Zijian Li was nominated by the mathematics faculty to be this year's Outstanding Senior. The award was presented to Zijian by Department Head Andy Bennett at the annual Friends of Mathematics banquet. Zijian works with Professor Hrant Hakobyan and has been supported by the I-Center, as well as by an Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Award. In April 2015, Zijian traveled to Rolla, MO, with a group of faculty and students from KState, and gave a talk in the First Annual Meeting of SIAM Central States Section, titled "Pointwise quasisymmetric minimality of Gibbs-Like Measures". Next Fall Zijian Li will be pursuing graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Kansas State University student Aaron Messerla, junior in mathematics, Manhattan, is a Goldwater scholar honorable mention. Messerla has an active research project and after completing his undergraduate studies, plans to attend graduate school and study pure mathematics. Messerla is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He also is a mathematics department I-Center Scholar and a member of the university's Concert Band and Cat Band. He has received a College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship, Putnam Scholarship, Fort Riley Combined Scholarship, James R. Foster Jr. Memorial Arts and Sciences Scholarship, Thomas L. and Elouise J. Miller Scholarship for Excellence in Mathematics, Riley County 4-H Foundation Scholarship and the Mary Lou Gibbs State 4-H Scholarship. A 2012 graduate of Riley County High School, Riley, he is the son of Dave and Dawn Messerla, Manhattan.
Eight Kansas State University students have placed highly in the Putnam competition. The Mathematical Association of America has released results from the 75th annual Putnam Mathematical Competition, the most prestigious mathematics contest for undergraduates at colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. The Kansas State University team finished in the top 20 percent of the 577 colleges and universities and 4,320 students that participated in the competition. The university team also had one member who placed in the top 22 percent in the competition: Fernando Roman, senior in mathematics, Toa Alta, Puerto Rico.
Five Kansas State students placed at the top in the 2015 S. Thomas Parker Mathematics Competition: Aaron Messerla, mathematics major, took first place. Three students tied for second place: Nicholas Donohoue, mathematics and physics major; Jessica McCall, mathematics and biology major; and Natasha Graham, physics major. Finally, Sarah Featherstone, chemical engineering major, took third place. Awards will be presented Tuesday, April 14 at the annual Friends of Mathematics Banquet. Each Parker competition winner will receive a cash award and two certificates: a personal certificate and a framed certificate for the student organization of his or her choice that honors the achievement.
A K-State team comprising Max Goering, Joshua Klarmann, and Aaron Messerla placed second in the Kansas Collegiate Mathematics Competition, held at Fort Scott Community College on March 27-28, 2015, in conjunction with the 100th meeting of the Kansas Section of the MAA. Max Goering also presented his paper "Inventory accumulation and quadrangulations of the sphere" at the meeting, for which he received a $50 prize.
The first annual Central States Mathematics Undergraduate Research (CeSMUR) Conference took place at K-State on February 27-28, 2015. CeSMUR, a joint project of Kansas State University and Truman State University, will annually provide undergraduates who are engaged in mathematical research projects the opportunity to present their work to peers and faculty from Kansas, Missouri, and neighboring states.
Messerla, a sophomore in mathematics and music, is working with David Auckly, professor of mathematics, on a dance program that depicts a specific class of geometric shapes using ropes. He is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He also is a mathematics department I-Center Scholar and a member of the university's Concert Band and Cat Band. He has received a College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship, Putnam Scholarship, Fort Riley Combined Scholarship, James R. Foster Jr. Memorial Arts and Sciences Scholarship, Thomas L. and Elouise J. Miller Scholarship for Excellence in Mathematics, Riley County 4-H Foundation Scholarship and the Mary Lou Gibbs State 4-H Scholarship. A 2012 graduate of Riley County High School, Riley, he is the son of Dave and Dawn Messerla, Manhattan.
Dave Auckly is collaborating with Hee Jung Kim, Paul Melvin, and Danny Ruberman to better understand the structure of surfaces in four-dimensional spaces. In a paper to appear in the next issue of the Journal of the London Math Society they describe pair of embedded spheres that may be continuously deformed into each other, but crinkles must appear at some point in the deformation. When a worm-hole is added to the space, the spheres may be deformed into each other without crinkles at some point in the deformation.
Auckly and his collaborators will make several extended visits to the American Institute of Mathematics over the next few years to extend this research.
Professor Auckly has another puzzle in the New York Times NumberPlay this week, see here. The story of the puzzle is about trading sheep in the Navajo Nation. This puzzle is easier than the last one he contributed to NumberPlay, see here . Dr Auckly used a version of the sheep puzzle at the summer math camp that he helped run on the Navajo Nation this past summer. This particular puzzle is suitable for use with elementary school students. Indeed groups of fourth graders have had fun playing with it.
Paul Laugesen, who was commissioned by the K-State Air Force ROTC program and graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1983, received the Alumni Merit Award during the fifth annual Eisenhower Circle Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014.
Established in 2010, the Eisenhower Circle Celebration is a special event recognizing the college's alumni award recipients, student scholarship winners and loyal alumni and friends who give $250 or more to the college annually.
"Paul has excelled in his service to our nation as a defense intelligence senior executive, making him one of the university's highest-ranking government alumni," Andy Bennett said. "He is a model for our students who aspire to both academic excellence and public service."
Assistant Professor Roman Fedorov receives an NSF-DMS award to support his research on Principal bundles on local schemes and a duality for Hitchin systems.
The award, in the amount of $157,000, is a three-year standard grant starting on July 1, 2014. Prof. Fedorov is a member of the Mirror Symmetry & Tropical Geometry Research Center, also known as the M-Center.
More information on his award can be found here.
