught at UWMadison in 1996, received the PhD in
1982 from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Sergey's main scientific interests
lie in dynamical systems, variational methods, Hamiltonian systems, and
stability theory.
Sergey Ivashkovich of the University LilleI (Villeneuve d'Ascq, France). Professor
Ivashkovich received the PhD from Moscow State University in 1983 and the
Doctor of Science from the Steklov Institute (Moscow) in 1994. His areas of
research interest include extension properties of meromorphic and holomorphic
mappings, singularities of holomorphic bundles, and pseudoholomorphic
curves in complex and symplectic geometry.
Honorary Fellows
As usual a number of individuals have come to Madison
for all or part of the academic year to work with our faculty. Those appointed
as Honorary Fellows this year are given below, along with the dates of their
stay in Madison, their home institution, and sponsoring faculty member.
Choi, Jeongwhan, 1/20/992/28/2000,
Korea Univ. (M. Shen)
Dolfi, Silvio, Sem. 2/ 992000,
Univ. of Florence (I.M. Isaacs)
Hirschfeldt, Denis R., 8/15/999/30/99,
Cornell Univ. (S. Lempp & R. Solomon)
Imay, Martha T., 8/29/999/13/99,
Ciudad Univ., Mexico (H. Schneider)
Li, Anmin, 9/1/9912/31/99
Sichuan Univ, P.R. China (Y. Ruan).
Melian, Jorge, 3/200012/31/2000,
Univ. of La Laguna, Spain (S. Angenent)
Moreto, Alexander, 8/1/9912/31/99,
Univ. del Pais Vasco, Spain (I.M. Isaacs)
Sangroniz Gomez, Josu, 11/1/9912/5/99,
Univ. del Pais Vasco, Spain (I.M. Isaacs)
Tam, Bitshun, 8/21/999/6/99,
Tamkang Univ., Taiwan (H. Schneider)
Wieczorek, Wojciech, 7/28/997/28/2000,
(Y. Ruan)
Wolf, Thomas (PhD 1977, I.M.
Isaacs), academic year, 19992000, Ohio Univ. (I.M. Isaacs)
Zhiming, Jiang, 12/16/9912/15/2000,
E. China Univ. of Sci. & Tech., P.R. China (R. Brualdi)
Three faculty members are on sabbatical for all or
part of the academic year.
Robert E.L. Turner is on sabbatical all year studying and doing research in the
Department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Pisa (Italy). He is
working on applications of mathematics to neurophysiology. One aspect of the
work is the continuation of his project of modeling the neural control of
locomotion in the parasite Ascaris suum. Another aspect is the development of
a ôPrimer of Mathematics for Neurosciences for instructional purposes. Bob was
the Graduate Coordinator in the department for the years 199699.
Anatole Beck
is also on sabbatical all year at the London School of Mathematics (England)
where he has been a frequent visitor. He is working there on the Rendezvous
Search Problem (RSP) with Steve Alpern. The RSP involves the optimal way for
two searchers to find each other along a linear course such as a road or river.
Anatole hopes to involve undergraduate and graduate students in research on the
RSP upon his return.
Joel Robbin
will be on sabbatical in the spring semester at the ETH (Zurich) working with
Dietmar Solomon. They will be studying the relations between (phase space) path
integrals and symplectic geometry. Joel hopes to become more knowledgeable
about the interface between mathematics and physics, knowledge that he can
effectively use in his undergraduate and graduate teaching.
In addition to these sabbatical leaves, a number of
other faculty are on research leave during this academic year. Georgia
Benkart will be at MSRI (Berkeley) in the spring semester, participating in
their algebra program. Yonggeun Oh is on leave again this year,
spending the fall semester at RIMS, Kyoto University (Japan) and the spring
semester at the Korean Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) in Seoul (Korea).
JeanMarc VandenBroeck has a second year leave at the University of East
Anglia (England). Stephen Wainger will be on leave at Princeton
University in the spring semester. Robin Pemantle is on leave this year
at Stanford University.
Waiting in the grocery checkout line last
winter and reading the National Enquirer to compensate for the boredom, you may
have been surprised to come to page 51 and see the headline:
Nutty Professor Spends $720,000
To Stop Teapots from Dribbling,
with a picture of "wildhaired math professor"
JeanMarc VandenBroeck pouring a cup of tea from a dribbling (of
course) teapot.
JeanMarc, who has been on leave from UWMadison
these last two years at the University of East Anglia (Norwich. England),
studies fluid flows. This study naturally led him to the ôriddleö of why tea
dribbles down the underside of a teapotÆs spout, rather than pouring cleanly.
The $720,000 refers to the research support VandenBroeck has received
from government agencies to conduct research on fluid dynamics.
According to VandenBroeck, after spending a month applying his fluid flow techniques to studying the dribbling tea phenomenon: Tea, or any fluid, dribbles down any design or shape of pot or pouring apparatus. He discovered that the pressure in the fluid underneath the spout is very low. The fluid therefore gets pushed on to the spout by natural atmospheric pressure. Professor VandenBroeck's work applies to all fluid movement and has application to a variety of situations where liquid hits a hard surface such as the resistance of waves to a ship's hull.
This dribbling teapot story was also featured in a
WEBsite ITN Online where the following quotes occurred:
From the marketing manage of the British Tea Council:
ôWe welcome the professorÆs findings, and if he finds a cure for dribbling
teapots that would really be fantastic.ö
From a spokeswoman for china teapot makers Wedgewood:
ôThe art of pouring still tea still rests with the pourer, no matter how fine
the teapot is.ö (Obviously, this person does not appreciate the scientific
method.)
From a spokesman for Britain's Department for Trade and Industry: "If it is true, we congratulate the professor on his discovery. I am sure tea drinkers around the land tonight owe him a vote of thanks."o:p>
From the marketing communications manager of Twinings
Tea: "My family has been pondering many aspects of the fine institution of tea
drinking for 300 years, but I must confess the dribbling spout phenomenon has
not been on that agenda. But it does come as a great relief to know that we can
now sit back and enjoy a cup of tea without the frustration of wondering why
the teapot dribbles."
Is it possible to design the "perfect teapot?"
JeanMarc
thinks so but he needs to do more work to calculate the correct proportions. If
he is successful, our expectations are that he will then become Sir JeanMarc.
Our traditional Department Potluck Dinner was held on
April 24, 1999 in the ninth floor lounge of Van Vleck Hall. As usual, the
occasion was very warm and supportive, with a large turnout and a wonderful
feast of culinary creations by faculty and spouses.
The gathering also gave an opportunity to recognize
the full retirements of three longtime colleagues: Fred Brauer, Seymour
Parter, and Hans Schneider. The then chair recalled the career of
each of the retirees with some more personal remarks provided by others.
FRED BRAUER
received the PhD from MIT in 1956. He taught at the Universities of Chicago and
British Columbia before joining UWMadison in 1960. He was chair of the
Department from 1979 to 1982. He officially retired in 1996 and began
postretirement service which, to our loss, he ended early at the end of the
1998 fall
semester.
Fred's research interests have been and continue to be
in differential equations and population biology, studying and modeling
population growth, predatorprey systems, and infectious diseases. For
many years Fred was the department's connection with the biologists scattered
all over this campus. He has worked on the development of many courses in the
department, including most recently two courses on probability and dynamical
systems for biologists, courses which we believe will turn out to become
standard fare for biology. Fred has coauthored six textbooks and, in
addition, authored a research monograph. Seven students completed PhD
dissertations under his guidance.
Fred was devoted to the department and readily
volunteered to serve on committees and to teach wherever he was needed. As most
everyone knows, Fred and Esther have moved to British Columbia to be near one
of their children and family. The result is that we don't get to see Fred and
Esther as much as we'd like to. But we do expect regular visits.
