News

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

8/25/2015

By Amanda Nelson

(Aug. 24, 2015) – The University of Kentucky Department of STEM Education, under the direction of Molly Fisher (PI), associate professor and director of graduate studies, and Jennifer Wilhelm (co-PI), professor and chair, is welcoming a new cohort of undergraduate students in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

As an REU site, the STEM Education Department hosts a cohort of undergraduates who work in its research programs.

Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers.

Students are granted stipends and technology funds in order to carry out their research agendas.

8/10/2015

By Alicia Gregory, Whitney Harder

(Aug. 10, 2015) — Computer science and the St. Chad Gospels. Physics and Spanish. Math and international studies. The combination of these don't seem to make a lot of sense, but it is these interests that have shaped the undergraduate career of one UK senior.

Stephen Parsons, a computer science and international studies major, with minors in physics, Spanish and mathematics, has thrived in a range of studies during his time at UK.

He has also worked in research that merged the fields of computer science and humanities. Parsons, who is a

8/5/2015

By Guy Spriggs

(Aug. 5, 2015) — Started in the summer of 2012 as an intensive “boot camp” to help the University of Kentucky’s new students prepare for college-level calculus, the FastTrack program has become an integral part of efforts to help students transition to the college classroom and set them up for success in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum for FastTrack has expanded over the last four years, and now gives students an invaluable introduction to UK’s math, biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish and WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies). A key part of the program’s continued growth is the recent addition of FOCUS (FastTrack Orientation for College Undergraduate Success), a component built around developing the non-academic skills students need to achieve in coursework.

8/3/2015

By Sarah Schuetze

In late July the University of Kentucky hosted the International Conference in Homological Algebra. Over the course of three days, scholars from all over the world discussed “recent developments and applications of the homological methods in areas such as Commutative and Non commutative Algebra, Model Category Theory, Algebraic Geometry,” according to the conference website.

David Stone, Professor of Mathematics at Georgia Southern University, explained that homological algebra is “algebra, but not the algebra you learn in high school. It’s much more abstract. Algebra provides the tools we need to compute solutions to many problems from other branches of mathematics and the sciences. It is also of interest for its internal structure—homological algebra explores

7/8/2015

By Whitney Hale

(July 8, 2015) — University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that a seventh UK student has been named a recipient of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the prestigious program.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State

7/7/2015

By Whitney Harder

(July 7, 2015) — Two recent University of Kentucky graduates, Michael Delfino and Samantha Dougherty, are among only 34 high school mathematics and science teachers in the U.S. named to the 2015 cohort of Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSF) teaching fellows.

Michael Delfino’s calling took him from firmware engineering at Lexmark International to the classroom, where he will begin his first year teaching math to high school students. Delfino earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from UK in 2011 and a Master of Arts in secondary mathematics education from UK in 2015.

"It is exciting to see Michael, who has the technical skill to work for any of the top software companies, honored with this national

7/1/2015

By UK Provost Timothy Tracy

At the University of Kentucky, our work is deeply rooted in a sense of community and in a spirit of partnership; we know that working together is the best way to address complex challenges.

It’s wonderful to see the impact this partnership and collaboration has upon our community members, our faculty and our students. It’s a great pleasure of mine to share these stories.

Take as an example, among many, Computer Science professor Brent Seales’ research. Seales and his team of undergraduate research assistants contributed to an international collaboration to decipher and analyze 2,000-year-old scrolls, using an innovative computer software tool. The group traveled to Paris, France this summer to work with a world-renowned papyrologist, who is learning to use the software, and to present their work at Google Paris, where Seales was a

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