Research Highlights

Cutting Cakes and Splitting Rent – Combinatorics and Fair Division

MSRI - January 2019

How do you divide a cake fairly among several people with different preferences? How do you assign rooms and divide the rent among roommates so that no one envies the room and portion of rent paid by the other? Both of these are questions of fair-division, and mathematicians have shown that answers can be found using a combinatorial result known as Sperner’s Lemma. Sperner’s Lemma says the...

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IAS Special Year 2017-2018: Analysis and Topology on Locally Symmetric Spaces

IAS - December 2018

The subject of the special year was locally symmetric spaces. Examples of these highly symmetric objects are the hyperbolic geometries investigated by Bianchi in the 19th century (the first illustration (on the left) is from Bianchi’s 1893 paper) and a 6-dimensional space parameterizing all possible three-dimensional lattices up to rotation (the second illustration (on the right) shows such a...

Minimizing P-Frame Energy

ICERM - November 2018

Figure 1. Projections of a configuration on the unit sphere in [math]$ \mathbb{R}^6 $[/math], consisting of the coordinate axes and vertices of the inscribed hemicube; i.e., the black vertices of the cube in a black and white coloring with alternating order. The 64 total vertices of the 6-dimensional cube give 32 vertices of the hemicube; adding 12 points on the axes amounts to 44 vectors....

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SAMSI Blog: Where are you Gonna go when the Volcano blow?

SAMSI - October 2018

This article provided by Bruce Pitman, Professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Buffalo. It highlights how the practice of statistics is used to mitigate risk hazards during natural disasters, such as a volcanic eruption. One of the major hazards of volcanic activity is inundation by debris flows, block and ash...

Math careers in academia

AIM - October 2018

What is like to live the life of a math professor? There are many answers to this question, and they very much depend upon the nature of the mathematician’s institution. A professor at a private research university will have a different set of responsibilities and priorities to one at a liberal arts college, and different again, to someone at a large, state university. Differences also emerge...

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Undergraduate Proves a Conjecture in the Theory of Water Waves

ICERM - September 2018

Seung Wook So, an undergraduate participant in ICERM’s Spring 2017 program on “Singularities and Waves In Incompressible Fluids,” discovered a proof of a conjecture in the theory of water waves. The question of how steep traveling water waves can become has a long history, going back at least to Stokes [Sto47]. During the ICERM program, So studied the specific question: how steep can traveling...

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Accelerating molecular dynamics to reach unprecedented simulation times with atomistic accuracy

IPAM - September 2018

Molecular dynamics (MD), the numerical integration of the equations of motions of atoms and molecules, is one of the most powerful tools available to materials scientists, chemists, and biologists, because it provides a fully resolved view of the spatio-temporal evolution of materials. Because of its unparalleled predictive power, MD is extensively used to understand and optimize the properties...

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Why Zebrafish (Almost) Always Have Stripes

MBI - August 2018

Words by Jeff Grabmeier, Ohio State News, One of the most remarkable things about the iconic yellow and blue stripes of zebrafish is that they reliably appear at all. Zebrafish begin life as transparent embryos, with three types of pigment cells on their skin. As they develop, the pigment cells somehow manage to organize themselves almost without fail into the stripes we all...

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Data-to-Born Transform for Imaging with Waves

ICERM - August 2018

Imaging medium properties with waves is ubiquitous in geophysical seismic exploration, medical ultrasound diagnostics, non-destructive evaluation and testing of structures, radar and sonar surveying, etc. Most commonly, one obtains an image by probing the medium of interest with wave pulses emitted and recorded by an array of sensors. Typically, the image is based on the reflectivity, a...

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SAMSI Research Develops Improved Estimates of Ocean Heat Content Changes

SAMSI - June 2018

Ongoing research at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) has produced improved estimates of ocean heat content leading to a better understanding of which regions of the ocean are warming up and which ones are cooling down. This animation shows monthly vertically integrated ocean heat content anomalies for 2007-2016 using data from Argo profiling floats from the...