(April 1, 2019) The CRR team, led by Melissa Hosten and Rodrigo Gutierrez, has been awarded the Team Award for Excellence by the UA Employee Recognition Committee. The award recognizes a team for “exceptional contributions toward efficiency and effectiveness of operations,” “outstanding service to the university community,” and “special efforts in practicing inclusive excellence in the workplace.” Here is a photo of Melissa, Rodrigo, and Michael Perkins with the big check. Congratulations CRR!
(February 27, 2019) The College of Science conducted department-level climate surveys developed by the company Glint. Today we finished the last of a series of meetings with faculty and staff to discuss the findings and our response to them. Overall, the atmosphere in the department is excellent, one of the best in the college, although there are of course areas for improvement. We expect to carry out similar surveys roughly annually so that we can see whether progress is being made.
(February 27, 2019) Today marked the first meeting of a search committee for a new Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration. We hope to fill the position before the summer.
(January 26, 2019) I had the honor of making a few remarks at the opening of the annual Math Educator Appreciation Day (MEAD), sponsored by our own Center for Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (CRR). Over 600 teachers gathered for a day of professional development and community building.
(November 29-30, 2018) We're having a conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Arizona Center for Mathematical Sciences, as well as Jerry Moloney's 60th birthday.
(November 28, 2018) I am delighted to report that Misha Chertkov of Los Alamos National Laboratory will be joining us in January as Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the GIDP in Applied Mathematics. We’re looking forward to the new ideas and energy Misha will bring to Arizona.
(November 16, 2018) The University presented its strategic plan to the Regents today. There are many roles here for Math, from increasing retention and graduation to advancing research on grand challenges.
(November 7, 2018) Two of our faculty members have received major awards from the College of Science Galileo Circle: Helen Zhang was named 2019 Galileo Circle Fellow. This award "recognizes outstanding accomplishment in academic scholarship and is one of the highest honors the College of Science can bestow on its faculty.” Jason Aubrey received the 2019 Copernicus Award in recognition of his "extraordinary accomplishments that significantly advance the mission of the department and the College of Science.” Helen and Jason will each receive $5,000 and be recognized at an awards reception in December.
(October 24, 2018) Today we announced a significant fund supported by a distinguished alumnus to support innovative new ideas in research and teaching in the department. In an era of declining public support for public universities, resources such as this one will be crucial to our success.
(October 16, 2018) After a year of discussions, today we relaunched our board as the SMS External Advocacy Board. The board is divided into four working groups: Research and Internships; Communications and Outreach; Alumni and Development; and Government and K12 relations. The various subgroups will be implementing strategies to advocate for the School in these domains.
(October 9, 2018) The second season of the “Everything is Math” lecture series kicked off today with a lecture at Maynards by Shankar Venkataramani on “Flowers, sea slugs and robots: a journey through nature's geometry”
(October 7, 2018) We're very proud of the uniquely interdisciplinary Conference on Redistricting held in October with generous support from the Thomas R. Brown Foundations along with the Department, the College of Science, the James E. Rogers College of Law, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The meeting brought together scientists, jurists, politicians, journalists and citizen-activists for a very robust exchange on how districts are drawn, how to measure and counteract gerrymandering, and how to improve awareness of---and sophistication about---these issues. It was interdisciplinary work as only Arizona does it.
(September 20, 2018) Our own Donna Krawczyk has received the College of Science Distinguished Career Teaching Award. This award acknowledges Donna’s dedication and effectiveness in teaching our students over the course of a long and productive career. Congratulations Donna!
(August 20, 2018) Today is the first day of classes, and this marks the beginning of our new bachelor's degrees in Data Science. These programs are meant for students who plan to enter the workforce directly from college and want to take advantage of the many opportunties in data science. We continue to offer a prob/stat track in out Math major for those interested in graduate-level training in statistics and data science.
(August 3, 2018) I met several alumni of the department at a College of Science event at the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla. It was a lovely setting with interesting people!
(May 21-24, 2018) I participated in the inaugural TRIPODS conference on data science at Biopshere 2. The NSF-funded TRIPODS project brings together mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists, and domain scientists/practitioners to identify and solve fundamental problems in data science.
(May 9, 2018) I was honored today to say a few words to the latest class of graduates of the Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation (SMEP) program. These students leave the University ready to begin teaching careers in high school mathematics, an area where the state and the nation face critical shortages. Congratulations to the graduates and their families!
(May 8, 2018) To wind up my first year back, Debbie Himsel (Sr Leadership Advisor from HR) helped me conduct a 360 review to “take the temperature” of the department. The feedback was mostly postive and very useful. Two areas for improvement are additional communication and better integration of the instructional faculty and post-docs. We'll be working on these issues and others related to workplace climate in the coming year.