Bob Wilson provided some personal remarks about Fred,
as did Carlos Castillo Chavez, FredÆs 4th PhD student, who came from the IMA in
Minneapolis with his family to be with Fred and us that evening.
SEYMOUR PARTER
received the PhD from New York University in 1958, writing a thesis under
Lipman Bers. After two years at Indiana University and three years at Cornell,
he came to Madison in 1963 with appointments in both Mathematics and Computer
Sciences. He officially retired in 1996 and did postretirement service
for three years until it ended in the fall of 1998. Seymour was chair of the
Computer Sciences Department from 1968 to 1970.
Seymour's research interests have been in applied and
computational mathematics. His research has been broad and influential
including contributions to iterative methods for the numerical solution of
PDEs, eigen and singularvalues of Toeplitz forms, one of my
favorites  analysis of Gaussian elimination using graph theory, and
norms and spectral equivalence of elliptic PDEs. I was pleased to have the
opportunity to contribute to a joint paper with Seymour during my first year
here at Wisconsin. I still have a vivid memory of that year when so many math
faculty were living in University Houses.
Seymour took on many important national
responsibilities during his long career: President of SIAM, Chair of the
Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences, and the Committee on the
Undergraduate Program in Mathematics, Managing Editor of the SIAM Journal on
Numerical Analysis, to name a few. A special issue of this journal was
dedicated to Seymour on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Thirteen students
have written dissertations under his supervision, some in Mathematics and some
in Computer Sciences.
I view Seymour as one of the wise people in the
Department who one could always count on for penetrating insight at department
meetings and other occasions. Seymour and Ruth are expert skiers, downhill and
crosscountry, with Ruth's passion for dancing complementing Seymour's
passion for running.
Jake Levin provided some personal reminiscences, and
took advantage of the chair's request to provide such remarks which included
these words: ôI must admit that you were not the first person to come to mind
in this case. But Carl de Boor is out of town and so are Marshall Slemrod and
Si Hellerstein.ö Jake's particular way to tell us he was fourth choice resulted
in great laughter.
HANS SCHNEIDER
received the PhD in 1952 at the University of Edinburgh with a thesis written,
at least nominally, under A.C. Aitken. According to Hans, he received
essentially two words of advice from Aitken: READ FROBENIUS. Those of us who
know Hans well know he took this advice to heart; he even called his computer
Frobenius. This was good advice that shaped HansÆ mathematical career. After
seven years at Queens University in Belfast, including one year on leave at
Washington State, Hans joined our mathematics department in 1959. He served as
chair of the Department from 1966 to 1968. In 1988 he was named James Joseph
Sylvester Professor of Mathematics. Hans officially retired in 1993 but
continued postretirement service which ended in the fall of 1998.
Hans has been an active and influential linear
algebraist for nearly 50 years  an enormous length of time. The
different areas of linear algebra to which he has made fundamental
contributions are many: nonnegative matrices, Mmatrices, norms,
numerical ranges, combinatorial and graphtheoretic matrix theory, Jordan
and spectral theory, inertia and stability theory, matrix scalings, cone
preserving maps, matrix polytopes, ... . I can't think of any more influential
or more important linear algebraist in this century.
Hans became editorinchief of the journal
ôLinear Algebra and its Applications (LAA) in 1972 and he developed it into a
major mathematics journal. He was instrumental, indeed the driving force, in
the creation of ILAS, the International Linear Algebra Society. He was the
founding president of the Society and served as president from 1987 to 1996. It
was with some trepidation that I assumed the ILAS presidency in 1996 because of
the risk involved in following in his giant footsteps.
Sixteen students have written dissertations under
Hans' guidance, with one more yet to come. Two of them, Bob Wilson and Yvonne
Nagel, are here tonight, his 7th and 9th student, respectively.
Throughout his career, Hans has enjoyed enormous
support from his wife Miriam. She has managed to give this and at the same time
have a remarkable career as a Madison violinist and violin teacher.
Marshall Osborn provided some anecdotes about Hans and
Miriam and their early years together in Madison.
John Nohel, being in Zurich, sent some personal and
congratulatory remarks about each of the retirees to be read at the gathering.
Each of Fred, Seymour, and Hans has contributed
immeasurably and in different but important ways to this department and our
lives in it. Each of them has been with us for nearly forty years  Fred
for 38, Seymour for 36, Hans approaching 40. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
After noting the recent and impending birthdays of the
retirees and other distinguished people present, the ôtraditionalö birthday
cake went to Mary Ellen Rudin who celebrates her 75th birthday on
December 7, 1999. A rousing rendition of Happy Birthday To Everyone (!) closed
this part of the program. The program itself closed with some remarks by Alex
Nagel, Don Passman, and Hans Schneider about the retiring chair, Richard
Brualdi.
Larry Levy,
who announced his retirement too late to be included in the festivities
reported above, retired from active teaching in May, 1999. This academic year
he is spending much of his time traveling and working with collaborators
(normally via email). He will spend one month at MSRI in Berkeley, three months
at the University of Leeds (England), and will also make shorter visits to
Italy and Mexico.
Larry Levy received the PhD in 1961 from the
University of Illinois, after receiving both a B.S. (1954) and M.S. (1956) from
the Juilliard School of Music. He began his professional mathematical career in
1961 with an appointment as Assistant Professor, becoming Professor in 1971. He
spent 38 years at UWMadison, including one year as Visiting Professor at
Wayne State University in 198990.
Larry's mathematical research has focused on the
module theory of commutative and almost commutative rings, studying in
particular, their KrullSchmidt properties and directsum
cancellation. Larry writes long papers, often over 100 pages in length. In
recent years, he has solved a number of classical problems concerning
elementary divisor theory. His interest and dedication to undergraduate
teaching is evident from the two undergraduate textbooks he wrote: "Geometry:
Modern Mathematics via the Euclidean Plane" (1970) and "Trigonometry with
Calculators" (1983). Larry was very interested in teaching in our new
multimedia classroom B130 Van Vleck Hall, and paid careful attention to details
concerning it. Fourteen graduate student theses were supervised by him. His
students remain among his favorite coauthors.
Larry is known in the Department as a gifted pianist,
and there were many occasions when we had the pleasure of hearing him perform.
We hope there will be more such opportunities.
Expected retirements this year include Phil Miles
and Marshall Osborn. Also Howard Conner has been teaching under a
postretirement teaching agreement which ends this year. In addition, Si
Hellerstein and Rod Smart whose postretirement agreements do
not end until 2001 have announced their plans to fully retire at the end of
this academic year.
Professors David Griffeath and Yongbin Ruan
have been named Vilas Associates by the Graduate School for the years 19992001.
These competitive awards provided summer salary support for two years, and
$10,000 in flexible funds each year for expenses incurred in pursuit of
scholarly activity. That brings to seven the number of such awards won by
members of the department in the four years of the Vilas Associates Program.
You can read about Yongbin Ruan in the column of this
newsletter concerning his promotion to Professor.
David Griffeath
received the PhD in 1976 from Cornell University. He came to UWMadison
in 1977 as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in
1980 and full professor in 1983. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in
198284.