Fernando Roman, I-Center scholar supported by an Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship, has been nominated by K-State for the Rhodes and Marshall national scholarship competitions. Rhodes scholarships are awarded to 32 students each year and provide full funding for one or two years of study at Oxford University in England. Marshall scholarships are awarded to as many as 40 students each year and provide full funding for one or two years of study at most universities in the U.K. Nominees selected as competition finalists for either scholarship will interview in November.
The paper Is The List of Incomplete Open Cubes Complete?, co-authored by former K-State mathematics graduate student Michael Reb and his advisor Dr. Natasha Rozhkovskaya, will appear in the special issue "Rule-Based Design" (vol. 17, no. 3) of the Nexus Network Journal. The Nexus Network Journal is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal dedicated to relationships between architecture and mathematics. Michael Reb graduated with a Master Degree in Mathematics in 2013. His research project was dedicated to the properties of embeddings of cubical graphs. Rozhkovskaya and Reb were able to apply this area of combinatorics to give a mathematical description of the famous artwork Incomplete Open Cubes by prominent American conceptual artist Solomon LeWitt (1928 -2007). The paper summarizes the graph theory approach to the artist's project and answers several important questions posed by art scholars several decades ago.
Goldwater recipient Max Goering traveled to the MathFest conference in Portland, Oregon, to give a presentation on his paper Modulus of Families of Walks on Graphs that he co-authored with Professors Nathan Albin and Pietro Poggi-Corradini, as well as ECE Ph.D. Faryad Darabi Sahneh. During the award banquet Goering was one of a dozen speakers, out of approximately 240 speakers, to be recognized with the 'Pi Mu Epsilon student speaker award'.
Fernando Roman, I-Center scholar supported by an Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship, has been invited to give a talk in the prestigious Young Mathematicians Conference at Ohio State University. He will present his work on backward-shift realizations of rational discrete analytic functions, performed under the supervision of Professor Dan Volok, associate director of the I-Center. Fernando will also speak at Mathfest, the national conference of the honorary mathematical society Pi Mu Epsilon. In addition, this summer, Fernando participated in the mathematics REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at MSRI, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. Together with Hadrian Quan and Michole Washington, under the direction of Victor Moll (Tulane), they have generalized a recent result of Jean Paul Allouche on infinite products in automatic sequences. Roman will present this work at the upcoming National Conference of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) in October (with funding from MSRI), as well as at the annual Joint AMS/MAA Meeting in San Antonio, in January 2015.
Professor Auckly had a puzzle in the New York Times NumberPlay this past Spring.
NumberPlay puzzles are inspired by many sources and are reported by Gary Antonick. They are generally mathematical or logical problems, with occasional forays into physics and other branches of science.
The May 26, 2014 NumberPlay is titled Dave Auckly's Crunched Charms.
Check it out
and see if you can help Dave fix his broken charm(s). Dave was inspired to create this
puzzle while writing a recent research paper on 3-manifolds. The paper has appeared
in the Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications.
I-Center scholar Zijian Li, whose work is supported by an Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Award, was invited to give a talk about his work at the upcoming Young Mathematicians Conference (YMC) at Ohio State University, August 22-24 2014. The YMC is the most competitive venue in the country for research carried out by undergraduate mathematics students. Only about 65 students are invited each year. His faculty mentor is Professor Hrant Hakobyan. Zijian Li is a senior, and plans to pursue doctoral studies in Mathematics. A transfer student from South China Normal University, he is originally from Guangzhou, China.
Professor Andrew Chermak has solved an important open problem at the interface between Algebra and Topology. His breakthrough has given rise to new tools and techniques that go under the name of 'partial groups'. Chermak's article Fusion systems and localities has appeared in ACTA MATHEMATICA, a prestigious and highly selective journal founded in 1882 by the Swedish mathematician Mittag-Leffler.
Professor Chermak, with help from K-State postdoctoral fellow Alex Gonzalez, plans to apply his new techniques to the classification theory of finite simple groups and many other open problems in algebra.
Assistant Professor Gabriel Kerr received a Collaboration Grant for
Mathematicians from the Simons Foundation Division for Mathematics and the
Physical Sciences. The grant provides 35,000 USD total for 5 years in travel
and other research expenses.
Kerr's work is in Homological Algebra, Algebraic Geometry, and Symplectic Geometry.
He plans to use this grant to strengthen the relationship between the
K-state algebra and mirror symmetry research groups with collaborators in
Austria, France and South Korea.
SUMaR 2014 Math REU will conclude on July 22 with an entirely student-organized conference. The program can be found at
More than 20 scholarly papers by a pioneering Kansas State University mathematics professor have been collected online in a single work by New Prairie Press, the publishing arm of Kansas State University Libraries.
Associate Professor Diego Maldonado receives an NSF-DMS award to support his research on A first-order calculus for the Monge-Ampère quasi-metric structure and its applications to Analysis and PDEs.
The award, in the amount of $166,000, is a three-year standard grant starting on June 1, 2014. Prof. Maldonado is a member of the Analysis research group.
More information on his award can be found here.
Pi Mu Epsilon is a national honorary society for mathematics students. It is dedicated to the promotion of mathematics and recognition of students who successfully pursue mathematical understanding.
The advisors of the Kansas State University Chapter are Dave
Auckly and Marianne Korten. The new student members inducted this spring
Max Goering, Melissa Coats, Ryan Sutton, Anna Armstrong, Fernando Roman, Aaron Messerla, Joseph Sheppard, and Joshua Klarmann.
Congratulations to these students for this honor!
David Auckly received a Mathematics Education Partnership Program grant
from the National Security Agency to support the Navajo Nations Math
Circles Project. This grant should provide $50,000 per year for the next
to support this outreach program.