Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

News Items

Jerry Keisler's work is used to determine new information on infinities


Two mathematicians have proved that two different infinities are equal in size, settling a long-standing question. Their proof rests on a surprising link between the sizes of infinities and the complexity of mathematical theories.  Our own Professor Emeritus, Jerry Keisler, created "Keisler's order" in 1967, which was used to make the connection.

Link:  https://www.quantamagazine.org/mathematicians-measure-infinities-find-theyre-equal-20170912

NSF Funds New Data Science Institute at UW-Madison


UW-Madison was one of the recipients of the 1.5M in funding from the The National Science Foundation (NSF) in funding for twelve Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS) projects

This new project will bring together the statistics, mathematics and theoretical computer science communities to develop the foundations of data science.  One of the co-PI’s is Sebastien Roch, who worked with Qin Li, Jordan Ellenberg and Nigel Boston to help develop the proposal for the Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS).

IFDS will serve as a hub for people across campus with expertise in mathematics, statistics, and computer science to explore new approaches to the formulation and solution of problems in data analysis, as well as to epitomize the possibilities of a collaborative approach to investigating fundamental issues in data science. IFDS will integrate with the broader UW-Madison agenda for data science research, creating a new home for research of a fundamental, theoretical nature. It will play a vital role in establishing graduate degree programs in data science and in outreach to industrial partners with interests in fundamental data science research.

Remembering Hiroshi Gunji


Prof. Emeritus Hiroshi Gunji passed away recently from a stroke. He retired in 2001.  He was a dedicated teacher of calculus, and not many semesters went by when he wasn't lecturing in a calculus course. 

Hiroshi received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1962, under the direction of Jun-ichi Igusa. His thesis was entitled "Some properties of curves of genus 2 representing singular points of variety of moduli." He spent two years at Cornell University, then two years at the University of Saskatchewan before coming to Madison in 1966 as an assistant professor. Hiroshi did important research in number theory and had four PhD students during his tenure in Madison. He had an tremendous impact on our graduate program as chair for very many years of the graduate admissions committee.

One incident which shows how much Hiroshi was admired by his students occurred in a calculus course in which he was lecturing. Hiroshi was using a microphone with a wire attached and it would often get wound up around his feet. Students took up a collection to buy a wireless microphone, distributing leaflets which contained the words "Free Professor Gunji!"

For many years Hiroshi was an amateur artist, he and Josh Chover were close friends and often painted together.

Alumnus Song Sun, Ph.D 2010, invited to Rio for ICM


Song Sun, who got his PhD in Madison in 2010 (Advisor:  Xiu-Xiong Chen) and is currently an Associate Professor at Stony Brook, has been invited to speak in the Geometry section of the International Conference of Mathematicians in Rio De Janerio, Brazil in 2018. We wholeheartedly congratulate Song on this great achievement and wish him all the best for a very distinguished career!

Alumnus Ben Kane Honored with prestigious Young Scholar Award


Ben Kane (Ph.D., 2007, Advisor: Tonghai Yang) has won the prestigious Hong Kong Mathematic Society Young Scholar Award.   He is cited for his fundamental contributions to number theory, especially on the theory of meromorphic modular forms and polar harmonic modular forms. As two of many beautiful applications of his joint work with Kathrin Bringmann, the authors proved a Ramanujan type formula for the Fourier coefficients of any meromorphic modular form of negative weight, and gave an explicit construction of meromorphic modular forms of weight 0 as sums of polar harmonic forms. Ben is at Hong Kong University.  Ben was one of three young mathematicians cited, along with Eric Chung of Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Xianpeng Hu of City University of Hong Kong. 

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UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
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