Prof. Enrique González-Velasco completes work the definitive work on on John Napier

Mathematical Science Professor Enrique González-Velasco recently completed  a book on the life and works of 16th-17th century Scottish mathematician John Napier.  The Life and Works of John Napier, co-authored with a descendant of Napier and an authority on Napier’s life, Prof. González-Velasco has made all of Napier’s mathematical works available in English for the first time.

From the the publisher’s description:

The Life and Works of John Napier, 1st ed. 2017 Edition by Brian Rice, Enrique González-Velasco, Alexander Corrigan, Springer; 1st ed. 2017 edition, ISBN: 978-3319532813.

 

For the first time, all five of John Napier’s works have been brought together in English in a single volume, making them more accessible than ever before. His four mathematical works were originally published in Latin: two in his lifetime (1550–1617), one shortly after he died, and one over 200 years later. The authors have prepared three introductory chapters, one covering Napier himself, one his mathematical works, and one his religious work. The former has been prepared by one of Napier’s descendants and contains many new findings about Napier’s life to provide the most complete biography of this enigmatic character, whose reputation has previously been overshadowed by rumour and speculation. The latter has been written by an academic who was awarded a PhD for his thesis on Napier at the University of Edinburgh, and it provides the most lucid and coherent coverage available of this abstruse and little understood work. The chapter on Napier’s mathematical texts has been authored by an experienced and respected academic, whose recent works have specialised in the history of mathematics and whose Journey through Mathematics was selected in March of 2012 as an Outstanding Title in Mathematics by Choice magazine, a publication of the American Library Association. All three authors have revisited the primary sources extensively and deliver new insights about Napier and his works, whilst revising the many myths and assumptions that surround his life and character.

Prof. González-Velasco is a member of the UMass Lowell Department of Mathematical Sciences.

 

2016 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition

putnam_2016_at_uml

Twenty-one UMass Lowell students competed in the 2016 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition on Saturday, December 3. The competition took place concurrently throughout the US and Canada. Last year 4275 students students from 554 colleges and universities competed participated. There were two 3 hour sessions, each with six problems. As usual, the problems were tough. The consensus of students at the end was that this problem was one of the easiest:

Suppose that S is a finite set of points in the plane such that the area of triangle ABC is at most 1 whenever A, B, and  are in S. Show that there exists a triangle of area 4 that (together with its interior) covers the set S.

 

Thanks to the Honors College for providing refreshments for the students on the day of the event.

Results are normally announced in late March.

Tibor Beke awarded at Fulbright Fellowship for 2016-17

Prof. Tibor Beke

Prof. Tibor Beke

Prof. Tibor Beke of the Department of Mathematical Sciences has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for teaching and research at Masaryk University, Brno, in the Czech Republic.

During his stay in Brno, Prof. Beke will teach an advanced course on model-theoretic geometry.  Model-theoretic geometry is concerned with the geometry of objects defined by equations and inequalities over algebraically closed, real closed and p-adic fields.  This subject lies at the intersection of mathematical logic, algebra and geometry.  It can be thought of as a high-powered version of “coordinate geometry”, which describes Euclidean geometry in the algebraic language of linear and quadratic polynomials, and trigonometric functions.  Model-theoretic geometry extends this algebraic language to higher dimensions, non-Euclidean geometries, and works over structures that “look” very different from the real numbers.  In the last decade, the subject acquired algorithmic and computational components too.  The goal is, ultimately, to have computers analyze shapes and prove theorems about them.

This is an opportunity for Prof. Beke to continue joint research with Prof.  Jiri Rosicky, chair of the Mathematics Department at Brno. Tibor will return to Lowell l in the Fall of 2017.
The Fulbright Scholar Program is administered by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  It has been running continuously since 1948, and offers opportunities for US educators and other professionals in more than a hundred countries around the world.

 

2015 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition

Twenty-four UMass Lowell students competed in the 2015 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition on Saturday, December 5. The competition took place concurrently throughout the US and Canada. Normally, around 5,000 students compete each year. There were two 3 hour sessions, each with six problems. As usual, the problems were tough. The consensus of students at the end was that this was the easiest.

