News for 2023

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November 2023
Allison Arzeno UCD '09 featured in Geekwire

In December 2022, Geekwire featured an article on Allison Arzeno (formerly O'Hair) under the title "Meet Allison Arzeno, the data science whiz leading insurance tech company Assurance IQ." Allison, who graduated with a major in Mathematics from UC Davis in 2009, had recently been promoted to chief executive officer of Seattle's Assurance IQ, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc.

Geekwire is a technology news website primarily focused on the area around Seattle, Washington, where Assurance IQ is located. It is an honor for Allison to be featured in this way. During her time at UC Davis, Allison wrote a dissertation under Jesús DeLoera entitled "The Geometric Structure of Spanning Trees and Applications to Multiobjective Optimization." Allison's skilled use of mathematics in the real world makes us proud and provides an example (and a contact) for math majors who wish to follow in her footsteps!

November 2023
Iyer named Hellman Fellow
Professor Iyer has been recognized by campus and named a Hellman Fellow. The Hellman Fellowship, funded by a generous grant given by Chris and Warren Hellman and dating back to 1995, aims to provide support to early stage faculty. The fellowship will help fund his research on "Formation of Separation and Onset of Reversal for the Stationary Navier-Stokes Equations." This year a dozen early stage faculty have been inducted into the Society of Hellman Fellows at UC Davis. Take a moment to read more about this ingenious class of inductees. Congratulations Sameer!
October 2023
UC Davis Speaks at the 2024 JMM in San Francisco
Those of us going to the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM), to be held January 3-6, 2024 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, will need to prepare to encounter representatives of UC Davis everywhere.  On Thursday, January 4, 9:45am (Room 207), Anne Schilling will deliver the AWM-AMS Noether Lecture titled "The Ubiquity of Crystal Bases."  On Friday, January 5, 11am (Room 207), Mariel Vazquez will be giving the SIAM-AMS invited address titled "Topological Considerations in Genome Biology."  In addition, catch up with our alums on Thursday, January 4, first starting at 8:30 (Room 205), Julie Blackwood, who received her Ph.D. under Alan Hastings in 2011, will giving the Spectra Lavender Lecture titled "The Role of Spatial Interactions in Managing Ecological Systems: Insights from Mathematical Models," and later at 11am (Room 205), Yvonne Lai, who received her Ph.D. under Misha Kapovich in 2008, will give the MAA Lecture on Teaching and Learning titled "(Why) to Build Bridges in Mathematics Education."   Our UC Davis colleagues will be involved in many other activities throughout the JMM, so don't hesitate to drive or carpool over, listen to a lecture or two, participate in one of the fascinating panel discussions, and/or convince future employers to hire you!  
October 2023
New Books By Our Faculty
Two books authored by our faculty were recently published. In 2021, Roger J-B Wets and his co-author Johannes O. Royset published "An Optimization Primer" as part of the Springer Series in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. The book is described as a richly illustrated book that introduces the subject of optimization to a broad audience with a balanced treatment of theory, models and algorithms and as an accessible onramp to variational analysis with many interesting and timely worked examples. Roger's book is freely available as an ebook through California Digital Library.

More recently, Dan Romik published his "Topics in Complex Analysis." This book, hot off the press, reveals a panoramic vision showing how complex analysis underlies and illuminates phenomena in algebra, number theory, and geometry. The final chapter provides a detailed account of the solution to the sphere packing problem in dimension 8, for which Maryna Viazovska was awarded the Fields Medal in 2022. One notable feature of Dan’s book is that the ebook version is fully open access (provided by the publisher, De Gruyter, and paid for by University funds).

We appreciate these contributions highlighting the beauty of mathematics!

September 2023
De Loera and Chaudhuri recognized for exceptional graduate mentoring
The 2023 UC Davis Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Awards have been formally announced and the recipients include two mathematicians: Rishi Chaudhuri and Jesús de Loera. In the words of Grad Studies: "Every year, outstanding individuals are recognized for their dedication to guiding and mentoring graduate students. Their exceptional guidance and unwavering support have profoundly impacted the lives of those they have mentored." Congratulations to Rishi and Jesús!
August 2023
De Loera honored for promoting diversity in service
Jesús De Loera was honored with an ADVANCE Award this spring. This award is a research award for mid-career and senior UC Davis faculty who advance diverse perspectives and gender equity in STEM through their teaching, research and service. Awardees were celebrated and gave presentations in April. Jesús gave a well received lecture entitled "When is Your Data Sufficient? Let Geometry Help You Decide!" Congratulations Jesús!
August 2023
Two successful conferences wrapped up in Summer '23

This July, our Department hosted two conferences! Both were part of annual traditions, namely the Trisectors workshops and the Formal Power Series and Algebraic Combinatorics (FPSAC) annual meetings.

The Trisectors Workshop took place June 26-June 30 and was organized by Alex Zupan, Laura Starkston, Jeffrey Meier, Maggie Miller, and Gabe Islambouli. This year's workshop emphasized connections with symplectic topology. It was preceded by introductory lectures delivered over Zoom during the week leading up to the conference and featured several afternoon devoted to group projects.

The FPSAC meeting, a much larger event, took place July 17-21 and was organized by a much longer list of people including several from UC Davis: Monica Vazirani, Matt Silver, Anne Schilling, Dan Romik, Alex McDonough, Gladis Lopez, Fu Liu, Shelby Kustak, Sean Griffin, Tina Denena, Jesus DeLoera, and Eric Carlsson.

Both conferences were reported to be very successful! Let's thank our colleagues and staff for their hard work!

Learn more about these conferences at the websites for FPSAC 2023 and Trisectors Workshop 2023.

