News

11/18/2016

By Jenny Wells

David Jensen, an assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, received funding this fall from the National Science Foundation for his research in algebraic geometry, a central topic in mathematics with applications to many other disciplines.

Jensen will use the three-year, $136,000 grant to study the geometric properties of curves that are described by polynomial equations. Many natural phenomena of interest in physics, biology and computer science can be modeled by polynomials, making algebraic geometry a useful tool for the scientific community at large. While some curves may have exotic or pathological properties, it is

9/26/2016

By Jennifer T. Allen

An Arts & Sciences math professor is founding editor-in-chief of a math education blog for the American Mathematical Society focused on providing mathematicians with commentary and resources regarding teaching and learning.

“My reason for starting the blog was to provide a source of high-quality information regarding mathematics teaching and learning for members of the American Mathematical Society, given that there are currently many changes taking place in mathematics education at the post-secondary level,” said Ben Braun, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kentucky.

Launched in June 2014, the blog has received more than 190,000 unique page views and currently has an editorial board of seven mathematicians located across the U.S.  The blog focuses on postsecondary and

9/13/2016

Work of UK Professor Arturo Sandoval along with three of his students, Erin Eldred, Mathematics Department Manager Christine Levitt, and Josh Richards will be on display at the Living Arts and Science Center from September 9 to to November 1, 2016. There will be a reception from 5 to 8pm on Friday, 16 September as part of Gallery Hop, 

8/30/2016

By Jenny Wells

Qiang Ye, University of Kentucky professor of mathematics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and develop new algorithms for solving linear algebra problems that will address accuracy problems in computer arithmetic.   The three-year, $225,000 grant will allow Ye and his team to develop new methods to more accurately compute eigenvalues of large matrices, a computation that has many scientific and engineering applications such as Google search page ranking, structure design, image processing and circuit simulations.   Large-scale computations of this nature are often inherently ill-conditioned, according to Ye, which implies their results may suffer from loss of accuracy caused by round off
7/20/2016

UK alumni Bruce Hughes received the 2015 Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Vanderbilt University. The Jeffrey Nordhaus Award is given by the College of Arts and Sciences at Vanderbilt University to recognize faculty who have excelled in teaching undergraduates.

Bruce Hughes received his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1981 under the direction of Tom Chapman.

7/19/2016

UK Mathematics Alumni Aleams Barra served as the team leader for the 2016 International Math Olympiad team from Indonesia. The six members of the Indonesian team earned three silver medals and three bronze medals. The team finished 20th in the unofficial team rankings.

Aleams earned his Ph.D. at Kentucky under the direction of Heide Gluesing-Luerssen in 2012.

6/6/2016
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
5/19/2016

by Guy Spriggs

In organizing its spring 2016 information meeting for majors, the UK Department of Mathematics solicited faculty to give the closing address. Professor Richard Ehrenborg volunteered, but suggested a less traditional approach.

“I said I wasn’t going to give a talk,” he recalled. “I was going to do a show.”

Instead of giving a lecture on new developments in the field or solving complex equations on the chalkboard, Ehrenborg led volunteers and spectators through tricks involving playing cards and simple geometric shapes. In short order, he was able to predict a single card’s location in a shuffled deck and prove that 168 and 169 are actually equal to each other.

But these were no mere sleight of hand illusions – as Ehrenborg points out, these intriguingly simple tricks all demonstrate valuable mathematical principles. These efforts are also

5/11/2016

John Tolle has been named the DuBois Educational Foundation Educator of the Year. Tolle received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 1996 and has taught at Penn State DuBois since 2008. 

4/26/2016

By Terrence Wade

(April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are proud to have Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek on campus this week as he delivers his lecture “Some Intersections of Art and Science.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will cover topics of profound reasons rooted in the nature of human cognition and perception and why art and science have a lot to offer one another. Wilczek will display some important historical examples of their synergy and point out some emerging opportunities. Several striking images will be an integral part of the presentation.

Wilczek is one of the world's

4/22/2016

By Jenny Wells

(April 22, 2016) — Female students are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM), but a group of women at the University of Kentucky are trying to change that.

In partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Kentucky branch, a group of UK students, faculty and staff have launched the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative this semester, bringing together over 160 female student ambassadors to encourage the study of STEM and health care among women at UK and empower them to persist in those fields.

“Time and time again we hear and read about the challenges and barriers women in STEM have overcome to get where they are today,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, an associate

4/21/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 

4/4/2016

Corrine Elliott was awarded a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship.  The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields. This prestigious scholarship was awarded to only two students in the state of Kentucky.

Elliott is an undergraduate chemistry and mathematics major at the University of Kentucky and conducts research under the guidance of Prof. Susan Odom and Prof. Chad Risko in the Department of

2/22/2016

By Deb Weis

(Feb. 19, 2016) – Creative and innovative University of Kentucky students from across campus will pitch their business concepts at the UK Venture Challenge Saturday, Feb. 20, at the UK Athletics Auditorium in William T. Young Library. The student teams are competing for $3,000 in scholarship prizes and the right to represent UK at the state competition, Idea State U.

The public is invited to attend the presentations, which will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 20. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m.

There is even a way the public can be involved in the Venture Challenge. The most popular student venture, as decided by online voting, will receive a $50 prize. Voting closes at midnight Feb. 19, the night before the challenge begins.

“The annual UK Venture Challenge competition

1/16/2016

Liam Solus has been awarded a National Science Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship to work with Petter Brändén at Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan in Stockholm. The research program will investigate the combinatorial convex geometry of real-rooted polynomials and their multivariate generalizations, the (real)-stable polynomials. In recent years, interest in stable polynomials and their associated geometric objects has surged following the introduction of hyperbolic programs to convex optimization and the hyperbolic exponential families to statistics. Stable polynomials have even played an important role in the solutions to long-standing open problems such as the

12/16/2015

By Jenny Wells

(Dec. 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky bestowed its greatest honor — the awarding of an honorary degree — to UK alumnus Matt Cutts.  The 1995 graduate was recognized with an honorary doctorate of engineering during the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 18.

Cutts has become well known as one of Google’s first 100 employees and has headed the company’s Webspam group since 2004. Cutts’ leadership has resulted in safer web searching for families and children, improved ranking schemes, and "search encryption."

A native of Morehead, Kentucky, Cutts was awarded a Singletary Scholarship to attend UK in 1990. He graduated with a double major in 1995, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science and mathematics.

While at UK, Cutts achieved a sparkling academic record, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, receiving a Gaines

11/18/2015

The Department of Mathematics hosted the sixth edition of High School Math Day on 7 November 2015. High School Math Day is an event to encourage high school women to pursue the study of mathematics. The event was featured in an article in Kentucky Teacher posted on 17 November 2015.  This year's Math Day was organized by David Murrugarra and Martha Yip with the assistance of colleagues and students. The College of Engineering assisted by providing access to the Raymond Student Commons in the Ralph G. Anderson Building.  

9/30/2015

By Guy Spriggs

(Oct. 12, 2015) – Yitang Zhang - the mathematician who solved the bounded gap problem and spent many hours studying in University of Kentucky Libraries in the '90s - will deliver this year’s Hayden-Howard Lecture, hosted by the UK Department of Mathematics, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 15.

The event will take place in Room 110 of the White Hall Classroom Building.

The Hayden-Howard Lecture Series was established in 2001 to bring renowned research mathematicians to UK. The lecture was established by a friend of the Department of Mathematics and is named in honor of retired faculty

9/23/2015

By Whitney Hale

(Sept. 23, 2015) — The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) has selected University of Kentucky senior Robert Cass, of Lexington, as one of this year's 38 recipients of the prestigious $10,000 scholarship. The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math.

For more than 30 years, the ASF has identified and supported the best and brightest undergraduate students pursuing educations in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields across the nation. The Astronaut Scholarship is known for being among the most significant merit-based scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM students. Candidates must be nominated by faculty of the

9/10/2015

Math Movie of the Month (M^3) returns to campus with the showing of Counting from Infinity: Yitang Zhang and the Twin Prime Conjecture at 7:30pm on Friday, 18 September 2015 in White Hall Classroom Building, room 118. Yitang Zhang will be visiting the University of Kentucky in October to give the Hayden-Howard lecture

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