In Print – Iosif Pinelis

Iosif Pinelis published two papers:

1. “Best possible bounds of the von Bahr–Esseen type”, in Annals of Functional Analysis, Volume 6, Number 4 (2015), 1–29. Read the abstract.

2. “On the Hölder and Cauchy–Schwarz Inequalities”, in The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 122, No. 6, 593–595, which can be found and read on Mathematical Association of America’s website.

From Tech Today



Gorgin receives the MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award

The Midwestern Association of Graduate School annually solicits for the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of the member universities.

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Elaheh Gorgin, PhD Candidate in Mathematical Sciences

Photographs and details of awards and fellowships coordinated by the Graduate School. For a complete list of award and fellowship winners





Nick Trefethen to Speak at Michigan Tech

Nick Trefethen of Oxford University will deliver a lecture
“Discrete or Continuous?” at 5:05 p.m. on Monday, April 27, in Fisher 325.

Trefethen has received many honors for this research in Numerical Analysis:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering
  • The Gold Medal from the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (UK)
  • The Naylor Prize from the London Mathematical Society

He is past-president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and he has the distinction of being the first customer to buy a copy of Matlab.

Trefethen describes his talk as follows: “As old as any issue in science and mathematics is the polarity between discrete and continuous. The details change from century to century, but a synthesis still challenges us. In this talk I will comment on some of the long history and current state of interplay between these two ways of thinking.”

The public is welcome.

From Tech Today


Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) Winners Announced

Dr. Todd King was selected as one of the eight spring 2015 CTL Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) winners.

This spring semester, the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning hosted an explosive program intended to showcase the most effective and user-friendly Canvas Courses at Michigan Tech. The third-annual C-4 competition focused on Canvas courses that are intuitive and easy to navigate, feature good course design, provide convenient access to information and materials students need and offer resources and activities that help students succeed in class. Canvas courses were nominated almost entirely by students, but other faculty and chairs were eligible to nominate Spring 2015 term courses for C-4 too.

Congratulations to this year’s C4 winners:

  • Laura Brown (CS 4821)
  • Steve Elmer (EH 5310)
  • A.J. Hamlin (ENG 1102)
  • Amber Kemppainen (ENG 1102)
  • Todd King (MA 3520)
  • Bryan Lagalo (EC 3002)
  • Chelsea Schelly (SS 4001)
  • Leo Ureel II (CS 1121)

From Tech Today


Dean’s Teaching Showcase

Dean Bruce Seely of the College of Sciences and Arts has chosen to recognize David Olson, a senior lecturer in mathematical sciences as the final Dean’s Teaching Showcase member for spring 2015.

Dean Seely commented on this selection by saying, “Up to this point I have selected younger faculty whose ideas and approaches seem naturally to align with the national patterns of past practices in the class room. For the third selection, however, I am focusing on a person whose demonstration of sustained excellence in teaching and instruction should motivate everyone–David Olson. He has been a leader in teaching in a department noted for excellence. He has taken on the task of adding the necessary knowledge and the external certifications of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) that allow him to guide the department’s actuarial sciences concentration. He has helped advise majors and served on numerous curricular committees. But the most important reason for recognizing Olson is the length of time he has been so good.”

Olson’s initial reaction to Seely’s nomination was “Yikes, I’ve been here 20 years. How did that happen?” But his second reaction was more serious and significant, for it signals the reality of the challenge university faculty face in the classroom. “Teaching technology is progressing so rapidly that I’m hopelessly far behind,” he noted, before adding “If anyone is not hopelessly far behind, they’re not paying attention. I’m sometimes on the bleeding edge, like when Canvas came out, but mostly I look for items where the process just got simpler, like recording class for student-athletes. BIG change, and one that will make it much easier to put together videos.”

Seely sees this technology question as “an obvious conundrum for faculty today.” He and Olson agree that it’s not enough just to know “what the newest ideas and approaches are.” Instructors need to find out “…which ones make sense for the needs at Michigan Tech.” Seely emphasizes, “Novelty for its own sake almost never makes sense in such a dynamic environment. DavidO’s key understanding is that technology needs to facilitate student learning.”

In order to help with this process, Olson focuses on interaction. “My biggest trick is that I listen to students, face-to-face. How is the class going? Concerns? Are there any issues that aren’t clear? What’s really helping you learn? Do you have a good study group? How’s life? What’s your favorite movie? Every now and then a student tells me that some random classroom activity really helped, and so I’ll do more of it, and ask other students whether it’s helping them.” Moreover, Olson notes the vital necessity of talking to other faculty members as well to find out what they are trying, what’s working, and what’s not.

The point is that Olson is never satisfied. “In that last desperate 15 minutes before class, I’m usually asking myself the following questions: ‘What am I trying to accomplish? What activities might work?’ Experiment. Tweak, tweak, tweak.”

The final gauge of this desire to always seek better outcomes can be found in Olson’s last comment. “I have dreams of a revolution, a new STEM sequence that takes advantage of what’s now possible with multimedia and the internet: Scientific Modeling with Calculus and Computers.”  Seely indicates that this goal matches nicely with some ideas circulating within the department, so he fully expects to see such a class take shape in the near future. Seely emphasizes, “But at root, this initiative will grow from Olson’s constant drive to do things better to help students learn.”

Olson will be formally recognized with the 11 other Dean’s Teaching Showcase nominees at a luncheon during 14th week. Please join Dean Seely and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in thanking Olson for his outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences and Arts.

From Tech Today


Radial Basis Functions – Freedom from meshes in scientific computing: Developments and Applications

Mathematical Sciences Colloquium
Michigan Technological University
March 27, 2015
1:05 p.m.
Fisher 101

Radial Basis Functions – Freedom from meshes in scientific computing: Developments and Applications

Natasha Flyer

Institute of Mathematics Applied to Geosciences,
National Center for Atmospheric Research

Bengt Fornberg

University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado

Flyer Fornberg-03-27-15