August 2023
Elena Fuchs' work discussed in Quanta magazine
What sort of collections of circles fit into a larger circle without overlapping? This question has motivated mathematicians for millenia. Here at UC Davis, Elena Fuchs has studied Apollonian circle packings and found that the curvatures appearing in such families of circles exhibit certain combinatorial features. Her results have led to stronger conjectures, widely accepted among number theorists, but one of these conjectures turned out to be false. This was discovered (via extensive number crunching) during a summer research project involving two students (one graduate, one undergraduate) led by Katherine Stange at the University of Colorado in Boulder. An article in Quanta magazine tells the story of the students' discovery and provides mathematical details.
July 2023
Casals receives incentive to pursue large grant for research training

Roger Casals is one of four recipients of an Incentives for Large Grant Awards from the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis. The Incentives for Large Grant Awards program aims to support faculty pursuing grants over one million dollars. It provides faculty with up to $80,000 over the course of two years.

Together with Laura Starkston, Eugene Gorsky, Motohico Mulase and Anne Schilling, Roger will pursue an National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Research Training Groups (RTG) focused on topology, geometry, and combinatorics. The group hopes to create a vertically integrated training program that provides high-quality research experiences and training in the mathematical sciences for undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Bonam Fortunam!

July 2023
Professor Arsuaga recognized with Fellowship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Professor Arsuaga was one of 5 faculty selected for the 2023 Chancellor’s Fellowships for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for their exceptional contributions in supporting, tutoring, mentoring and advising underrepresented students and/or students from underserved communities.

"Professor Arsuaga has contributed to DEI efforts across all UC campuses, having served first as chair of the Affirmative Action and Diversity Committee at UC Davis and subsequently as chair of the systemwide University Committee on Affirmative Action, Diversity and Equity. He also participated in the task force that led to the Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative, has been a member of the Cal-Bridge program leadership, and organized a workshop on the role of DEI in STEM fields. He currently directs the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Math, focusing on underrepresented students."

June 2023
Professor Casals selected as College of L&S Dean's Fellow
UC Davis' Letters and Science has selected Professor Roger Casals as a College of Letters and Science Dean's Faculty Fellow for 2023.
June 2023
Professor Chaudhuri's research on decision-making
UC Davis' Letters and Science interviewed Professor Rishidev Chaudhuri about the details of his research, which spans neuroscience and math. The article, Perception Inception: Exploring Decision-Making in the Brain with Rishidev Chaudhuri, provides an accessible view into what he's researching, and why he finds it interesting.
May 2023
Richard Kenyon to deliver Thurston Lectures, May 10-12
The Thurston Lectures, named in honor of Fields Medalist and former UC Davis professor William Thurston will this year be held on May 10, 11, and 12. Established through a generous donation from Ian Agol, the Thurston Lectures have been held annually at UC Davis since 2017 (suspended during 2020-2022).

This year's speaker is Richard Kenyon from Yale University who will give three lectures on May 10, 11, and 12.
April 2023
Department ranks high in discrete math and combinatorics
Mathematics at UC Davis has ranked among the top tier universities on the recent US News and World Report rankings. In particular, in the speciality of discrete mathematics and combinatorics, Mathematics at UC Davis is tied for 13th place. This is a testament to the excellent work by all faculty and students!
April 2023
Grad Hans Oberschelp one of 10 finalists in 2023 UC Grad Slam
Our graduate student Hans Oberschelp was among the top 10 finalists who competed at the semi-final round of the 2023 UC Grad Slam on April 6, 2023. UC Grad Slam is an annual competition where masters and doctoral students from all the UCs are invited to share their research in a compelling presentation that is three minutes or less. UC Davis has been participating in UC Grad Slam since 2016.
March 2023
Data Science course on privacy and fairness
“Many decisions now are done by automated systems and the question is, how fair is this?” Thomas Strohmer asks. Strohmer has been teaching a MAT 280 topics course entitled “Fairness, Privacy, and Trustworthiness in Machine Learning.” The course, aimed at graduate students in mathematics, statistics, and computer science, aims to instill an understanding of the responsibilities involved in the collection and use of big data in the next generation of technologists. Students in the course express their appreciation for the knowledge gained and Strohmer plans to teach the course again in two years.
February 2023
Professor Wein awarded Sloan Fellowship
Professor Alexander Wein has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2023. This prestigious fellowship is awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to 125 early-career scholars representing the most promising scientific researchers working today. Professor Wein will receive $75,000, to be spent over a two-year term in support of his research.
February 2023
Prof. Schilling to deliver Noether Lecture at JMM 2024
The Association for Women in Mathematics and the American Mathematical Society are pleased to announce that Anne Schilling, Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Davis, will be the 2024 AWM-AMS Emmy Noether Lecturer. The Noether Lecture will be delivered at the Joint Mathematics meetings, to be held in San Francisco from January 3 – 6, 2024.

AWM established the Emmy Noether Lectures in 1980 to honor women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences. In April 2013, the lecture was renamed "AWM-AMS Noether Lecture" and in 2015 was jointly sponsored by AWM and AMS. Schilling was recommended for this award by a joint selection committee (William Goldman, Rachel Kuske (Chair), Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, and Emily Riehl).

Please join AWM and AMS for the JMM 2024 in San Francisco.

January 2023
Prof. Schilling interviewed by ECA
Volumes of the Journal Enumerative Combinatorics and Applications (ECA) include interviews of high profile combinatoric mathematicians. The most recent Interview #S3I5, in volume ECA 3:2 (2023), features our very own Professor Anne Schilling. We recommend perusing this interview for its educational value and for the joy it exudes. Congratulations to Anne on being selected for this honor!