Department of Mathematical Sciences
Events
People
Colloquia and Seminars
Conferences
Centers
Positions
Areas of Research
About the Department
Alumni
Departmental Newsletter
QUICK LINKS

News
 Hayden Schaeffer receives NSF CAREER awardHayden Schaeffer, an assistant professor of Mathematical Sciences, received an NSF CAREER Award . The Faculty Early Career Development
(CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation's most
prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the
role of teacherscholars through outstanding research, excellent
education and the integration of education and research.
Professor Schaeffer works in the areas of numerical analysis of
pde, data science, and variational methods in imaging science.
This NSF CAREER award supports Schaeffer's work on the use of
sparse optimization for the numerical solution of partial differential equations. This project focuses on learning the
underlying process that generates observational data, in a sense,
"reverseengineering" models from data. These models are often used to
gain insights on the data (for example, determining mathematical
principles from experimental observations) or to make dataenabled
decisions (for example, trend prediction).
Hayden Schaeffer's work is also supported by the Young Investigator
Program of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
 Women and Mathematics at CMUThe Department of Mathematical Sciences will host
the WAM@CMU on Saturday, April 14, 2018. WAM@CMU is a oneday
conference for undergraduate women in mathematics. One
of the primary goals is to establish a network of
undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and alumnae of
the CMU Department of Mathematical Sciences. The conference
is inspired and partially supported by the Institute for
Advanced Study Women and Mathematics program, and the core
of the conference is a minicourse on partial differential equations
and mathematical finance given by Dr. Kim Weston.
More ►
 Irene Fonseca named KavčićMoura University Professor of MathematicsFonseca is
one of four professors from across the CMU
campus who have been appointed to the new
KavčićMoura Professorships. These positions
honor inventors José Moura and Aleksandar Kavčić,
who developed and patented systems and methods
that fundamentally increased the accuracy with
which hard disk drive circuits read data from
high speed magnetic disks.
Fonseca has been a faculty member since 1987 and is the director of our Center for
Nonlinear Analysis. Fonseca is one of the world's
leading researchers in the field of applied
analysis and some of her work addresses problems
from materials and imaging sciences. More ►
 Irene Fonseca named to Abel CommitteeThe Abel Prize recognizes outstanding scientific
work in the field of mathematics. The prize is
meant to recognize contributions of extraordinary
depth and influence. Such work may have resolved fundamental problems,
created powerful new techniques, introduced
unifying principles, or opened up major new fields
of research. The Abel Prize and the Fields Medal
are considered the most prestigious awards in
mathematics.
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
awards the Abel Prize based on a recommendation
from the Abel committee, which consists of five
outstanding research scientists in the field of
mathematics. Irene Fonseca, KavčićMoura University Professor of Mathematics, will serve a two
year term on this committee, playing a role in
the selection of the Abel Prize recipients in
2018 and 2019. More ►
 Ian Tice awarded NSF CAREER grantIan Tice, an assistant professor of Mathematical Sciences,
received an NSF CAREER Award . The Faculty Early Career
Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science
Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior
faculty who exemplify the role of teacherscholars through outstanding research, excellent education and
the integration of education and research.
Professor Tice works in the areas of partial differential equations and fluid mechanics. The broad goal of his research is to develop the mathematical theory of PDEs in order to study physical phenomena. The
phenomena treated by his research include moving interfaces between two fluids, the dynamics of collapsing stars, and the motion of vortices in the GinzburgLandau model of superconductivity. Professor Tice is
affiliated with Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nonlinear Analysis. More ►
 Sebastien Vasey Receives Guy C. Berry Graduate Student Research AwardThe Guy Berry Award recognizes excellence in research by Mellon College of Science graduate students.
Sebastien is the first student in the Department of
Mathematical Sciences to receive the Guy Berry award,
which was established in 2005.
Sebastien works in model theory, focusing on
classification theory for abstract elementary
classes and Shelah’s Categoricity Conjecture. He produced more than 20 papers during his career as a
graduate student at Carnegie Mellon. Sebastien will be going to the
Department of Mathematics at Harvard University
as a Benjamin Peirce Fellow in the Fall of 2017. More ►
 CMU wins Putnam Competition!The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition
is an annual contest for college students
established in 1938 in memory of its namesake.