Given a list of the positive integers 1, 2, 3, 4, …, take the first three numbers 1,2,3 and their sum 6 and cross all four numbers off the list. Repeat with the three smallest remaining numbers 4, 5, 7 and their sum 16. Continue in this way, crossing off the three smallest remaining numbers and their sum, and consider the sequence of sums produced: 6, 16, 27, 36,…. Prove or disprove that there is some number in this sequence whose base 10 representation ends with 2015.
Thanks to the Honors College for providing refreshments for the students on the day of the event.
Results are normally announced in late March.

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M. Brendan Fleming Scholarship

We are grateful to the family of Emeritus Professor M. Brendan Fleming for their recent contributions to the department’s growing scholarship funds. Through their generous gifts to the department, theM. Brendan Fleming Scholarship will be awarded to a meritorious mathematics major each year starting in 2017.

Professor M. Brendan Fleming was on the Lowell Tech/ULowell/UMass Lowell faculty for over 35 years,retiring in June 1996. Widely acclaimed as an excellent teacher, he was at theforefront of using statistics software to teach statistical analysis. In addition to his teaching and service to the university, he serveda member of the Lowell City Council for nine terms between the years of 1969 and 1992. He was Mayor of Lowell from 1982 to 1984. He and his late wifeBernice raised seven children to become active successful members of their community.

Prof. M. Brendan Fleming

New Faculty: Min Hyung Cho

This fall, we have welcomed Dr. Min Hyung Choto the UML Department of Mathematical Sciences. Min Hyung is an applied mathematician who was most recently atDartmouth College. He holds a Ph. D. from TheUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte, where his advisor was Prof. Wei Cai. The title of his dissertation was ‘Fast Integral Methods in Layered Media with Application in Photonic Devices.’

Min Hyung Cho
Dr. Cho’s research interests include

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Numerical solutions of PDEs
  • Fast Multipole Method (FMM) and treecodes
  • Wave propagation in layered media
  • High Performance Computing
Among his most recent publications are
  • M.H. Cho and A. Barnett, Robust fast direct integral equation solver for quasi-periodic scattering problems with a large number of layers, 23, 2, 1775-1799, Optics Express, 2015
  • M.H. Cho and W. Cai, A parallel fast algorithm for computing Helmholtz integral operator in 3-D layered media, 231, 17, 5910-5925, J. Computational Physics 2012
  • M.H. Cho and W. Cai, A wideband fast multipole method for two-dimensional complex Helmholtz equation, Computer Physics Communications, 2010
His faculty web page is http://faculty.uml.edu/min_cho/

Five Year Mathematics/Epidemiology Program


The Mathematical Sciences and Work Environment Departments recently completed the design of a five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology. Juniors can apply to the program and double-count up to nine credits toward the two degrees. A bit of planning is recommended since appliants are advised to take a few courses as undergraduates, such as Anatomy and Physiology I & II.


With the outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. last fall, epidemiologists have had their work cut out for them. Whether they investigate the triggers of an infection for a public health agency or collect blood samples at an outpatient care center, epidemiologists examine the causes of diseases to prevent them from transmitting and recurring. These medical scientists might work in hospitals, laboratories or universities, or for pharmaceutical companies or health insurers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of about 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. Job prospects look promising, especially for medical scientists looking to work for state or local governments and general medical or surgical hospitals.