(April 11-23, 2018) My collaborator Richard Griffon visited from Basel and we began work on a paper (eventually posted here) on the diverse behaviors possible for Tate-Shafarevich groups of elliptic curves over function fields.
(April 13, 2018) We celebrated the retirement of our distinguished colleague Hermann Flaschka today at the Arizona Inn. Hermann has been a leader in the applied analysis community for decades and received the Norbert Wiener prize in Applied Mathematics in 1995.
(March 27, 2018) The 10th Daniel Bartlett Memorial Lecture on “Making Mathematics Visible” was delivered by George Hart, an interdisciplinary scholar of mathematics, computer science, art, and education, with a remarkably broad range of interests. The School of Art cosponsored the lecture, and we used their studios to build a sculpture George designed. It is now hanging in the atrium of our offices in ENR2.
(March 3-7, 2018) The 21st annual Arizona Winter School on “Iwasawa Theory” will take place this week.
(February 13, 2018) At today's faculty meeting we introduced a motion to establish two new committees, one to advise the faculty on our growing post-doctoral program and another to develop nominations of faculty and staff for awards.
(January 20, 2018) Today was the Math Educator Appreciation Day (MEAD), sponsored by the Center for Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (CRR). It was a heartwarming event meant to encourage teachers to persist in the profession and realize the CRR's mission that every student in Southern Arizona have access to a highly qualified Math teacher.
(December 7, 2017) Reflecting on my first semester back at Arizona, I am gratified by the warm welcome from across the university, and struck by the number of people willing to share their insights and ideas for the future. Over the course of the semester, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many individual faculty members in their offices and in groups at lunch. I've benefited from sage advice and detailed historical background from former interim department heads Tom Kennedy and Dan Madden. I've also enjoyed getting to know several members and prospective members of our external advisory board. We hope to restart the advisory board with new structures and new mandate early in the Spring.
(November 18, 2017) The department hosted a very successful conference to advise NSF on STEM education at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Given that UA is a science powerhouse and will soon be designated an HSI, it was a natural for us. One of the highlights was a keynote address by Congressman Raul Grijalva. Kudos to Guada Lozano for writing the grant that funded the conference and organizing the event.
(November 16, 2017) I am very happy to announce our new associate heads for undergraduate instruction and programs, all effective January 2, 2018:
- Marta Civil will be Associate Head for Entry-level Instruction
- Kevin Lin will be Associate Head for STEM Instruction
- Rob Indik will be Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs.
We are fortunate to have such wise, talented, and energetic faculty willing to administer our undergraduate courses and programs!
(November 15, 2017) The “Everything is Math” lecture series continued today with a lecture at Maynards by Janek Wehr on “Mathematics of Cooperation: Sending Swarming Microbots in a Search & Rescue Mission”
(October 18, 2017) The first “Everything is Math” public outreach lecture by Matti Morzfeld on “Probably Not: Using Mathematics, Statistics and Computers to Predict the Future” took place this evening at Maynards in downtown Tucson. We plan two such lectures each spring. (The second will be by Janek Wehr on November 15th.) This new lecture series is sponsored by our loyal alumnus and supporter Duncan Buell, and we were lucky to be able to see Duncan for the initial lecture and a dinner afterwards.
(September 22, 2017) There was a lively party (with mariachis!) today to celebrate the retirement of University Distinguished Professor William Yslas Vélez. Bill was tireless in his efforts to diversify our field and to recruit students to the mathematics major. He was presented with the President's Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring award by President Clinton in 1997.
(September 19, 2017) Today we launched a new seminar series called “Tools You Can Use” aimed at providing faculty, post-docs, and grad students with information and advice on topics ranging from grant applications to computing resources to annual review and the promotion and tenure process. Suggestions for topics are always welcome.
(September 14, 2017) The personnel committee is beginning discussions on a strategic hiring plan. The plan will identify areas of emphasis and inform our decisions about recruiting the best possible faculty, notably by thinking carefully about what “best” means to us. I hope that their deliberations will result in a report to the faculty late in the spring semester.
(August 4, 2017) Our dear friend and colleague Lena Landis passed away last night while in hospice care. Lena and Lennie Friedlander were two of the first friends Laura and I made after coming to Arizona in 1991, and we have remained friends ever since. Lena was known and beloved by all for her optimism, her generosity, her fabulous pastries, her steadfast loyalty, and her immense love for her husband Lennie. We will miss her profoundly.
(August 3, 2017) I enjoyed a lunch discussion with Paul Hoff, outgoing chair of the School of Mathematical Sciences External Advisory Board. He had lots of interesting ideas for improving the functioning of the board and advancing the interests of the School. Best wishes to Paul as he relocates to Santa Barbara.
(July 31, 2017) After 8 years at Georgia Tech, I have moved back to Tucson and the University of Arizona. It's a pleasure to be back working with old friends and getting to know promising young colleagues.
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