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Joint Mathematics Meetings

Highlighted Speakers

Many exciting talks are scheduled for this meeting. The most updated list of them and their speakers can be found on the program page. Details on a few are listed below—indicative of what you can look forward to at this meeting.

mpe13 logoKenneth Golden to Give Lecture for the Public on Mathematics and the Melting Polar Ice Caps

picture of GoldenKenneth M. Golden, University of Utah, will deliver the MAA-AMS-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture on Saturday, January 12, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center. The title of his talk will be Mathematics and the Melting Polar Ice Caps.

microphone Listen to Ken Golden talk with AMS Public Awareness Officer Mike Breen about his address

Kenneth M. Golden is a Professor of Mathematics and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His scientific interests lie in sea ice, climate change, composite materials, phase transitions, and inverse problems. He has published in mathematics, physics, geophysics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biomechanics journals, and given over 300 invited lectures on six continents, including three presentations in the US Congress. Dr. Golden has journeyed seven times to Antarctica and eight times to the Arctic to study sea ice.

In high school he became fascinated by the penguinsPolar Regions, studying satellite images of sea ice at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. As an undergraduate he worked at the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory on radar propagation in sea ice, while completing degrees in Mathematics and Physics at Dartmouth College. Dr. Golden received his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the Courant Institute of NYU in 1984. Prior to moving to Utah in 1991, he was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University in mathematical physics.

Professor Golden has received teaching awards from Princeton and the University of Utah. In March of 2011 he was selected as a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, for "extraordinary interdisciplinary work on the mathematics of sea ice," and has received a number of other research awards. His research and polar expeditions have been covered in newspaper, magazine, and web articles, including profiles in Science and Science News. He has also been interviewed numerous times on radio and television.

Abstract:  In the summer of 2012, the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by sea ice reached its lowest level ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements. In fact, compared to the 1980's and 1990's, this represents a loss of almost half of the summer Arctic sea ice pack. While global climate models generally predict sea ice declines over the 21st century, the precipitous losses observed so far have significantly outpaced most projections. In this lecture I will discuss how mathematical models of composite materials and statistical physics are being used to study key sea ice processes such as its freezing and melting. Such processes must be better understood to improve projections of the fate of Earth's sea ice packs, and the response of polar ecosystems. Video from recent Antarctic expeditions where we measured related sea ice properties will be shown.

mpe13 logoEmily Shuckburgh to Deliver an AMS-MAA Invited Address

picture of emily shuckburghEmily Shuckburgh, British Antarctic Survey, will deliver an AMS-MAA Invited Address on Wednesday, January 9, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center. The title of her talk will be Using Mathematics to Better Understand the Earth's Climate.

Emily Shuckburgh is a climate scientist based at the British Antarctic Survey. There she leads the Open Oceans research group, which is focused on understanding the role of the polar oceans in the global climate system. Her personal research concerns investigating the dynamics of the atmosphere, oceans and climate using theoretical approaches, observational studies and numerical modelling.

She holds a number of positions at the University of Cambridge. She is a fellow of Darwin College, a member of the Faculty of Mathematics, and an associate of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research. In addition she is a member of Faculty for many programmes of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, which is dedicated to working with leaders from business, government and civil society on the critical global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, water scarcity and food security.

She completed her undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Oxford and a PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Cambridge. She then conducted post-doctoral studies in atmosphere and ocean dynamics at Ecole Normal Superieure in Paris and at MIT. She is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Chair of their Climate Science Communications Group and a former Chair of their Scientific Publications Committee. She acts as an advisor to the UK Government on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Tony DeRose to Speak on Mathematics and Hollywood

picture of DeRoseTony DeRose, Pixar Animation Studios, will deliver an MAA Invited Address on Wednesday, January 9, 3:20 p.m. - 4:10 p.m., Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center. The title of his talk will be How Mathematics has Changed Hollywood.

microphoneTony DeRose Talks Math and Hollywood Prior to JMM MAA Invited Address

Tony DeRose is a Senior Scientist and lead of the Research Group at Pixar Animation Studios. He received a BS in Physics in from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining Pixar in 1996 he was a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Washington. In 1998, he was a major contributor to the Oscar (c) winning short film "Geri's game", in 1999 he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, and in 2006 he received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award (c) for his work on surface representations. In addition to his research interests, Tony is also involved in a number of initiatives to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring and relevant for middle and high school students. One such initiative is the Young Makers Program (youngmakers.org) that supports youth in building ambitious hands-on projects of their own choosing.

Abstract: Over the past two decades filmmaking has been completely revolutionized by advances in areas such as computational physics and applied math. Using numerous examples drawn from Pixar's films, this talk will provide a behind the scenes look at the role that mathematics has played in the revolution.

