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Fall 2008 - Section News

News from the Campuses of . . .

GOSHEN COLLEGE - Goshen, Indiana


Ron Milne spent his summer in Indonesia working for Mennonite Central Committee. David Housman spent his sabbatical year working with Rick Gillman on a book, Models of Conflict and Cooperation, to be used in liberal arts mathematics courses. Rick and David presented the minicourse A Game Theory Path to Quantitative Literacy at MathFest and will do a repeat at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Two of our students, Gina Richard and Jason Yoder, presented papers at MathFest, and Gina received one of the best student speakers awards. We hope to be hiring for next year a new person in mathematics and/or computer science.

INDIANA UNIVERSITY - Bloomington, Indiana


The 2008 Indiana Undergraduate Research Conference, now a state tradition, featured 22 lectures, 33 student participant, and 7 faculty (in addition to those from IU) from around the state including Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Goshen College, Wabash College, and Indiana University; details are on the web site We'll be running a program and hosting the conference again next year, with details to be posted at the above URL.     TOP



IUPUI welcomes new faculty, staff and visitors:

  • Hanxiang Peng joins the department this Fall as an associate professor.
  • Chris Mitchell joins the department this Fall as a lecturer.
  • Don Counts, Ann Fletcher, Jay Hardin, and Kurt Withey are visiting lecturers for this Fall.
  • Joon Ha, Jian Hao, Choongseok Park and Bobby Ramsey are postdoctoral fellows for the year.
  • Andrei Kapaev is a Visiting Professor for the year.

Professor Krzysztof P. Wojciechowski died on Saturday, June 28, 2008. He was born in Szczecin, Poland in 1953 and received his Ph.D. degree from the Polish Academy of Sciences under Bogdan Bojarski. He had a powerful impact on all who knew him, both mathematically and in many other ways. The main thrust of his work from the start was on the index theory of elliptic boundary value problems. His book, "Elliptic boundary problems for Dirac operators," written jointly with Bernhelm Booß-Bavnbek, established a language and provided tools for a generation of workers in the field. A central theme was the study of the space of projections that define the boundary conditions as an infinite dimensional Grassmannian. Using these ideas, the authors proved the Bojarski conjecture which relates the index of an elliptic operator on a closed manifold to the indices of boundary value problems obtained by cutting the manifold in pieces. Krzysztof loved life, his family, mathematics, literature, music, and Judo. He was a World Judo Champion in the 45 year, 73 kg category and a world class athlete. His enthusiasm about mathematics and his penetrating insights strongly influenced his colleagues and coworkers. He died far too young and was at the peak of his work. We can only imagine what he would have accomplished with more time. - Bernhelm Booß-Bavnbek, Roskilde University, and Jerry Kaminker, IUPUI

Professor Pavel Bleher will spend his Fall 2008 sabbatical leave continuing his research and collaborative work with distinguished colleagues from the USA, Canada and Europe, on various scaling and universality problems in random matrix models, and other related problems in statistical physics. He plans to spend a significant portion of his sabbatical at the Centre de Recherches Mathematique (CRM) in Montreal, Canada, lecturing on his ongoing research and scientific program, as one of the lead organizers of a special year-long (08-09) thematic program on "Probabilistic Methods in Mathematical Physics." This international program will bring together top researchers in mathematical physics and related areas from around the world.

Professor Michal Misiurewicz will spend his Fall 2008 sabbatical leave visiting the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IMPAN), continuing his research work on dynamics of the complex tent maps and related problems, and collaborating with colleagues from IMPAN and the University of Warsaw.

Professor Alexander Its recently returned from his sabbatical leave (academic year 2007-2008) at Brunel University and Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, where he conducted research with fellow collaborators which included joint projects with the research groups at the University of Cambridge and the University of Bristol. Its' sabbatical stay in UK was partially supported by a grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The EPSRC is the UK Government's leading funding agency for research and training in engineering and the physical sciences and its grants are extremely competitive. During his sabbatical leave, Professor Its gave several talks at different Universities in the UK (Imperial College, Brunel University, Queen Mary University, University of Bristol) and continental Europe ( SISSA Trieste Italy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium, Institute Henri Poincare Paris France). He also taught a short graduate course at the University of Reading and an intensive course in the framework of London Taught Course Centre (LTCC) for PhD students in the mathematical sciences.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at IUPUI and the Division of Biostatistics in the Indiana University School of Medicine have jointly created a new Ph.D. program in Biostatistics. Twenty-two faculty members from the two academic units will be involved in the teaching of over 20 courses and guiding dissertation research. The program enrolled its first class of 10 students in the fall semester 2008. It is the only doctoral program in biostatistics in the State of Indiana. The new Ph.D. program combines the strengths in statistical theory of the Department of Mathematical Sciences with the statistical research and life sciences experience of the Division of Biostatistics. This unique collaboration provides an excellent environment for collaborative and interdisciplinary study, within such fields as pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology, genetics, biology, physiology, bioinformatics, public health, and health economics. Program facilities include the new Health Information and Translational Sciences (HITS) building, which houses the Division of Biostatistics, the IUPUI Signature Center for Mathematical Biosciences and the Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. More details about the program can be found at

The Department of Mathematical Sciences again hosted the Wabash Modern Analysis Mini-Conference on Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, 2008. For the past 16 years, IUPUI has hosted this conference, bringing together national and international experts in their research areas. This year's invited speakers include Edward Effros (University of California, Los Angeles), Heath Emerson (University of Victoria), Hanfeng Li (University of Toronto), Jesse Peterson (University of California, Berkeley), Jonathan Rosenberg (University of Maryland), Andrew Toms (York University), and Leonid Vainerman (University of Caen, France).

On Tuesday, November 4, the Department will host its annual Statistics Career Day for college and area high school students. The program will consist of five to six speakers from academia and industry. Each speaker will give a 15-minute presentation concerning his/her career in statistics and will then answer questions. This event is sponsored jointly with the American Statistical Association, Central Indiana Chapter and the Indiana University Division of Biostatistics.     TOP

SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS COLLEGE - Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana


Dr. Dottie King has accepted the position of Assistant Dean for the Campus Program. We are sorry to lose her in this department (although she is teaching one class, she says to maintain her sanity), but recognize the benefit to the College and wish her well. We have advertised our open position (mathematics or mathematics education beginning January or August of 2009) on     TOP

WABASH COLLEGE - Crawfordsville, Indiana


The department and the college mourns the passing of Bill Swift, a long-time faculty member and member of the Indiana Section of the MAA. Prof. Swift joined the department in 1963, and during his twenty-seven years in the department, he started the department colloquium series, the longest-running colloquium series at Wabash, as well as the department's Problem of the Fortnight competition. He also served the Indiana Section of the MAA as the 1969-70 vice chairman and the 1970-71 chairman. (Please see the announcement and Bob Foote's remembrances from the Wabash College news service.)

Prof. J.D. Phillips returned from his year on sabbatical in Prague and resumed his duties as department chair, which Prof. Peter Thompson covered while he was away.

Profs. Bob Foote and Will Turner are on sabbatical this year. Prof. Foote is spending the year at the University of Georgia, and Prof. Turner will be around campus working on his symbolic computation research and reviewing the computer science curriculum.

Two visiting assistant professors, Chris Hardin and Doug Limmer, have joined the department for the year. Prof. Hardin received his B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Amherst College, and an M.S. in Mathematics, an M.S. in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Cornell University. He comes to Wabash from a teaching position at Smith College. Prof. Limmer received his B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Valparaiso University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Oregon State University. Before coming to Wabash, he taught at Linn-Benton Community College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Valparaiso University, and Eureka College.     TOP

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