This contest is administered by the Mathematical
Association of America. Over 4000 undergraduate
students from nearly 600 institutions in North
America took part in the exam in 2016. Carnegie
Mellon's team, which consisted of Josh Brakensiek,
Thomas Swayze, and Sam Zbarsky won the competition.
All 3 members of the CMU team placed in the
top five of all competitors, thus earning the
distinction of Putnam Fellows. Furthermore, 44
CMU students placed in the top 500.
This is the first Putnam victory for Carnegie Mellon and our sixth top 5 performance in a row.
More ►
 Hayden Schaeffer awarded AFOSR young investigator grantThe Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded assistant
professor Hayden Schaeffer research funding through the Air Force's Young
Investigator Research Program (YIP). The YIP is open to recent Ph.D.
recipients who show exceptional ability and promise. The objective of this
program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering,
enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and
increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air
Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.
Professor Schaeffer is a computational analyst with interests in PDE,
imaging science, and machine learning. Some of his recent work utilizes
ideas from compressive sensing to develop datadriven methods for the
numerical solution of PDE. While his focus is on improving computations
for evolution equations, this research direction has the potential to
produce methods for learning the underlying PDE models themselves. More ►
 2016 Simons Fellows in MathematicsThe Simons Fellows in Mathematics Program provides funds to
faculty for research leaves from classroom teaching and
administrative obligations as such leaves can increase
creativity and provide intellectual stimulation. Mathematical sciences faculty Gautam Iyer and Bob Pego were named 2016 Simons Fellows in Mathematics. Professor Iyer works on problems related to mathematical fluid
dynamics and mixing using both deterministic and probabilistic
techniques, and Professor Pego studies nonlinear dynamics in
PDE, especially coherent structures and nonlinear waves.
They are among 37 mathematicians named Simons Fellows in Mathematics in 2016. They join Alan Frieze among the ranks of
Simons Fellows on the CMU mathematics faculty. Frieze was
awarded a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics in 2015.
 Putnam Mathematical CompetitionOver 4000 undergraduate students from
nearly 600 institutions in North America took part in the exam
in 2015. Carnegie Mellon's team, which consisted of Josh Brakensiek, Linus Hamilton, and Thomas Swayze placed second.
This was the fifth top 5 performance in a row for CMU. Furthermore, 41 CMU students placed among the top 470.
More ►
 Wes Pegden named Sloan Research FellowWes Pegden, an assistant professor of Mathematical Sciences, was
named a 2016 Sloan Research Fellow. These fellowships seek to
stimulate fundamental research by earlycareer scientists and
scholars of outstanding promise.
Professor Pegden's research is in the area of combinatorics.
He works on combinatorial games, random structures, and
random instances of computational problems. Pegden and
his coauthors are developing a remarkable account of the scaling limit of the Abelian Sandpile Process and have developed new perspectives
on the hardness of geometric cases of the Traveling Salesman
Problem. Professor Pegden is affiliated with Carnegie Mellon's
interdisciplinary PhD program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and
Optimization.
More ►
 Boris Bukh awarded NSF CAREER grantBoris Bukh, an assistant professor of Mathematical Sciences, received
an NSF CAREER Award . The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER)
Program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of
teacherscholars through outstanding research, excellent education
and the integration of education and research. Professor Bukh was
also named a 2015 Sloan Research Fellow. These fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by earlycareer scientists and
scholars of outstanding promise.
Professor Bukh's research connects combinatorics and geometry with other areas of mathematics. He studies the appearance of rigid geometric structures as answers (or conjectured answers) to classical combinatorial problems, the problem of approximation of large geometric point sets, and geometric incidence problems. His work on these problems draws on tools from  and makes connections with  logic, number theory, and algebraic topology. Professor Bukh is affiliated with Carnegie Mellon's interdisciplinary PhD program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization.
 Bob Pego named AMS FellowThe Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program
recognizes mathematicians who have made outstanding
contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement,
communication, and utilization of mathematics. Bob Pego
was recently named an AMS Fellow for contributions to
partial differential equations and applied mathematics.