Math Alumnus Awarded Sontag Prize in Urban Education

Congratulations to Central Catholic High School Mathematics Department Chair/Teacher Jarrod Brown (UML Class of ’04) on receiving the Sontag Prize in Urban Education for Mathematics.
The Sontag Prize in Urban Education recognizes outstanding teaching in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA) and other disciplines. Educators chosen for the Sontag Prize will lead classes as part of the LPS Acceleration Academy, a program designed to provide targeted small group support for students.
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Any educator from within the city of Lawrence, MA or across the country is eligible to apply for the Sontag Prize. In addition to an honorarium, new Sontag Prize awardees participate in a weekend of professional development at Harvard University February 14th and 15th. The opportunity provides motivated and successful educators like Jarrod the chance to share best practices with their fellow awardees. Most importantly, this award recognizes excellence in teaching and provides students with an extra week of high-quality instruction. This program is generously supported by the Lynch Foundation.
This isn’t the first time Jarrod has been recognized for his teaching, In 2013, Jarrod received a Math Hero Award and grant of $2,500 through Raytheon Corporation’s ‘Math Moves U’ program. He was nominated for this award by current and former students for his instructional creativity and patience, varied use of technology resources, and his ability to share his enthusiasm for mathematics with his students.
Jarrod earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and a M.Ed from American International College. In his 12th year as a math teacher, Brown’s teaching experience includes leading classes in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 & Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.
Jarrod has also served as an assistant coach in football and track in addition to being the instructor for the Karate and Martial Arts Club at Central Catholic. Brown and his wife and two children make their home in Dracut, MA.

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New Faculty: Prof. Hung Phan

This spring, we have welcomed Dr.Hung Phanto the UML Department of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Phan is an applied mathematician who was most recently at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. No doubt he has been right at home in the past few weeks as we’ve had two major snow storms!

Hung’s general research areas are Optimization, Numerical Methods, and Variational Analysis. His Ph. D. was earned at Wayne State University, with a thesis titled New Variational Principles with Applications in Optimization Theory and Algorithms (Advisor: Boris Mordukhovich).

Here are three of his recent publications:

  • Linear and strong convergence of algorithms involving averagednon expansiveoperators,(with H.H. Bauschke, D. Noll) Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications 421 (2015), 1-20
  • The rate of linear convergence of the Douglas-Rachford algorithm for subspaces,(with H.H. Bauschke, J.Y. Bello Cruz, T.T.A. Nghia, X. Wang)Journal of Approximation Theory 185 (2014), 63-79
  • Restricted normal cones and sparsity optimization with affine constraints,(with H.H. Bauschke, D.R. Luke, X. Wang),Foundations of Computational Mathematics 14 (2014), 63-83

His web page ishttp://faculty.uml.edu/hung_phan/

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The 2014 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition

What a way to spend your Saturday! Get yourself to campus for 10 AM and work on six math problems for three hours. Then after a two hour break, spend another three hours of six more problems. That’s what thousands of undergraduate students throughout the US and Canada, including 14 UML students, did on December 6 to take part in the2014 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition.

The Problems
The problems are all considered “elementary” in that they only require the background of basic undergraduate mathematics courses to understand. They are definitely not “easy.” Historically, the median score out of 120 (10 points per problem) higher than single digits, and there have been years when the median was zero! In each session the first two problems tend to be somewhat easier than the other four. Here is the first problem from the morning session, which a Calculus II student should understand.
Prove that every nonzero coefficient of the Taylor series of \[(1-x+x^{2})e^{x}\] about \(x=0\) is a rational number whose numerator (in lowest terms) is either 1 or a prime number.
If you work on this, remember that the the competition prohibits books or any electronic devices!
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The UML Team
The participants from UMass Lowell this year included 12 “rookies” who had not previously competed in the Putnam. All were part of the Honors Problem Solving course taught by Ken Levasseur this semester. They were Kenneth Allen, Marissa Ard, Anna Baturin, Stephanie Bellerose, James Carbone, Damir Ismagilov, Alex Kane, George Katsaros, Chanson Lim, Erinn McLaughlin, Grant Moyer, and John Romano.
Returning for their second year in the completion were Jonathan Edwin and Alvin Kow. Graduate student Chuck Bradley was ineligible for the competition, but participated in practices and lent moral support to the participants.
Scoring the competition is a long process carried out by Putnam staff at the University of Santa Clara. Scores normally are announced in April.
Next year’s competition will be on Saturday December 5, 2015.

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