American Mathematical Society Inaugural Fellows
In November 2012, The American Mathematical Society honored 1119 mathematicians in their first class of Fellows. Three FSU math department professors John Bryant, Robert Gilmer, and DeWitt Sumners numbered among them. Looking back on their long careers and substantial contributions to the field, they've been kind enough to offer their reflections and advice on the field of mathematics, at FSU and beyond.
Mariel Vazquez Alumni Profile
Mariel Vazquez, who earned her Ph.D. in math at FSU, has received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for her research. She applies pure math to the biological mysteries of DNA, studying its entanglement as it packs tightly into living cells. Born and raised in Mexico City, Vazquez became fascinated with math and biology in high school. "I found pure mathematics to be absolutely beautiful but I didn't know how I could apply it to biology," Vazquez said. That changed when she became an undergraduate at the National Autono- mous University of Mexico and attended a series of talks about DNA topology - the application of knot theory to the study of DNA.
Faculty Research: Mike Mesterton-Gibbons
Among questions of interest to biologists who study animal behavior are these: When should an animal - for example, a fiddler crab - intervene to help a neighbor having a territorial dispute with an intruder? Does eavesdropping - for example, by green swordtail fish - increase or reduce the overall frequency of aggressive behavior in a population? How widespread in nature is mutual assessment of fighting abilities? To be sure, humans do it, but what about hermit crabs or sea anenomes? And if strength is indeed being assessed, when does it pay for a threat to be a bluff?
15th Annual Financial Math Festival
FSU's Financial Math Department welcomed students, faculty, alumni and industry practitioners to their annual Financial Math Festival, March 1-2, 2013. The event kicked off on Friday afternoon with a reception and a talk given by Dr Lisa Goldberg from the University of California, Berkeley, titled "In Search of a Statistically Valid Volatility Risk Factor." The first day concluded with a catered reception in the Chemistry Building lobby, during which attendees had the chance to network and learn more about the state of the industry in a casual environment.
Faculty Profile: Kyle Gallivan
When Professor Kyle Gallivan finally landed in FSU's math department in 2008, he felt right away that he had ended up in the right place. After more than a decade at Florida State working in computer science, he had a choice to make, a luxury he's grateful for as he looks back. "I took a look and said, 'maybe the math department is the right place,' and I was very, very lucky that the department agreed. I'm very happy that that happened."