The “Research News @ Vanderbilt” story can be found here.

Additional media outlets that have picked up the story are:

The Guardian

The Huffington Post

The New Statesman

Red Orbit

The Telegraph

Wired

The Independent

The award, which includes a $2,000 prize, is given for the best manuscript from those that were submitted to the journal after being presented to the previous year’s annual meeting of the society. Crooke presented the winning paper at the 2014 annual ISMICS meeting, and the award was announced at this year’s annual meeting in Berlin, Germany on June 4, 2015.

The winning paper is entitled, “A Geometric Model of the Normal Human Aortic Root and Design of a Fully Anatomic Aortic Root Graft,” and was co-authored with L. Alan Beavan and Charles D. Griffin of BioStable Science and Engineering, Inc., Domenico Mazzitelli of the German Heart Center Munich, and J. Scott Rankin of Vanderbilt University’s Department of Cardiac Surgery. It was published in the January/February 2015 issue of Innovations (Volume 10, Number 1).

The publication included an addendum comment from the journal’s editor that describes the significance of the research: “This is an interesting report from Dr. Crooke and his colleagues on a novel aortic root graft they have designed for root remodeling procedures. The graft was based on a model they developed of the normal human aortic root from high-resolution CT angiograms of 11 normal human aortas. The design incorporated 3 anatomic sinuses and commissural symmetry and was based on average 3-dimensional geometry. The hope is this design may prove useful in restoring aortic root geometry toward normal during aortic valve repair and root reconstruction procedures. The graft is envisioned to be used with an internal geometric annuloplasty ring of similar design.”

Prof. Crooke performed the mathematical modeling used as the basis for the design of the graft. For more about his work in this area, see “Mathematical Modeling Helps Patients Take HAART,” in the Fall 2012 edition of Spectrum, the Department of Mathematics newsletter.

]]>*MBE* is an international research journal focusing on new developments in the fast-growing fields of mathematical biosciences and engineering. According to the preface, the topics of the 12 articles appearing in the special issue honoring Webb “partially represent the broad areas of Glenn’s research interest.” They include

evolutionary dynamics of population growth, spatio-temporal dynamics in reaction-diﬀusion biological models, transmission dynamics of infectious diseases, modeling of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals, analysis of prion models, age-structured models in ecology and epidemiology, modeling of immune response to infections, and modeling of cancer growth.

The issue opens with two essays: “The Work of Glenn F. Webb,” by William E. Fitzgibbon (Dean, College of Technology, University of Houston and Vanderbilt University PhD in Mathematics) and “Studying Microbiology with Glenn F. Webb,” by Martin J. Blaser (Professor of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine).

Webb, who joined the Vanderbilt Mathematics department in 1968, distinguished himself first as a pioneer in the area of nonlinear accretive operator theory and nonlinear semigroups and evolution operators. His research then turned to mathematical biology, with special interest in the spread of infectious disease and nonlinear population models.

From mathematical biology, which involves the development of general models, Webb moved to research that is more accurately described as biomedical mathematics, which is concerned with specific systems or maladies and is data driven. His continuing biomedical mathematics work is directed towards specific diseases such as HIV, influenza, drug-resistant bacteria, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and, most recently, the Ebola epidemics in West Africa.

The full special issue is available here.

]]>Following the lecture, there will be a reception in Buttrick Hall Lobby.

]]>Kähler geometry is an area of mathematics that has seen a number of recent advances in diverse directions. The purpose of the conference is to bring together leading experts in the separate but related fields of differential geometry, geometric analysis, and algebraic geometry to present recent results and explore future directions of research in the field.

Among the many topics to be covered are Kähler-Einstein manifolds, Calabi-Yau manifolds with prescribed asymptotic behavior, extremal Kähler metrics, moduli space of Kähler metrics, and Hermitian manifolds.

The prestigious Shanks Lecture Series is organized annually by the Department of Mathematics of Vanderbilt University, honoring Baylis and Olivia Shanks. The late Professor Baylis Shanks was chairman of the Department from 1955 through 1969. A list of previous Shanks Conferences and Lecturers can be found here.

More information on the Recent Advances in Kähler Geometry Conference is available on the conference web site.

]]>This year’s graduate honors went to Yuanzhen Shao for outstanding research and to Michael Northington for excellence in teaching. Mathematics senior Paul Ponmattam was recognized for undergraduate achievement.

The Bjarni Jónsson Prize for Research was awarded to Yuanzhen Shao, whose research interests are in partial differential equations.

According to his advisor, Professor Gieri Simonett, Shao’s research contributions have been in the study of geometric evolution equations on uniformly regular and singular Riemannian manifolds, and in the regularity of free boundary problems. The approach he has been using is based on the theory of maximal regularity.

Shao has published three papers and has four papers currently under review. He has presented his research at 15 conferences and academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

“Yuanzhen is among the most promising young researchers that I have interacted with during my whole career,” said Simonett. “He is technically very strong, learns and absorbs material at warp speed, is ambitious, creative, and incredibly hard-working. Most importantly, he is very independent.”

Shao will receive his Ph.D. in May 2015. He has accepted a postdoc position at Purdue University starting in the fall.

The 2015 B.F. Bryant Prize for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Michael Northington. In announcing the award, Associate Director of Graduate Studies Doug Hardin cited Northington’s outstanding ratings on student evaluations. Several students remarked on his ability to explain concepts clearly. They also commented that his materials were always well organized and that it was clear that he spent considerable time in preparing them carefully.

Northington is a fourth-year graduate student and is expected to receive his Ph.D. in May 2016.

Paul Ponmattam received the Richard J. Larsen Award for Achievement in Undergraduate Mathematics. The Larsen Award is given each spring to the senior math major judged by the faculty to have excelled in all aspects of undergraduate mathematics.

Director of Undergraduate Studies John Rafter noted that Ponmattam has taken 18 courses beyond the required core mathematics courses, 17 of which were graduate courses. Ponmattam has participated in three Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. In one of them, Paul proved several results relating to the L2-norm and the operator norm on group algebras. He has also attended the UCLA Logic Summer School.

In addition to the Larsen Award, Ponmattam is also the recipient of the Waldemar Trjitzinsky Memorial Award and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. At the time of this posting, he had not made a decision among several graduate study options.

The Department of Mathematics is proud to honor these excellent students.

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