David is a leader in the explosive development of the
theory of interacting particle systems. The goal of this theory is to develop
models for random spatially distributed phenomena, with motivation coming from
diverse sources such as magnetism, the spread of disease in a forest, or noise
in the transmission of a satellite photo.á
The rapid growth of the field has depended on several essential
ingredients. In his early research, David did fundamental work on the new tool
of coupling. Another ingredient has been the identification of new models. With
collaborators, he introduced cyclic particle systems which provide one of the
simplest and most striking examples of a "selforganizing" system long
sought by theoretical physicists and others. In the last decade, a third
important ingredient has been the use of computational methods to explore the
behavior of complex systems. These methods have been used by David to both
discover new mathematical phenomena and to identify productive methods for
rigorous mathematical treatment. With Bob Fisch (PhD 1988, D. Griffeath), he
has developed Windowsbased software for the simulation of particle
systems that allow one to explore complex models without specialized equipment
or sophisticated programming expertise. Together they won the 1998
EDUCOM/NCRIPTAL Award for Best Mathematics/Best Integrated Software: Graphical
Aids for Stochastic Processes (GASP). DavidÆs website the ôPrimordial Soup
Kitchenö was featured in the October 1998 issue of Science.
Donald Passman wins National MAA
Teaching Award
Donald Passman, Richard Brauer Professor of Mathematics, is one of three recipients of the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Passman was selected to be the recipient of the 1999 Distinguished Teaching Award of the Wisconsin Section of the Mathematical Association of America, and he became the Wisconsin Section's nominee for the national award. The award will be presented at the Joint AMSMAA Prize Ceremony on January 20, 2000, at the national meeting in Washington, D.C. There will be a Special Session on January 21, in which Don will give a 25minute presentation on teaching  either a short exemplary lecture on a mathematical topic or a lecture on what he perceives to constitute outstanding teaching. Don has chosen as his title "The End of Calculus."o:p>
In last yearÆs newsletter we
reported on Don's selection for the UWSystem Underkofler Excellence in
Teaching Award.
Richard Askey Elected to the National
Academy of Sciences
Richard Askey,
Gabor Szego Professor of Mathematics, was elected to the National Academy of
Sciences in April of this year.
It can be said, and indeed it has often been said,
that Richard Askey is the foremost living specialist on the theory of special
functions, perhaps even the best who ever lived. He is the ôGreat Masterö of
special functions and perhaps as no other, is responsible for the revival of
the field of special functions in the last twenty years. His work has had
extraordinary impact on a variety of fields within mathematics and on other
areas of science as well. He is an inspiring teacher and historian of
mathematics, deeply involved in current efforts to improve mathematics
education at all levels.
Thanks to the work of Richard Askey, the field of special
functions has become very central in mathematics. Special functions are objects
with extraordinary properties which allow them a wide range of applicability.
The simplest examples are the trigonometric functions. These are included in a
larger family introduced by Euler and Gauss, the hypergeometric functions,
which include most of the functions used in mathematical physics and other
areas of application.
The field of special functions (and its companion
field of orthogonal polynomials) is one of the oldest areas in mathematical
analysis. There is a vast literature concerning them, almost too large for one
person to absorb  although Askey has done the impossible and assimilated
essentially all of it! There was a time, say thirty or forty years ago, when
prevailing wisdom said that the field was played out, a backwater with nothing
important left to be done. Askey had the foresight to take up this discipline
and show that there were a wide variety of entirely new things to be done,
accompanied by a wide variety of applications. He has systematized the whole
subject of hypergeometric orthogonal polynomials; the results have been
summarized by others in a large wall chart called "Tableau d'Askey." He has
stimulated a whole generation of mathematicians to explore the connections
between his field of special functions and the rest of mathematics.
About twenty years ago, Askey began to combine his
expertise on special functions with the study of qseries, another subject
with Eulerian roots and the qanalogues of classical special functions
and orthogonal polynomials. Although qseries have some connection to
problems in number theory, for example via theta functions, or the famous
partition identities of Rogers and Ramanujuan, they too would have been
considered a backwater twenty years ago. Again Askey showed prescience in his
choice of problems. These series have come to the forefront in contemporary
mathematics: they occur for example in the character theory of infinite
dimensional (Kac&Moody) Lie algebras. In the direction of applications, qseries
have been a major force behind recent progress on exactly solved models in
statistical mechanics. There are also connections with quantum groups, a field
of intense current activity. Askey has unearthed and extended results of Rogers
which led to new families of polynomials known as the AskeyWilson
polynomials and the ôsievedö polynomials. One of the triumphs of mathematical
analysis in the last fifteen years, de Brange's proof of the Bieberbach
conjecture, rests on an inequality for orthogonal polynomials due to Askey and
his collaborator George Gasper. Askey has been a key player in the revival of
interest in Ramanujuan and has applied some of Ramanujuan's integrals to hypergeometric
and basic
hypergeometric series. In 1999 he coauthored
the book "Special Functions" (Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications,
Cambridge University Press) with George Andrews of Penn State University and
Ranjan Roy of Beloit College.
A special issue of "Methods and Applications of
Analysis" was recently dedicated to Dick Askey, on the occasion of his 65th
birthday in June 1998, with more to come. The special editors of these issues
are Mourad E.H. Ismail of the University of South Florida (and in the past a
frequent visitor to Madison) and Dennis Stanton (PhD 1977, R. Askey). To quote
from their preface: "Dick played a central role in the recent advances in multivariable
special functions and orthogonal polynomials. He formulated many conjectures
and pointed many talented people in the right directions. He always has had the
right intuition and his predictions have always been borne out. If Dick were
born in the middle ages he would have undoubtedly been condemned for practicing
witchcraft."
Richard Askey, who has been on the UWMadison
faculty since 1963, deservedly has been called a "national treasure." There is
no one else like him on the international mathematical scene.
Election to the Academy is an honor regarded as only
second to the Nobel Prize. The Department of Mathematics now has three members
in the Academy; besides Askey, Carl de Boor and Paul Rabinowitz are also
members.
On March 17, 1999, Professor
Emerita Cathleen Morawetz of the Courant Institute of NYU gave the
Fourth Wolfgang Wasow Memorial Lecture. The title of her lecture was "Variations
on the Wave Equation." Professor Morawetz provided the following description of
her lecture, which was received with great enthusiasm by faculty and graduate
students:
ôMany variations or what should
more properly be called perturbations of the wave equation may be studied by
conservation laws based on invariance properties and a well known theorem of
Emmy Noether. As a model we begin with the Tricomi equation and a
generalization that is invariant under translation in the x direction and derive
a very useful conservation law. For higher dimensions we consider some
variations that do not necessarily preserve the conservation laws but yet we
can find good estimates, decay theorems and asymptotic validity by preserving
some positivity. These include reflecting obstacles and semilinear variations.
ôFinally we come to black holes
and wave equations and the problem of finding a metric to describe a black hole
mathematically. Here we find special difficulties introduced by singularities.
Estimating becomes much harder because the perturbation to the wave equation is
also quasilinear. These properties are described using the model of
Christodoulou.ö
Dr. Morawetz was introduced with the words:
"Cathleen Synge Morawetz is a powerful mathematician
who has made pioneering contributions in partial differential equations and
wave propagation. Her work has led to practical advances in aviation 
wing design, in geometric optics  radar and sonar, and many other
applied areas.
Dr. Morawetz has spent most of her career at NYU
where she received a PhD in 1951 and is now Professor Emerita. She was
President of the American Mathematical Society in 1995 and 1996, and is a
member of the National Academy of Sciences. Recently, she was awarded the
National Medal of Science, one of only 362 scientists of all persuasions to
have been so honored since the first award in 1962 and the first woman
mathematician to be so honored.
ôWe are very pleased to welcome her back to Madison
after about a 20 year absence to give the Fourth Wolfgang Wasow Memorial
Lecture."
The Fifth Memorial Lecture will be given next spring
by L.C. Evans from UCBerkeley.
