June 30, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Stavros Garoufalidis was a member of the organizing committee for the Geometry, Quantum Topology and Asymptotics Conference held June 30-July 4, 2014 at the Confucius Institute of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Professor Thang Le was an invited speaker. Other organizers included:

  • J. E. Andersen (Aarhus University)
  • R. Kashaev (University of Geneva)
  • F. Luo (Rutgers University)
  • R. van der Veen (Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, University of Amsterdam)
  • S. T. Yau (Harvard University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University)

The goal of the conference was to bring together world-class experts and young researchers in the field to discuss recent advances in the topics of

  • Chern-Simons Theory
  • Hyperbolic Geometry
  • q-series
  • Quantum Invariants
  • SYZ-Mirrror symmetry
  • Teichmueller Space
  • Volume and AJ Conjectures


July 12, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Igor Belegradek was an organizer for the annual Geometric Groups on the Gulf Coast (G3) conference. Each year it is held on the Gulf Coast at different locations. This year it was held in Pensacola, Florida March 27-30, 2014. The G3 has a very casual format to ease interaction among the participants, speakers and organizers. The conference begins with several educational talks. These are meant to be introductory talks in certain areas related to geometric group theory and intended for general audience. Other organizers include:

  • Josh Barnard, University of South Alabama
  • Ben McReynolds, Perdue University
  • Igor Mineyev, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

July 25, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Sung Ha Kang is one of the inaugural College of Sciences Cullen-Peck Scholars. The award includes $10,000 in research or travel funds.

The awards are made possible through the generosity of alumni couple Frank Cullen (BS '73 Math, MS '76 ISyE, PhD '84 ISyE) and Libby Peck (BS '75 Math, MS '76 ISyE), who wish to recognize and support faculty development within the College of Sciences.

Sung Ha received this award for her influential work on mathematical techniques for digital image reconstruction such as de-noising, de-blurring, de-jittering, colorization and image segmentation. The work of Sung Ha and her colleagues shows that mathematical insight in this area -- which is rooted in techniques from nonlinear partial differential equations, modeling and numerical analysis -- can greatly advance the application of digital imaging to medicine, space exploration and numerous other fields.

July 27, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

The 17th International Conference on Random Structures and Algorithms RS&A 2015 has selected Professor Prasad Tetali to be one of the plenary speaker at the next meeting to be held at Carnegie Mellon University July 27-31, 2015.

The conference, organized biennially since 1983, brings together probabilists, discrete mathematicians and theoretical computer scientists working in probabilistic methods, random structures and randomized algorithms. The program will consist of one-hour plenary addresses by the invited speakers and parallel sessions of 25-minute contributed talks. It will begin on Tuesday morning and end on Saturday afternoon. Other plenary speakers include:

  • Jozsef Balogh, University of Illinois
  • Amin Coja-Oghlan, Goethe University
  • Shafi Goldwasser, MIT
  • Peter Keevash, University of Oxford
  • Eyal Lubetzky, New York University
  • Andrew Thomason, Cambridge University

August 3, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Greg Blekherman is a member of the organizing committee for the SIAM Conference on Applied Algebraic Geometry to be held in Daejeon, South Korea at the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (NIMS) and Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) during August 3-7, 2015.

The SIAM Activity Group in Algebraic Geometry brings together researchers who use algebraic geometry in industrial and applied mathematics. Algebraic geometry is interpreted broadly to include at least: algebraic geometry, commutative algebra, noncommutative algebra, symbolic and numeric computation, algebraic and geometric combinatorics, representation theory and algebraic topology. These methods have already seen applications in: biology, coding theory, cryptography, combustion, computational geometry, computer graphics, quantum computing, control theory, geometric design, complexity theory, machine learning, nonlinear partial differential equations, optimization, robotics and statistics.

September 1, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Prasad Tetali is an organizer of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) Special Year on Discrete Structures. The Annual Thematic Program "Discrete Structures: Analysis and Applications" will focus on the frontier topics of discrete mathematics and its applications as well as the overlapping areas of probability and analysis.

