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van Winter Lecture

Trapped Surfaces, Topology of Black Holes, and the Positive Mass Theorem

Einstein's theory of gravity has been a strong driving force for the current developments in both physics and mathematics. Among its wide applications, the theory successfully describes and even predicts celestial objects, such as black holes, which were previously unknown. Over the past few decades, remarkable progress has been made using advanced techniques in geometry and analysis to resolve fundamental questions in general relativity, such as the positive mass theorem, which relates to the properties of total mass in spacetime. Furthermore, this advancement has led to the astonishing realization that black holes are governed by the same mathematical principles that govern everyday objects, such as soap films. In this talk, we will discuss the mathematical models of black holes and explore their intriguing interconnections to the positive mass theorem and other problems in geometry and physics. 

For more information on this and previous van Winter Memorial Lectures, please visit

A reception will be held in the lobby outside CP 155 at 2:45 pm.

CP 155

Alumni Day Mathematics 2023

Mathematics Alumni Day at the University of Kentucky brings together students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the Department of Mathematics to celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni.

Date and location

Date: Friday, April 7, 2022

Location: CB 208

Time: 2:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Speakers / Presenters

David Cook, Jiyoon Jung, Daphne Skipper


Three UK Math Department alumni will return to UK to share their journey with current faculty, math graduate students, and undergraduate students.


Jiyoon Jung

Name: Jiyoon Jung, Marshall University

Title:  Navigating the Academic Job Search Profess: From Applications to Appointments

Abstract:  As a graduate student in the Math Ph.D. program, you may wonder how to navigate the academic job search process effectively. This talk will provide practical advice on how to search for academic jobs, prepare job application documents, and stand out as a strong applicant.

I will cover the types of job application documents, the differences between research-oriented and teaching-oriented school application preparations, the processes by which search committees select candidates, strong applicants versus weak applicants, the basic tips on how to prepare for Zoom and campus interviews, the processes involved in the campus visit of final candidates, the important points to consider once you receive an offer, and the guidance on your first year of appointment.

Throughout the talk, I will share my and colleagues' personal experiences on academic job searches, including mistakes made and lessons learned, for your academic job search journey.


Daphne Skipper

Name: Daphne Skipper, United States Naval Academy

Title:  Seeking Optimality

Abstract:  Three years post-PhD, surprises in both my personal and professional lives saw me without a job and starting a family. I will share my ensuing quest for an optimal balance between career and family, and recount my eventual climb through the ranks of academia: from teaching night classes at a local two-year technical college to earning tenure at the US Naval Academy. The discussion will visit some of the joys and challenges of teaching at a liberal arts college with a very unique mission, and include a side-trip into my recent work incorporating equity in facility location optimization.


David Cook

Name: David Cook, Google

Title:  Everything is Problem Solving

Abstract:  Whether in academia or industry, everything is--at its core--problem solving. Mathematics gives us a language to formalize problems along with general purpose tools to solve them. In this talk, I will compare and contrast my experiences in problem solving in academia and industry.




CB 208

Eaves Lecture

Title:  What, No Repeat?

Abstract: The UK Math Lab has an ongoing project of creating math quilts — be sure to visit 7th Floor Patterson Office Tower if you haven’t already seen them!  Earlier this semester, the next design was revealed to be a Conway pinwheel tiling.  Together, we’ll construct a paper prototype and discuss the mathematics behind the pattern.  Then —  hot off the press! — we’ll discuss the March 2023 discovery of an aperiodic monotile and attempt to tile the sidewalk with this “hat.”

Bio:  Alissa S. Crans has been recognized nationally for her enthusiastic ability to share and communicate mathematics.  As a professor of mathematics at Loyola Marymount University, Alissa is known for her active mentoring and supporting of women and underrepresented students.  She generates excitement about math in settings that range from public libraries and Nerd Nite Los Angeles to the National Math Festival and the National Museum of Mathematics.  Outside of math, you can find her rehearsing with the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble, running along the Venice Beach boardwalk, or on her quest to find the spiciest salsa on the Westside.

CB 110
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