Professor Janos Kollar of the University of
Utah was the Spring 1999 Distinguished Lecturer. Professor Kollar, who is now
at Princeton University, is an acclaimed algebraic geometer. He visited the
department during the week of April 15, 1999 and gave two lectures. The first
was aimed at advanced undergraduate students and graduate students and was on
"How small can a polynomial be near infinity?" According to Yongbin Ruan, this
was "a rare opportunity for our students" to hear a lecture on such a topic by
a distinguished algebraic geometer. Professor Kollar provided the following
abstract of this talk:


Professor Kollar's second talk was titled "The
topology of real and complex algebraic varieties" of which a summary is:
"The aim of this talk is to consider to what extent the topology of an algebraic variety determines its algebraic properties. I will begin by defining algebraic varieties and surveying the basic results of Milnor, Sullivan and Thom. Then I outline the recent solutions to a conjecture of Nash in dimension three."
Robert MacPherson of the Institute for Advanced Study is the Fall 1999 Distinguished
Lecturer. He visited the department on November 1719, 1999 and gave
three stimulating talks: "Geometry of Arrangements of Subspaces", intended
especially for graduate students and undergraduates; "Topology of Modular
Varieties" to the Topology seminar; and "On Hecke Correspondences," to a
general Colloquium audience.
Professor John Milnor of SUNY at Stony Brook
gave a campus lecture on December 11, 1999. Professor MilnorÆs lecture,
ôPasting together Julia Setsö, was sponsored by the University Lectures
Committee. His many honors include: 1962 Fields Medalist, member of the
National Academy of Sciences, 1967 National Medal of Science winner, and 1989
winner of the Wolf Prize. The lecture drew such a large audience that it had to
be moved to one of the large lecture rooms in Van Vleck Hall.
The fourth annual lecture in the series related to the Elsevier journal Linear Algebra and Its Applications  the LAA Lecture  was given by Gene Golub, Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, on May 7, 1999. The title of the lecture was ôIterative Methods for Solving Linear Systems.ö Professor Golub, noted for his work in the use of numerical methods for solving scientific and engineering problems, is a former President of SIAM and a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He provided the following description of his lecture: "We discuss several problems in connection with solving linear systems. First, we consider various preconditioners for solving a variety of problems. This includes preconditioners for solving indefinite systems, and nonsymmetric problems, especially when the skewsymmetric part of the matrix is dominant. Next, we describe the use of inner and outer iteration methods for solving problems where it is not possible to solve the equations using the preconditioner exactly. We attempt to restore the rate of convergence of the problem. Finally, we analyze the convergence properties of a method when the initial vector is considered to be a random vector. We give some numerical examples."o:p>
The Fifth LAA Lecturer will be Alan Edelman of
MIT with the lecture scheduled for March 24, 2000.
In a tribute to Hans Schneider in that volume,
written by Richard Brualdi, a labeled graph was defined, motivated by the
observation that Hans has had 67 different coauthors. The HSgraph
(H,S), modeled after the wellknown Erdosgraph, has vertex set H
consisting of the set of linear algebraists (so subject to change). Two
vertices are joined by an edge in S provided their names appear together on a
joint paper. In this graph, the degree of the vertex labeled Hans Schneider has
degree (valence) equal to 67. The HSnumber of a vertex is defined to be
the length of the shortest path to the vertex Hans Schneider, abbreviated HS.
Thus, the only vertex with HSnumber equal to 0 is the vertex HS itself;
a vertex X has HSnumber equal to 1 provided X has written a paper with
HS (so there are currently 67 vertices with HSnumber equal to 1), and
has HSnumber equal to 2 provided X has not written a joint paper with HS
but X has written a joint paper with some vertex Y who has written a joint
paper with HS. The following problem was posed: Determine the connected
components of the HSgraph, and the diameter of the component containing
HS (the largest HSnumber of a vertex in that connected component).
Richard Brualdi's
60th birthday (September 2, 1999) was celebrated at the meeting of
the International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS), held in Barcelona in July
1999. On the occasion of ILAS President BrualdiÆs birthday, Alan Hoffman (IBM)
gave an invited address entitled "On Brualdi's Generalization of Gersgorin's
Theorem" Hoffman began his talk by saying that he had always been a little
jealous of the result in question because it was so simple and so elegant.
Bryan Shader (PhD 1990, R.A. Brualdi) and Hans
Schneider (UW faculty 1959) organized a minisymposium that was
very neutrally entitled "Combinatorial Matrix Theory" in order to surprise
Richard. The following former students of Richard's were among the speakers at
the minisymposium: SukGeun Hwang (PhD 1985), who spoke on some
joint work with T.S. Michael (PhD 1988), HanHyuk Cho (PhD 1988), and
Bryan Shader. Two former visitors to UW, and coauthors of Richard, also spoke
in the minisymposium: Alex Pothen (Vis. Asst. Prof. 1990  1991)
and Peter Gibson (Hon. Fellow, 19741975).
Other participants in the ILAS meeting included
Wisconsin Ph.D.Æs Bryan Cain (PhD 1967. H, Schneider), David Carlson (PhD 1963,
H. Schneider), Judi MacDonald (PhD 1993, H. Schneider), Nancy Neudauer (PhD
1998, R.A. Brualdi), and Jeff Stuart (PhD 1986, H. Schneider), and former
Wisconsin faculty members Wayne Barrett (Van Vleck Asst. Prof. 1975 
1977), Daniel Hershkowitz (Van Vleck Asst. Professor, 19831985), Michael
Tsatsomeros (Vis. Asst. Prof. 1992) and ChiKwong Li (Van Vleck Asst.
Prof. 1986  1988), who gave the OlgaTaussky/Jack Todd plenary
address, "Recent studies on the numerical range" to an audience of about two
hundred participants.
Contributed by Hans Schneider, Bryan Shader, and Jeff
Stuart
$$ FUNDS AND CONTRIBUTIONS $$ 
We hope that you will consider giving to the Departmental General
Fund at the UW Foundation, or one of the special funds also held at the
Foundation. The special funds are: Wolfgang Wasow Memorial Lecture Fund,
Stephen Cole Kleene Memorial Fund for Logic Students, Department of
Mathematics  Elizabeth Hirschfelder Fund for Graduate Women in
Mathematics, Chemistry & Physics, H. Jerome Keisler Prize for a Logic
Thesis, R. Creighton Buck Undergraduate Prize for Creativity in Mathematics.
If your employer matches contributions, then you are effectively doubling
your contribution. Donations can be earmarked for the Mathematics Department or one of
the named funds and sent to:
UW
Foundation, P.O. Box 8860, Madison, WI 537088860. 
As reported in last year's newsletter, a conference on
Singular and Oscillatory Integrals was held in Madison on January 611,
1999. The conference was dedicated to the mathematical contributions of Steve
Wainger during his distinguished career at the University of WisconsinMadison.
The organizing committee consisted of Anthony Carbery, Alexander Nagel, Andreas
Seeger, and James Wright (PhD 1990, S. Wainger). The invited speakers at the
conference included:
William Beckner, University of TexasAustin;
Michael Christ, University of CaliforniaBerkeley; Charles Fefferman,
Princeton University; Robert Fefferman, University of Chicago; Allan Greenleaf,
University of Rochester; Nets Katz, University of IllinoisChicago;
Carlos Kenig, University of Chicago; Akos Magyar, UWMadison; Detlef
Muller, ChristianAlbrechtsUniversitit Kiel; Kate Okikiolu,
University of CaliforniaSan Diego; Duong H. Phong, Columbia University; Fulvio
Ricci, Politecnico di Torino; Christopher D. Sogge, Johns Hopkins University;
Elias M. Stein, Princeton University; Wilhelm Schlag, Princeton University;
Terence Tao, University of CaliforniaLos Angeles; Guido Weiss,
Washington UniversitySt. Louis; Thomas Wolff, California Institute of
Technology; Sarah Ziesler, University College Dublin and Dominican University.