Cédric Villani to Give the Gibbs Lecture

picture of villaniCédric Villani, Institut Henri Poincaré, will give the AMS Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture on Wednesday, January 9, 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center. The title of his talk will be On Disorder, Mixing and Equilibration.

Born in 1973 in France, Cédric Villani studied mathematics in École Normale Supérieure in Paris, from 1992 to 1996, and spent four more years as assistant professor there.

In 1998 he defended his PhD on the mathematical theory of the Boltzmann equation. Besides his advisor Pierre-Louis Lions (Paris, France), he was much influenced by Yann Brenier (Nice, France), Eric Carlen (Rutgers, USA) and Michel Ledoux (Toulouse, France).

From 2000 to 2010 he was professor at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and now at the Université de Lyon. He occupied visiting professor positions in Atlanta, Berkeley and Princeton.

Since 2009 he is director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris; this 80-year old national institute, dedicated to welcoming visiting researchers, is at the very heart of French mathematics.

His work has won him many national and international prizes, in particular the Fields Medal, usually regarded as the most prestigious award in mathematics, which was given to him at the 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad (India), by the President of India. Since then he has served as a spokesperson for the french mathematical community in media and political circles.

Né en 1973 à Brive-la-Gaillarde, Cédric Villani etudie les mathématiques à l'école Normale Supérieure à Paris, de 1992 à 1996, et exerce quatre années supplémentaires dans cette institution en tant qu'agrégé préparateur ("caïman").

En 1998, il soutient sa thèse sur la théorie mathématique de l'équation de Boltzmann. Outre son directeur de thèse Pierre-Louis Lions (Paris), il est très influencé par Yann Brenier (Nice), Eric Carlen (Rutgers, USA) et Michel Ledoux (Toulouse).

De 2000 à 2010, il est professeur à l'école Normale Supérieure de Lyon, et maintenant à l'Université de Lyon. Il occupe des postes de professeur invité à Atlanta, Berkeley et Princeton.

Depuis 2009, il est directeur de l'Institut Henri Poincaré à Paris; cet institut national, vieux de 80 ans, dédié à l'accueil de chercheurs invités, est au coeur même de la mathématique française.

Le travail de C. Villani lui a valu de nombreuses reconnaissances nationales et internationales, dont  la médaille Fields, d'ordinaire considérée comme la plus prestigieuse récompense en mathématique, qui lui a été décernée lors de l'édition 2010 du Congrès International des Mathématiciens à Hyderabad (Inde), par la Présidente de l'Inde. Depuis lors il remplit un rôle de porte-parole et ambassadeur pour la communauté mathématique française auprès des médias et des politiques.

Suzanne Weekes to Speak on Industrial-Strength Mathematics in Academia

photo of WeekesSuzanne Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will deliver an MAA Invited Address on Wednesday, January 9, 2:15 p.m. - 3:05 p.m., Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center. The title of her talk will be Industrial Strength Mathematics in Academia.

Suzanne L. Weekes received a PhD in Mathematics and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1995.  She spent three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and the Institute for Scientific Computation at Texas A&M University. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute since 1998 and has recently spent six years serving as the Associate Department Head. She is the Director of the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics (CIMS) at WPI through which students and faculty work on mathematical and statistical problems that come directly from our industrial sponsors.

CIMS is the home of the NSF and DoD funded WPI REU Program in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics; this program celebrated its 15th summer in 2012.  Prof. Weekes is also one of the co-directors of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program (MSRI-UP). Her research interests are in industrial mathematics and numerical methods for applied problems.

Alice Guionnet to Deliver the AMS Colloquium Lectures

photo of AliceAlice Guionnet, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, will deliver the AMS Colloquium Lectures in Room 6AB, Upper Level, San Diego Convention Center, on the following dates:

  • Colloquium Lecture I on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Free Probability and Random Matrices, I.

  • Colloquium Lecture II on Thursday, January 10, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Free Probability and Random Matrices, II.

  • Colloquium Lecture III on Friday, January 11, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Free Probability and Random Matrices, III.

Lecture notes can be found here.

microphone Listen to Alice Guionnet talk with AMS Public Awareness Officer Mike Breen about her address

After studying mathematics in Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, Alice Guionnet defended her PhD thesis in 1995 under the supervision of Gerard Ben Arous. Her work already received credit as she was given  a permanent position at the  Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in 1993, even before defending her PhD thesis. She moved to Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in 2000, where she became a director of research in 2005. She has worked in the states twice, the first time as a PostDoc in 1995 at NYU and the second time as a Miller fellow in 2006 in Berkeley. She is taking  a professor position at MIT in September 2012.

Alice Guionnet's early work was concerned with statistical mechanics, and more precisely the study of dynamics in random media and its so-called ``aging'' phenomenon. She is now mainly working on random matrices, with an emphasis towards operator algebra and the free probability theory introduced by Voiculescu.

Her work has won her many international and national prizes, including the Loeve prize and the silver medal from CNRS.