A&S Math Professors Receive Simons Foundation Grants

By Nathan Antetomaso
Five professors from the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences have received Simons Foundation Collaboration Grants for Mathematics. UK Department of Mathematics faculty members Richard Ehrenborg, Heide Gluesing-Luerssen, Margaret Readdy, Zhongwei Shen and Martha Yip will each receive five-year $35,000 grants.
The grants will fund travel and visitors that aim to support the "mathematical marketplace" by "substantially increasing collaborative contacts between mathematicians."
Professor Ehrenborg works in the area of combinatorics. His current research focuses on pattern avoidance in permutations using analytic tools, topological spaces associated with partitions, and polytopes and their stratified analogues. All three areas reflect his interdisciplinary approach to mathematics. Ehrenborg was the first Royster Research Professor in the UK Department of Mathematics and has held multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency. The first year of the Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant will fund travel for Ehrenborg to visit and work with scholars Richard Stanley at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mark Goresky at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and Michelle Wachs at the University of Miami.
Professor Gluesing-Luerssen’s research interests are in algebraic coding theory, which lies at the interface of algebra and information theory. Coding theory aims to design powerful mathematical tools for the protection of information against disturbances during data transmission such as communication via cell phone, internet or digital TV. Gluesing-Luerssen will use the Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant to collaborate with researchers from Switzerland on analysis and design of subspace codes.
Professor Readdy's research is in algebraic combinatorics, an interdisciplinary area of mathematics which focuses on enumerative questions from algebra, topology and discrete geometry. This is the second five-year Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant Readdy has been awarded. For the 2016-17 academic year, she will attend a research conference and workshop at the Clay Mathematics Institute at Oxford University, visit the Combinatorics group at the Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, and visit colleagues at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.
Professor Shen’s research interests are in the areas of harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. His Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant will fund research on homogenization of partial differential equations with highly oscillating coefficients, which are used to model composite and perforated materials. The grant will support Shen’s collaborations with researchers at the University of Chicago, New York University and several universities in China.
Assistant Professor Yip’s area of study is algebraic combinatorics. Her current research is focused on two projects. Yip has collaborated with Radmila Sazdanovic of North Carolina State University to develop a modification of an algebraic construction called Khovanov homology and associated it to a graph invariant X_G, called the chromatic symmetric function. This could lead to new ways to approach problems which have remained open for more than 20 years. Her second project focuses on a family of symmetric functions called Macdonald polynomials. Currently, Yip and Arun Ram of the University of Melbourne are studying a generalization of the well-known Weyl character formula for Macdonald polynomials.
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