In addition, Anthony Carbery (University of Edinburgh) and James Wright
(University of New South Wales) gave lectures which were instructional in
nature and were targeted at graduate students and recent PhDs.
Participants were welcomed by the chair, whose remarks
included:
"On behalf
of the Department of Mathematics I am very pleased to welcome you to Van Vleck
Hall and UWMadison. Probably the most important information I can give
you is that the best place to buy winter parkas, boots, hats, and gloves is at
Fontana, half way down State Street. My toboggan is parked on the plaza of Van
Vleck Hall for getting down Bascom Hill. If you are interested in icefishing,
Yongbin Ruan can lend you the appropriate equipment. There are two people in
the department  JeanPierre Rosay and myself  who are crazy
enough to ride bicycles under the current conditions. The Yellow Jersey bicycle
shop, also on State Street, rents bicycles. JeanPierre and I can give
you pointers on how to bike up snowpacked hills and stop on iceslicks
(actually while riding a bicycle on an iceslick, it's best not to try to
stop).
Madison has a long and distinguished tradition in
analysis. To name a few of the outstanding analysts who have spent most of
their career here, let me mention: E. B. Van Vleck, R.E. Langer, R.C. Buck, W.
Wasow, L.C. Young, W. Rudin, and Steve Wainger whose impressive mathematical
contributions are being recognized at this conference.
Steve, who was recently named Antoni Zygmund
Professor of Mathematics, is completing his 34th year in our Math Department.
He has been and is a dedicated and loyal mathematician, colleague, and friend.
Steve is an exceptionally talented person with a big and generous heart. I
personally am very delighted to see him in the spotlight this week."
The conference opened with a talk by Alex Nagel on
"Remarks on the mathematical work of Stephen Wainger." To quote from his talk:
"Steve has worked on problems in all of the following list of areas 
series expansions in special functions, the theory of probability, function
theory in one variable, function theory in several variables, partial
differential equations, singular Radon transforms, LittlewoodPaley
theory, and number theory. ... By my count, he has collaborated on papers or coedited
proceedings with thirtyûfour other mathematicians. He has supervised sixteen
Ph.D. theses." Following a description of some of the mathematics Steve has
worked on, Alex went on to include the following comments: "Steve has an
uncanny sixth sense that seems to tell him that there is a good theorem lurking
out there. ... Steve loves and lives to share his ideas. He is personally and mathematically
gregarious ... He is an almost unbelievable mix of enthusiasm, generosity,
warmth, mathematical insight, and what, for lack of a better word, I can only
call otherworldliness."
A banquet was held in the Wisconsin Memorial Union on
January 9. Several people offered reminiscences and stories, usually
humorous, about Steve Wainger. That so many people came to a conference during
the coldest part of winter in Madison is evidence of the affection, admiration,
and respect so many people have for Steve.
On May 14, 1999, the Mathematics
Library in Van Vleck Hall was dedicated as the Stephen Cole Kleene
Mathematics Library. Taking part in the ceremony were Phillip R. Certain,
Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences and H. Jerome Keisler, Vilas
Professor of Mathematics. A new sign for the library is now in place (see
accompanying photo), and a picture of Kleene and a plaque are now displayed in
a prominent place in the library. On hand for the ceremony were Louis
Pitschmann, Associate Director for College Development of the General Library
System and Sandra Pfahler, Associate Director for Member Libraries. Also on
hand were Barbie McConnell, the new Librarian of the Kleene Math Library and
her assistant, Thomas Adeetuk. Regrettably, Shirley Shen who retired in 1998 as
Math Librarian after more than 30 years of dedicated service to our library was
unable to attend.
Stephen Cole Kleene was born on January 5, 1909 in Hartford, Connecticut.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College in 1930, and a Ph.D.
from Princeton University in 1934 under the tutelage of Alonzo Church. Kleene
first came to Madison in 1935 as an instructor and in 1937 was promoted to
assistant professor. During the next several years he spent time at the
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, taught at Amherst College, and
served in the U. S. Navy, earning the rank of lieutenant commander during World
War II. He returned to Madison in 1946, was promoted to full professor in 1948,
and remained on the faculty for the remainder of his career. He became the
Cyrus Colton MacDuffee Professor of Mathematics in 1964.
Steve built a widely acclaimed
logic group in the Mathematics Department. He served as chair of the
Mathematics Department (195758 and 196062). He also served as
chair of the Department of Numerical Analysis (now Computer Sciences)
Department (196263) and acting director of the Mathematics Research
Center (196667). Kleene was the Dean of the College of Letters and
Science from 1969 to 1974. In 1969 he was elected to the National Academy of
Sciences; in 1983 he was awarded the American Mathematical Society Steele Prize
for his seminal papers of 1955 on recursion theory and descriptive set theory.
In 1990 Steve Kleene won the National Medal of Science, the country's highest
scientific honor.
Steve Kleene was one of the
pioneers of 20th century mathematics. Beginning in the 1940's, he helped lay
the foundation for theoretical computer science. He played a seminal role in
the foundation of recursion theory, a rigorous mathematical theory of computable
functions which describes those functions that can be calculated by a digital
computer. One of the reasons for the importance of recursion theory is that it
can be used to show that some mathematical problems can never be solved no
matter how much computing power is available. Kleene wrote many very
influential papers and two books: "Introduction to Metamathematics" (1952) and
"Mathematical Logic" (1962). He was coauthor of the book "The
Foundations of Intuitionistic Mathematics" (1965).
Kleene retired from active service
at the University of Wisconsin  Madison in 1979 and was professor
emeritus until his death on January 25, 1994.
We in the Department of
Mathematics owe a lot to Steve Kleene. Steve was chair of the Building
Committee during the four years from 1958 to 1962 in which Van Vleck Hall was
planned and constructed. As he once wrote, ôbeing Chairman of the Building
Committee was a more timeconsuming job than being Chairman of the
Department.ö The 9th floor conference room in Van Vleck Hall was funded partly
by the National Science Foundation in their program for funding facilities for
science research. Steve drafted the original proposal to NSF from which we
quote:
"Mathematical research is produced
normally by a combination of active group discussion, and long hours of
concentrated and relatively isolated individual work. The rooms for these
activities are the mathematicians" laboratories, and are as important to
mathematicians as are laboratories of the commonly understood sorts to other
science departments.ö
Steve's arguments were persuasive
to NSF and they granted $50,000 which was matched by the Wisconsin Alumni
Research Foundation.
Originally, the thought was to put
the conference room on the third floor, close to the administrative offices.
Steve and the Building Committee then realized that, on the contrary, it would
be better to be as far away from the administrative offices as possible (not
something that probably took a lot of discussion!). As a result a new 9th floor
was added to the building plans. We also owe to Steve the wonderful alcove at
the northeast corner of the conference room, where a round table now sits.
According to the architects' original plans, this corner was to be the end of
the stairway with a straight wall running east with a closet "suitable for
storing folding chairs." It was Steve who realized the wonderful vista of Lake
Mendota that would be provided if the northeast corner were open. (Thanks,
Steve!)
Besides the laboratory of a place
for informal discussions and a quiet place for contemplation, the other
ôlaboratoryö for mathematicians is the library where mathematical papers and
books are archived. Of course, in our increasing reliance on electronic storage
and access, the role of the library is changing dramatically. But a mathematics
library no matter what form it may take will continue to be of paramount
importance. By naming our library the Stephen Cole Kleene Mathematics Library
we honor a person who played an important role in the development of our
department and its building.