Program workshops will span frontier topics of research in discrete mathematics (including combinatorics and optimization) and probability throughout the year. In the fall term, the program will focus on probabilistic, extremal, geometric, and enumerative aspects of combinatorics and convex and other nonlinear programming aspects of optimization. During the spring term, the focus will shift to theoretic, geometric, functional, and analytical aspects of probability and analysis.

The following workshops are scheduled:

September 11, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Wilfrid Gangbo is an organizer of the Fields special semester titled Thematic Program on Variational Problems in Physics, Economics and Geometry to be held at the Fields Institute, Toronto, Canada during September 11, 2014 through November 14, 2014. This semester is devoted to exploring the explosive developments in optimal transportation and the calculus of variations. These developments and their applications are powerful tools for problems arising in physics, economics and geometry.

Immediately following this semester's activities, the Fields Medal Symposium will take place during 17-20 November 2014 honoring the work of Fields Medalist, Cédric Villani. Wilfrid and past School of Mathematics associate, Professor Eric Carlen, are scheduled to give a presentation.


September 25, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

The 2014 speaker is Sir Vaughan Frederick Randal Jones, a New Zealand mathematician, known mostly for his work on von Neumann algebras and his famous knot polynomial. He is currently on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as a distinguished professor of mathematics.

Vaughan was awarded the Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1991, and the Fields Medal in 1990. Also in 1990 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2002, he was appointed Distinguished Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mathematics. In the Special Honours 2009, he redesignated his DCNZM to a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. Vaughan was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 1992 as a Corresponding Fellow.

His work on knot polynomials, with the discovery of what is now called the Jones polynomial, was from an unexpected direction with origins in the theory of von Neumann algebras, an area of analysis already much developed by Alain Connes. It led to the solution of a number of the classical problems of knot theory, and marked the beginning of quantum topology.

In his free time, Vaughan can be found wind surfing.

There will be two lectures. The general audience lecture will be on September 25, at 4:35 pm, in the Clary Theater, Student Success Center. The math lecture will be at 11:05 am on September 26 in Skiles 006.


Lecture 1: General Audience

How quantum theory and statistical mechanics gave a polynomial of knots

Streaming Video or Download Video

We will see how a result in von Neumann algebras (a theory developed by von Neumann to give the mathematical framework for quantum physics) gave rise, rather serendipitously, to an elementary but very useful invariant in the theory of ordinary knots in three dimensional space. Then we'll look at some subsequent developments of the theory, and talk about a thorny problem which remains open.

Lecture 2: Mathematics Lecture

Some unitary representations of Thompson's groups F and T



October 26, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

The Southeast Geometry Seminar (SGS) is a series of semiannual one-day events focusing on geometric analysis. These events are hosted in rotation by the following institutions:

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Emory University
  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

This event will be held on October 26, 2014 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The following five speakers will give presentations:

  • Sigurd Angenent (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Omer Bobrowski (Duke University)
  • Tom Ivey (College of Charleston)
  • Ken Knox (University of Tennessee)
  • Facundo Memoli (Ohio State University)

The SGS is sponsored jointly by:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville

There are NSF funds available to support travel expenses of participants. Priority will be given to current or recent Ph.D. students and postdocs. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Please email the organizers if you plan to attend and wish to request support.

For full details, check the program and schedule.


  • John McCuan and Mohammad Ghomi (Georgia Tech)
  • Vladimir Oliker (Emory)
  • Fernando Schwartz (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
  • Gilbert Weinstein and Junfang Li (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

October 31, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Professor Howie Weiss has accepted to serve a three year term on the Committee of Science Policy (CSP) for the American Mathematical Society (AMS). According to David Vogan, President of the AMS, one of the main activities of the CSP is to visit congressional offices to talk about the importance of federal funding for science. Another is to guide the AMS on broad issues regarding science policy. Hopefully, this will increase Georgia Tech's visibility in Washington.

The Committee on Science Policy serves as a forum for dialogue about matters of science involving representatives of the society, government and other interested parties. It interacts with federal agencies and policymakers and provides advice to the society on matters of broad science policy. It also conducts periodic reviews of society activities in areas of science policy and selects those elements of AMS meeting programs which bear directly on policy questions that are within the purview of the committee.


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