Vinayak Agarwal and Lutz Warnke are among 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers selected to receive the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded yearly by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships honor early-career faculty whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.
Also named 2018 Research Fellow is Bilal Haider, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University.
Vinayak Agarwal is an assistant professor in School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research seeks to understand how natural products are produced, what biological forces drive their synthesis in nature, and how the knowledge can advance the well-being of humans. In particular, he is interested in the genesis of polybrominated compounds in ocean systems.
Agarwal seeks to understand how biosynthetic pathways manipulate halogens, especially bromine, to create polyhalogenated compounds, some of which are of great interest as anticancer agents. He has been at the forefront of efforts to decipher the routes for the natural production of polyhalogenated aromatic compounds by marine bacteria.
Just like synthetic chlorofluorocarbons, which are now banned because they destroy Earth’s protective ozone layer in the stratosphere, polybrominated compounds can generate halogen species that can deplete stratospheric ozone. Agarwal aims to establish the biogenic basis for oceanic bromine radical production from polybrominated compounds.
To gain a deep understanding of biosynthetic pathways, he combines chemical and biochemical approaches, including molecular biology, phylogenetic and bioinformatics analysis, microbial genetics and metagenomics, structural and biochemical enzymology, protein biochemistry, synthetic chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
“The brightest minds tackling the hardest problems, and succeeding brilliantly – Fellows are quite literally the future of 21st-century science.”
Lutz Warnke is an assistant professor in the School of Mathematics. His research area lies at the interface of discrete mathematics and probability theory. In particular, he has extensively studied various random graphs (or networks), focusing on phase transition phenomena and other fascinating properties.
In 2016, Warnke received the biennial Dénes König Prize from the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics for his contribution to the study of random graph processes. Because of Warnke’s work, theorems are now available to help mathematicians understand the behavior of a large class of discrete random graph processes close to phase transition.
Earlier, Warnke received the biennial 2014 Richard-Rado-Prize, for his outstanding dissertation in discrete mathematics, titled “Random Graph Processes with Dependencies.”
In announcing the prize, Jiri Matousek of Charles University Prague, said: “[Warnke’s] work has all the attributes one may expect from excellent mathematics: very interesting topics appealing to [a] broad audience, in this case to a community including many theoretical physicists; improved methods and new ideas that both solve old problems and new horizons; considerable depth, breadth, and technical difficulty; and last but not least, careful and accessible presentation.
“The Sloan Research Fellows represent the very best science has to offer,” said Sloan Foundation President Adam Falk. “The brightest minds tackling the hardest problems, and succeeding brilliantly – Fellows are quite literally the future of 21st-century science.”
This story was originally posted on Feb 15th, 2018 by the College of Science.
Algebraic geometers in Georgia and neighboring southern states gather at the Georgia Tech School of Mathematics on Feb. 23-25, 2018, to strengthen their growing community. The goal is to support early-career mathematicians, especially those from groups that are underrepresented in mathematics. The gathering – the 2018 Georgia Algebraic Geometry Symposium (GAGS) – will provide attendees opportunities to network and be exposed to cutting-edge developments in the field.
Classical algebraic geometry studies questions about solutions sets of polynomial equations, according to Josephine Yu, an associate professor in the School of Mathematics. Among the questions practitioners in the field ask are: What is the dimension of the solution space? What is its shape? Can we break up the solution space into simpler components? Modern algebraic geometry includes much more abstract objects, Yu says..
Algebraic geometry has connections to complex analysis, string theory, topology, number theory, and game theory. It has applications in statistics, robotics, phylogenetics, and geometric modeling.
The School of Mathematics is home to several experts in algebraic geometry: faculty members Matt Baker, Greg Blekherman, Anton Leykin, Joseph Rabinoff, Kirsten Wickelgren, and Yu; postdoctoral fellows Padmavathi Srinivasan and Philipp Jell; and senior academic professional Salvador Barone.
Baker is organizing 2018 GAGS, with assistance from Rabinoff and Yu.
The 2018 symposium in Georgia Tech is the culmination of a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (DMS-1529573) to Georgia Tech, University of Georgia (UGA), and Emory University to organize and host GAGS in rotation over three years. The symposium was held at Emory University in 2016 and at UGA in 2017.
The 2018 GAGS features the following invited speakers, including one from Germany:
- Linda Chen (Swarthmore College)
- June Huh (Institute for Advanced Study)
- David Jensen (University of Kentucky)
- Jesse Kass (University of South Carolina)
- Lek-Heng Lim (University of Chicago)
- Kristin Shaw (Technischen Universität Berlin)
- Andrew Snowden (University of Michigan)
- Padmavathi Srinivasan (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Professor Wilfrid Gangbo has been awarded the 2018-19 Chancellor’s Professorship in Mathematics at UC Berkeley.
This prestigious appointment, awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), is based on excellence in mathematical research as well as expository talents. The award includes a visiting professorship in UC Berkeley’s Mathematics department, during which Professor Gangbo will give an advanced graduate course. The School of Mathematics at GT is pleased to have spearheaded the nomination.
Click here for more information about the Chancellor’s Professorship.
Strenner will receive his award during a ceremony at the 52nd Spring Topology and Dynamical Systems Conference at Auburn University on March 15.
Congratulations go to 8 of our colleagues, who will be promoted this year as follows:
Promotion to Associate Professor
Promotion to Full Professor
versity in 1997 and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 2003.
These promotions are a result of the careful consideration of the Jr and Sr promotion committees, ACF, DOTE, RPT mentors, Faculty Affairs Administrative Specialist, and others who made invaluable contributions to our RPT processes.
Mathematics in Motion is an Atlanta Science Festival performance in which mathematicians team up with dancers to give an artistic interpretation to the public of some mathematicians and some mathematical concepts. This year's show will have an emphasis on graph theory. There will be two performances at Drew Charter School in East Atlanta. For tickets go to https://www.freshtix.com/events/mathematics-in-motion---4pm-showing or https://www.freshtix.com/events/mathematics-in-motion---7pm-showing .