Undergraduate Research
Four of our undergraduate mathematics majors were
chosen to participate in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) this
past summer. Suzy Reichel (a freshman) and Matt McGinley (a
sophomore) participated in an REU at Tulane University in New Orleans. Suzy
worked with James Rogers on "Continuous Images of Nonseparating Plane
Continua." Matt, who worked with Frank Tipler, did his project on "A compact
exact solution to Einstein's Field Equations in which matter escapes from black
holes."
Ryan Gantner
participated in an REU at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; the title
of his project was "Sequential and Parallel Implementations of the Lanczos
Algorithm for Symmetric Matricies" and it was under the direction of Prof.
Daniel Okunbor (computer science). Scott Simon was part of an REU at
Iowa State University. His project was titled "Scientific Computing:
Superconductivity" under the direction of Prof. Janet Peterson
Four of our undergraduates are involved with research
projects with faculty this year, under the auspices of our VIGRE grant. They
are: Lydia Diemer (A. Assadi) on modeling visual perception of
perspective in art and architecture, Ann Scheels (D. Griffeath) on
ergodic behaviour of models for emergence of traffic jams, Ryan Gantner
(R. Brualdi) on (0,1)matrices and Young tableaux, and Paul Brodhead
(S. Lempp and R. Solomon) on logic and computation theory.á
Undergraduate Math Club
The Undergraduate Math Club is off to a very enthusiastic start this academic year. Officers of the club are: Ann Scheels, President; Alex Miller, VicePresident; Katie Condon, Secretary; and Gina Olstad, Treasurer. Activities being planned include a GREStudy Group and Problems of the Week. A WEB site has been constructed (http://www.math.wisc.edu/~mathclub that contains updates on the schedule, the problems, and useful links. The first talk of the semester was given by Jim Propp on ôNumber friezes, number walls and other tabular recurrence schemes.ö Jim Propp has also given a talk on topics related to undergrad research. Marty Isaacs gave a talk with title "Dirty children, unfaithful husbands and similar problems."o:p>
Ideas for future programs include: talks by faculty,
graduate students, and undergraduate students, math games (e.g. Mafia.
Werewolves), movies (e.g. Pi), play readings, ... . Dan Shea and Jim
Propp are two faculty members who have taken an active interest in the Math
Club.
LINKS Program
The LINKS program (formerly called the Foundation
Coalition) is a cooperative program, funded by the National Science Foundation,
involving the College of Engineering and the Departments of Mathematics,
Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Statistics. This semester certain
sections of courses in math, chemistry, physics and engineering are linked, with
sections in statistics, and computer science scheduled for linking in future
semesters. Robert Wilson is part of the interdepartmental group of
organizers. Marty Isaacs, Dan Shea, and Bob are currently teaching math courses
which are participating. The program creates linked packages of sections a
student can enroll in, which promise to cooperate in everything from assignment
schedules to what and how material is covered.
Undergraduate Scholarships and Prizes
This past year our annual Graduate Student Awards
Ceremony, held on May 5, was renamed Student Awards Ceremony to include
undergraduate awards too.
The undergraduate scholarship committee (Patrick
Ahern, Gloria MariBeffa, Dan Shea (chair) and Paul Terwilliger) selected
undergraduates, who came highly recommended by faculty, for scholarships for
study at UWMadison this year.
First, Thomas Dorsey, who graduated this past
year, has won the R. Creighton Buck Undergraduate Prize for Creativity in
Mathematics ($750). Tom is in graduate school at the University of
California  Berkeley this year.
The Prof. Linnaeus W. Dowling Scholarship ($1000) went
to Jonathan Giffin.
Mark Ingraham Scholarships went to Matthew McGinley
($1000) and Ann Scheels ($500).
David Lawrence Young Memorial Fund Scholarships went
to Ryan Gantner ($1000), Scott B. Simon ($750), Eric H. Weigle
($750).
The Irma L. Newman Memorial Fund Scholarship went to Nicos
Savvaá ($500).
Math majors attend Pi Mu Epsilon conference
The math honorary society Pi Mu Epsilon has sponsored
a midwest regional undergraduate conference at St. Norbert's College in
DePere since 1986. This year's
representation from UWMadison included Matt McGinley, a thirdyear
student majoring in Math and Physics, and Geir Helleloid, a secondyear
student in Math and Computer Science.á
Matt gave a report on his undergraduate research carried out at Tulane
University last summer in astrophysics; he chose the catchy title "How to
escape from black holes and live forever" to describe this work.
Geir spoke on some problems in the
"Evaluation of integrals arising in groundstate energy calculations;"
these integrals arose in his summer work in a chemistry project at UWEau
Claire.
Research projects for undergraduates seem to be a good way to engage talented undergraduates in active learning: they get an opportunity to apply their past course work, and are motivated to learn new mathematics, by the requirements of their research problems. There was a lot of enthusiasm at this conference, which is always wellorganized by Prof. Rick Poss of St. Norbert's.
Also attending were secondyear Math major Pavle
Juranic, grad student Winston Yang, and departmental Undergraduate
Adviser Dan Shea.á Typically,
students from schools throughout the midwest region attend, and there are good
opportunities to meet old friends.á
Keith Chavey (PhD 1991, R. Brualdi) was there with a group of his
students from UWRiver Falls. Reported by Dan Shea
New Graduate Course on
Teaching CollegeLevel Mathematics
Bob Wilson
and Steve Bauman, along with graduate student Abbe Herzig, ran a
course last spring on teaching college level mathematics. The course, being
offered as a seminar, is also being given in the fall semester of the current
academic year. Beginning with the spring semester, it will be available in the
timetable as a regular course.
The course has drawn a mixture of graduate students
and faculty/staff. Last spring quite a bit of time was spent going over
calculus reform programs, and more generally, changes being considered in
"firsttwoyears" courses, examining both the specifics of
particular reform programs and also the results of how such programs can be
evaluated. One of the topics being considered this semester is assessment of
faculty, now required at many institutions: How can we get useful information
about teaching effectiveness which is not just measuring popularity? How are
the goals for a course set? The latter is something that graduate students are
not generally exposed to in a teachingassistant role. All people
involved in the course are interested in improved teaching, but for the
graduate students expecting to work in academia, there is the additional goal
to be better prepared for the world they will be moving into upon graduation. Reported
by Bob Wilson
Wisconsin MAA Section Representatives Meet with Graduate
Students
Last winter, three representatives from the Wisconsin
Section of the MAA, Charlotte Chell (PhD 1969, J.B. Rosser) of Carthage
College, John Frohlinger of St. Norbert's College, and Aaron Trautwein also of
Carthage College, held an informal information sharing session with graduate
students on ôLife in the Real (and Complex) World û Going from Graduate Student
to Professor.ö Topics that were discussed included:
u
What different kinds of
colleges and universities might I go to?
u
What are the differences
between them regarding teaching responsibilities?
u
What are the research
and publishing expectations of different kinds of institutions?
u
What support systems are
there for young faculty?
Besides furnishing an opportunity for our graduate
students to hear what it is like to be a mathematics professor at a small
college, the session was also an information gathering one for the MAA to learn
about what kinds of support the MAA can provide to graduate students about to
start a career.
Fifteen PhDs Awarded in 1999
The new doctors, with their thesis advisor, thesis
title, and new location are listed below.
Chang, ChiaChin, M.C. Shen, Nonlinear theories of forced
surface waves in a circular basin, 2140 Meadowland Dr #202, Sheboygan WI 53081.
Hong, Sunggeum,
A. Seeger, Weak type estimates for some multipliers of BochnerRiesz
type, Global Analysis Res. Ctr., Seoul National U., Seoul 151742, Korea.