His research concerns dynamical behavior in
nonlinear partial differential equations that model a
wide range of phenoma including incompressible fluid
flow, water waves, and coagulation dynamics. Professor
Pego joins CMU Department of Mathematical Sciences
faculty Irene Fonseca, Alan Frieze and David Kinderlehrer
among the ranks of AMS Fellows.
 Master of Science in Computational Finance ranked #1QuantNet, a leading online resource for the fields of
financial engineering and quantitative finance, has
recognized the Master in Computational Finance (MSCF) program at Carnegie Mellon University as #1 in its
2015 ranking of financial engineering programs.
This is the third #1 ranking in a row for MSCF.
"Quantitative finance offers students with superior
math skills an opportunity to work in an intellectually
challenging environment, using their skills in an
industry on which the economic health of our nation
depends," said Steve Shreve, University Professor of
Mathematical Sciences and one of the founders of the
CMU MSCF program. "Recognizing this, Carnegie Mellon
created the first professional degree in quantitative
finance more than 20 years ago, and we have invested substantial resources toward the goal of making ours the best quantitative
finance degree in the world. It is gratifying to see
that even though scores of similar programs have since been created at many other elite universities,
our number one standing continues."
The Department of Mathematical Sciences plays a
critical role in the interdisciplinary MSCF program, teaching a third of the curriculum and providing
leadership in policy matters. The Department is
deeply invested in the applications of mathematics
to finance. The Department is home to the Bachelor's
program in Computational Finance and graduates a
steady stream of Ph.D. students whose research treats
mathematical problems arising in finance.
 Alumnus John NashThe Department of Mathematical Sciences extends its deepest sympathies to the family of alumnus John F. Nash, Jr., who died along with his wife in a car accident on Saturday, May 23. John Nash's death came less than a week after he received the 2015 Abel
Prize.
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters awarded the Abel
Prize for 2015 to John F. Nash, Jr. and Louis Nirenberg “for
striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear
partial differential equations and its applications to
geometric analysis.” While the Fields medal is considered the highest honor in
mathematics, the Fields medal is restricted to mathematicians
under the age of 40. The Abel prize, considered the equivalent
of a Noble Prize, is the most important prize honoring
contributions to mathematics over the course of a career.
John Nash received bachelor and masters degrees in mathematics
from Carnegie Tech in 1948. He went on to complete his Ph.D.
at Princeton and to make seminal contributions in a number of
areas. Nash was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 1994
for his work on noncooperative games. The work on game theory
is distinct from the work on partial differential equations
and geometric analysis that was recognized by the Abel
prize.
 Putnam Mathematical CompetitionCMU team places 5th on the 2014 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. This is the fourth top 5 Putnam performance in a row
for CMU. Furthermore 55 CMU students placed in the top 507.
More ►
 PoShen Loh wins NSF CAREER AwardPoShen Loh, an assistant professor of Mathematical
Sciences, received an NSF CAREER Award. The Faculty
Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the
National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards
in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role
of teacherscholars through outstanding research,
excellent education and the integration of education
and research within the context of the mission of
their organizations.
Professor Loh's research lies at the intersection of
combinatorics and probability theory. He uses
randomness as a component in the construction of
discrete mathematical objects and also introduces
randomness as a proof technique to solve problems
about purely deterministic systems. Some of
Professor Loh's work is motivated by problems from
computer science. He is affiliated with Carnegie
Mellon's interdisciplinary PhD program in
Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization and has
developed an innovative problemsolving seminar
series for undergraduate students, inspired by the
annual Putnam exam.
News Archives: 2014  2013

PhD Thesis Defense Wed, Jul 25,2:00 pm Yue Pu  CNA Seminar Thu, Aug 30,1:30 pm Jack Xin  CNA Seminar Tue, Sep 11,1:30 pm Shankar Venkataramani  CNA Seminar Tue, Sep 25,1:30 pm Peter Palffy Muhoray  Math Colloquium Wed, Oct 17,4:30 pm Walter Schachermayer  CNA Seminar Tue, Oct 23,1:30 pm Shawn Walker 
