CTL Instructional Presentation Series: Cécile Piret, 2018 Innovative and Out of Class Teaching Award Recipient

Cecile PiretIn the second presentation of our fall award series, Cécile Piret (Math), will discuss her use of 3-D printing techniques to visualize multivariable functions in teaching Calculus 3, titled “3-D Printing for Mathematics Education.” Her innovative approach has illustrated mathematical concepts that can be studied in unique and practical ways and was recognized as part of the Dean’s Teaching Showcase. Piret will present from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.

Formal recognition of this award for Innovative and Out of Class Teaching will follow her presentation. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you might innovate your own teaching and recognize Cécile’s success. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, Oct 8.


Trefethen to Deliver Kliakhandler Lectures

Nick Trefethen
Photo by Sara Kerens

Nick Trefethen, professor of numerical analysis at Oxford University and Global Distinguished Professor at New York University, will deliver the fourth-annual Kliakhandler Public Lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in Dow 641. The title of his lecture is “The Mathematics of the Faraday Cage.”

Trefethen has received many honors for his 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, etc. He is also past-president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. His previous lecture at Michigan Tech, “Discrete or Continuous”, has the distinction of being perhaps the only standing-room-only mathematics lecture ever given at the University.

Trefethen describes his talk as follows: “Everybody has heard of the Faraday cage effect, in which a wire mesh does a good job of blocking electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Surely the mathematics of such a famous and useful phenomenon has been long ago worked out and written up in the textbooks? It seems to be not so, and indeed, one of the few treatments to be found in the textbooks, by Feynman, is incorrect. The shielding effect turns out to be not as simple as one might expect: it depends on the wires having finite radius. Nor is it as strong as one might imagine: it improves only linearly as the wire spacing decreases. This talk will explain how the Faraday cage works and tell the story of the surprises Jon Chapman, Dave Hewett and I encountered along the way.”

Everyone is invited.

Trefethen will also deliver a research colloquium to the Department of Mathematical Sciences at 4:05 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in Fisher 138. The presentation is titled “Random functions, random ODEs, and Chebfun.”

What is a random function? What is noise? The standard answers are nonsmooth, defined pointwise via the Wiener process and Brownian motion. In the Chebfun project, we have found it more natural to work with smooth random functions defined by finite Fourier series with random coefficients. There are plenty of conceptual challenges in this subject, starting with the fact that white noise has infinite amplitude and infinite energy, a paradox that goes back in two different ways to Einstein in 1905.





New Funding

Yang YangYang Yang is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $236,978 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project is titled “High-Order Numerical Methods for Convection-Diffusion Equations with Unbounded Singularities.”

This is a three-year project.


Notables

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A book co-authored by Don Kreher, titled “Graphs, Algorithms, and Optimization,” Second Edition, has been selected for review by Choice, a journal for librarians. Only three books from the publisher’s entire mathematics and statistics portfolio have been chosen for review this year.

In January, Choice will select their Book of the Year from the books reviewed. The review of Kreher’s book, co-authored by William Kocay of the University of Manitoba, places it in nomination.



Beth Reed Named Distinguished Teacher

1495653731Beth Reed, a senior lecturer in the Mathematical Sciences Department of Michigan Technological University, is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award in the Assistant Professor/Lecturer/Professor of Practice category.

Reed, who is also assistant to the department chair, has been teaching mathematical sciences at Tech since 1985 and has been recognized at the departmental level multiple times for both her teaching and her service. This year she was named to the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Reed began her academic career in forestry, earning a master’s in forest biometrics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1982. She joined Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science in January of 1983 as a research associate working on four different research projects before moving to the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1985.

Reed says the secret to her success lies, in part, in her effort to “personalize” her classroom. Though many of her classes have almost 60 students, she learns every student’s name.

“I expect and actually get interaction from almost everyone. It really helps that I can call on each person by name. and if they don’t know the answer, I can turn to their neighbor and ask them to help out.”

Read the full story.


In Print

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 9.27.05 AMIosif Pinelis contributed two chapters, “On the nonuniform Berry—Esseen bound” and “On the Berry—Esseen bound for the Student statistic,” to the book “Inequalities and Extremal Problems in Probability and Statistics: Selected Topics,” just published by Elsevier’s imprint Academic Press. Pinelis is also the editor of the book.

The other contributing authors are V. de la Peña (Columbia University), R. Ibragimov (Imperial College London), A. Osȩkowski (University of Warsaw, Poland) and I. Shevtsova (Moscow University, Russia).

The Google preview of the book is available online through Google Books and Elsevier.

Also, Pinelis published the paper, “(Quasi)additivity Properties of the Legendre—Fenchel Transform and its Inverse, with Applications in Probability“, in the Journal of Convex Analysis 24 (2017), No. 3, online first.