Huang, Daode,
R.A. Brualdi, Biclique partitions and generalized tournament matrices, 3203
Allen St. #203, Falls Church VA 22042. Capital One Financial Co.
Kang, Youngok,
J.M. VandenBroeck, Gravitycapillary waves in the presence
of constant vorticity, 8821 Sinmandeukdong, Bakgu, Busan
Korea 616110.
Kersey, Scott N., C. deBoor, A minimizing spline curve under nearinterpolatory
constraints, Visiting Asst Prof, Mathematics, Case Western Reserve U., 10900
Euclid Av, Cleveland OH 441067058.
Kim, Yong Jung,
A. Tzavaras, Scaling invariance and hyperbolic conservation laws, Postdoctoral
Fellow, Inst for Math & ItÆs Appl (IMA), U. Minn., 207 Church St SE,
Minneapolis MN 55455.
Liu, ChiaHsin, D. Passman, Group identities, polynomial identities and generalized
polynomial identities, Visiting Asst Prof, Applied Math., NatÆl. Sun Yatsen
U., Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan ROC.
Lotfallah, Wafik B., H.J. Keisler, Strong laws in finite model theory, Lecturer, Faculty
of Engr., Cairo U., 9 Saray St., Manial, Cairo Egypt 11451.
MedaGuardiola, Ana, P. Ney, Conditional laws and dominating points,
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).
Ozugurlu, Ersin,
J.M. VandenBroeck, The effect of surface tension on capillary
gravity waves, U. Arizona, Tempe AZ 85281.
Park, Jeng Yune,
R.A. Brualdi, The weight hierarchies of product codes and outer product codes,
Madison, WI.
Ponomarenko, Vadim, R.A. Brualdi, Some results on jump systems and RotaÆs conjecture,
Asst Prof, Dept Math, Trinity U., 607 Kings Ct, San Antonio TX 782127200.
Rho, Yoomi,
R.A. Brualdi, Progress on three problems in graph theory, (16834 Sungbugdong,
Sungbuggu, Seoul Korea) Postdoctoral Fellow, Seoul National U., Seoul
Korea.
Teixeira, Joao,
H.J. Keisler, Elliptic differential equations and their discretions, Faculty
Assistant, UWMadison, Math Dept., 480 Lincoln Dr. Madison WI 53706.
Tsai, ChungHsien, M.C. Shen, Contributions to a fifth order
model equation for steady capillarygravity waves over a bump, 103, WuChen
W. 3rd St., Taichung, Taiwan.
New Graduate Students
Twentyfive new graduate students enrolled in
the fall of 1999. Their names and undergraduate institutions are listed below.
Student  Undergraduate Institution 

AHN, JaeCheul  Seoul National U 
BISGARD, James  U. Washington 
COSSEY, James  U. of Chicago 
DE LA VEGA, Ramiro  U. Los Andes 
DEKA, Lipika  U. Cambridge 
FORRAY, Susan  Whitman College 
HOFFMANN, Jeremy  U.S. Naval Academy 
HUR, Youngmi  KAIST 
KEMPEN, Scott  Marquette U 
KERBESHIAN, Sarah  Pomona College 
KIM, Yeon Hyang  Pohang U. of Sci & Tech 
LE, Brian Dung Minh  SUNYGeneseo 
LYALL, Neil  U. Edinburgh 
MC QUISTAN, Michael  U. NebraskaLincoln 
ONDRUS, Matthew  Ripon College 
POPUNKIOV, Boian  American U. Bulgaria 
RUSHTON, Joshua  U. Idaho 
SCHOENFELDER, Neils  U. AlaskaFairbanks 
SCHULTE, Mark  St. Olaf College 
SPAETH, Peter  Penn State U. 
SUTHERLAND, Jamie  Whitman College 
TEMPLE, Kathryn  U. of Washington 
THIEM, F. Nathaniel  Macalester College 
TRIGG, Scott  Lawrence U. 
UNLU, Ozgun  Middle East Tech. U. 
WARD,  Mark Denison U. 
WEINBERG, Aaron  Williams College 
Of these students, Michael McQuistan and Kathryn
Temple were awarded by the Graduate School a twoyear WARF Prize
Fellowship. James Cossey, Susan Forrey, Scott Kempen, Michael McQuistan, Joshua
Rushton, Kathryn Temple, Neils Schoenfelder, and Aaron Weinberg have been
awarded VIGRE Fellowships (see the lead article on the new VIGRE program in
this newsletter).
Our annual Graduate Student Awards Ceremony was
renamed Student Awards Ceremony and broadened to include Undergraduate
Awards as well. The ceremony was held this year on May 5. Undergraduates
receiving awards are listed in the undergraduate section of this newsletter.
The following graduate students were recognized with an Excellence in
Teaching Award for three/four semesters of excellent teaching: Joni
Baker, Antonio Behn, Gautam Bharali, Arthur Engelman, Jeffrey Hildebrand,
Richard Karwatka, Manuel Lladser, Sangnam Nam, Narfi Stefansson, and Julia
Velikina.á Each was presented with a
certificate and a $75 gift certificate for use at the University Bookstore.
In addition, four graduate students were honored with Sustained
Excellence in Teaching & Service Awards, given in recognition of
excellence in teaching over a longer period of time and of substantial and
noteworthy service contributions to the department:
Ted Ridgway, Jorge Garcia, Simon MacNair, and Ana MedaGuardiola.
They were also presented with a certificate and a $75
gift certificate for use at the University Bookstore.
Also recognized at the ceremony were:á David Kung who received one of eight Excellence
in Teaching Award for 1999 ($1,000) from the Graduate School in a
universitywide competition. This award was presented to David on April
19, 1999. He is a man of many talents, in mathematics, the violin (he plays
with the Madison Symphony), and in teaching. He has organized our popular
Sidewalk Math and worked on several department committees. David is working on
a thesis in harmonic analysis under the direction of Professor Andreas Seeger.
Eric Egge
and Abbe Herzig were each chosen as L&S Teaching Fellow for
1999 ($700). Eric and Abbe are exceptional teachers with special pedagogical
interests and talents and gave a workshop during Welcome Week this fall. Abbe
is working on a thesis in mathematics education with Bob Wilson, and Eric with
Paul Terwilliger in algebraic combinatorics.
Abbe Herzig
and Olga Holtz were chosen to be this year's mathematics recipients of
the Hirschfelder Fund Scholarship ($1,650). This fund is made possible
by the generous contribution of Betty Sokolnikoff Hirschfelder (PhD 1930, M.
Ingraham).
Olga is writing a thesis on matrix theory under the
direction of Hans Schneider. Her paper "Not all GKK tau matrices are stable"
was recently published in which she disproved four conjectures (of Carlson
1974, Engel & Schneider 1976, Varga 1978, and Hershkowitz 1992) all at
once.
1999 FrenchFelten
Award to
Patrick Swickard Patrick
Swickard, a second year graduate student, has been selected to receive a 1999
FrenchFelten Award for Inspirational Teaching as a TA in the College
of Letters and Science. The award was established to recognize and reward
teachers at an early stage in their careers. Five or six awards are given
annually to TAs who have just completed their first year of teaching. The
award was presented to Patrick at a ceremonial dinner on October 21. 
As reported above, Abbe has just begun to work on a
thesis on math education under the direction of Bob Wilson; the topic is ôthe
intellectual culture of mathematics and its role in graduate school attrition.ö
Olga Holtz also has received a Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Dissertation
Fellowship for the 19992000 academic year. (This is the last year that
the foundation will be awarding these fellowships.)
Richard Askey
was the Lecturer at the 1999 MAA North central Section Summer Seminar held at
the University of Minnesota, Duluth on August 913, 1999. The title of
his lectures was "Counting and Calculus."
Fred Brauer
gave lectures in June at the Centro Internacional de Ciencias in Cuernavaca,
Mexico, as part of their year program in Mathematical Biology. In July he was
the principal lecturer for the Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium Summer
School in Laramie, now being organized by Bryan Shader (PhD 1990, R. Brualdi).
Fred, who is now an emeritus faculty member, has moved to Vancouver.
Franc Forstneric was elected this year as an associate member of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts (SAZU).
John Harvey
gave one of the Barrett Lectures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville this
past June. The title of his lecture was "Teachers, Technology and the 21st
Century."
Robert Wilson
recently gave a lecture at UWWaukesha in their campuswideá lecture series on issues and ideas. He
talked about what research in chaos and complex systems may have to say about
how we know things in the real world.
Many of our current Van Vleck Assistant Professors
competed successfully for NSF research grants. Included among these are second
year Van Vlecks Weimin Chen, Akos Magyar, and Sarah
Witherspoon.
Robert Wilson
and Leslie Smith are working with faculty in the College of Engineering
as it prepares for reaccreditation under the new and very different ABET2000
accreditation process.
Jack Carson
has joined the staff of the Mathematics Tutorial Program.
The Department of Mathematics recently joined the
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley as a
participating institution. It continues as a participating institution of the
Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) in Minneapolis.
Richard A. Brualdi has been elected as a Trustee of MSRI.
The UWMadison is changing its data and
reporting system from DARS (Degree Auditing Reporting System) to ISIS
(Integrated Student and Information System). Last year Robert Wilson was
one of six people from across campus who were instructors for the faculty and
staff who will be using ISIS. ISIS is currently in operation but is being
modified as difficulties with it arise. It is changing substantially the way
that the department can input and access student information.
Michael Crandall, former UWMathematics faculty member and now at the University
of CaliforniaSanta Barbara, was honored at the joint meetings in San
Antonio last January with a Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to
Research. The award was given for two seminal papers "Viscosity solutions of
HamiltonJacobi equations" (joint with P.L. Lions), Trans. Amer.
Math. Soc. 277 (1983), 142, and "Generation of semigroups of
nonlinear transformations on general Banach spaces" (joint with T.M. Liggett),
Amer. J. Math. 93 (1971) 265298. According to the citation, Mike
Crandall is one of the leaders in the world in applying abstract ideas to
concrete applications. His work has had "wide ramifications in diverse
applications, including control theory, image processing, phase field models,
front propagation, and the Perron procedure for degenerate fully nonlinear
elliptic or parabolic equations." In his response, Mike recognized his coauthors
and the "enormous impact of MRC" on the development of mathematics.
Richard C. Detmer (PhD 1972, J. Cannon)is now Professor and Chair of the Department of
Computer Science of Middle Tennessee State University.
Jacob (Jaap) Korevaar, former member of the UWMadison Mathematics
Department (195264), visited Madison the week of October 18, 1999. Jaap
spoke in the Analysis Seminar on ôChebyshev quadrature recognizes algebraic
curves and surfaces.ö
Doron Zeilberger (not a UWMadison alumnus) has an opinions webpage
(http://www.math.temple.edu/~zeilberg/OPINIONS.html).
Opinion 30 (The Math Grad Program of UWisc, Madison, Should Be Emulated)
says in part: "Have you
ever met a bad speaker who got his Math Ph.D. from Wisconsin? Or for that
matter have you ever heard a bad talk by a faculty member from Madison? I bet
you didn't. All the talks that I have heard were always excellent. It is also
clear that the speakers were very wellrounded, and had a very good
grounding in ALL of Math.
"It was Dave Bressoud who mentioned this to me back in
1985. It must be something in the chilly Madison air, or the stature of such
excellent teachers (and mathematicians!) like...
Hopefully, one day one of the Madison faculty would
write the recipe down, so that we can all enjoy the dish.ö
Gary Ebert's
(PhD 1975, R.H. Bruck) partial explanation to the "Madison phenomenon" is: "I
have always felt the same way about Madison, but of course I am biased. But
faculty there, even the very powerful ones, devote a lot of time to teaching
and take it very seriously. This makes an impression on grad students. Madison
also has a TA mentoring program that works very effectively. I probably told
you this story before. But I will never forget walking the halls of the Math
Dept in Madison, hearing Walter Rudin and R.H. Bing having a heated discussion.
Upon getting closer, I learned it was not about some abstract mathematical
question, but rather about how best to teach trigonometry! Evidently they were
both teaching trig that semester, and each felt they had the secret to best
conveying the material. At Madison, everyone (even superstars) taught beginning
courses like trig and precalculus from time to time."
Jennifer Quinn
(PhD 1993, R. Brualdi) has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at
Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Harry C. Mullikin (PhD 1968, S. Gudder) died in an auto accident on March 29, 1999. He
was William Polk Russell Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College and served
the College in many capacities including department chair and acting associate
dean of students. Five times he won an award for distinguished teaching.
William H. Row
(PhD 1969. D.R. McMillan) University of Tennessee, died on August 3, 1999. He
was Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
JOHN
A. NOHEL (October
24, 1924  November 1, 1999) Professor Emeritus John A. Nohel died
in Switzerland on November 1, 1999 at the age of 75. John was born in
Czechoslovakia and spent his early childhood there, emigrating with his
parents to the USA in 1939.á He became
a U.S. citizen in 1943 and served in the Pacific during WWII as a firecontrolman
2nd class on the U.S.S.á Yosemite. In
1948 he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington
University, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1953 under Norman
Levinson. After eight years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, John
joined our faculty at UWMadison in 1961. At Wisconsin, John was Chair of the
Department during the turbulent years of 196870. He was Director of
the Mathematics Research Center (MRC) from 1979 to 1987, and was the founding
director of the new Center for Mathematical Sciences from 1987 to 1990. In
1984 John was elected a fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. He had ten Ph.D. students, wrote more than eighty
research papers, and coauthored or edited twelve books. He retired
from active teaching in 1991 but not from an active professional life. With
great pleasure, John served as main editor of Levinson's Selected Works, a
demanding project that he completed in 1997. John's research interest initially
focused on Volterra integrodifferential equations. In later years, his
interests changed to mathematical problems in viscoelasticity and nonNewtonian
fluid dynamics. He had many collaborators, especially during his years as
Director of MRC.á For many years, John worked for
Amnesty International and helped many politically persecuted colleagues in
the mathematical community. He joined the Human Rights Commission for
Mathematicians in 1977, serving as chair from 1979 to 1981. He was an avid
supporter of young mathematicians throughout his career. Following the
ôVelvet Revolutionö he took a keen interest in young Czech mathematicians. In all his years at Wisconsin, John
had a very active professional and personal life. His zest for life and his
gregarious nature; his passionate interest in music, opera, the arts; his
love of the outdoors (hiking, skiing, ...), good food and wine; his love of
conversation, his humor, all contributed to making John the wellloved
and interesting person he was. John was preceded in death in 1988 by
his devoted first wife Vera.á In 1992,
he married Liselotte Karrer and moved to Zurich where he began a new happy
and adventurous life.á Together, John
and Liselotte traveled extensively including several trips to Madison where
they were greeted and hosted by many friends. Besides Liselotte Karrer Nohel, John
is survived by his three children and their spouses, Richard Nohel and his
wife Karen Anderson Nohel, Audrey Nohel, and Tom Nohel and his wife Lu Hong. 
VAN VLECK NOTES
is published annually by the
Department of Mathematics of the University of Wisconsin 
Madison.
