
Georgia Benkart Named MAA Pólya Lecturer for 200001, 200102 
Georgia Benkart 
Georgia received the PhD from Yale University in 1974 and has been a member of our Mathematics Department ever since. Her research specialities are Lie Algebras, Representation Theory, and Combinatorics. She won a University of Wisconsin MidCareer Award in 1996 on the basis of her strong research accomplishments and continued potential. She is regarded as an inspiring and dedicated teacher, in the best traditions of George Pólya, and won a campuswide Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987. Giving lectures around the country won't be anything new for Georgia. In the year 2000 she gave 9 invited lectures, including lectures at MSRI (Berkeley), Seoul National University (Korea), Canada (Toronto and Alberta), and Oberwolfach (Germany). In 1999 among her 11 invited lectures were the Taft Lectures at the University of Cincinnati. Professor Benkart currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Algebra and the Korean Mathematical Colloquium. Fourteen graduate students have completed doctoral dissertations under her supervision.
Eleny Ionel awarded Sloan Fellowship 
Eleny Ionel 
Eleny studied as an undergraduate at the University ``Al. I. Cuza'' (Romania) and received the PhD from Michigan State University in 1996 with a thesis ``From Gromov invariants to enumerative invariants'' guided by Thomas H. Parker. She was C.L.E. Moore Instructor at MIT before arriving on the Madison campus in 1999. In addition, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MSRI (Berkeley) in the fall of 1996.
Professor Ionel's research interests are in symplectic topology and 4manifolds, and GromovWitten and SeibergWitten invariants. Among the highlights of her work are the computation of the number of tori in projective space with fixed jinvariants, a gluing formula for GromovWitten invariants, and the discovery of important new relations in the cohomology of DeligneMumford moduli spaces of stable Riemann surfaces. Very quickly she has become a leading member of our growing topology & geometry group.
Steffen Lempp receives Vilas Associate Award 
Steffen Lempp 
Steffen studied at the Universities of Karlsruhe and Bonn (Germany) before entering the graduate school at the University of Chicago where he received the PhD in 1983. He was a Gibbs Instructor at Yale University for two years before joining our Department in 1988 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992 and Professor in 1996. Steffen was on research leave at the University of Leeds (England) in the spring of 1996 and spent the summer of 1998 at the University of Siena (Italy). Seven students have received PhDs with his guidance. He was the editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic from 199398, and is currently the editor of the Lecture Notes on Logic series of the Association for Symbolic Logic.
Professor Lempp's research area is computability theory in which he is a leader. According to Steffen, computability theory is the study of the effective content of mathematics, in particular of mathematical constructions. It has strong connections with theoretical computer science since it explores the theoretical limitations of mechanical computability, that is, by idealized computers without bound on run time or memory space. Computability theory arose out of the work of Gödel in the 1930's in which it was demonstrated that Hilbert's program to axiomatize arithmetic in a finitary manner was impossible. This work led to a number of undecidability results, including the undecidability of the word problem for finitely presented groups and of Hilbert's 10th problem on diophantine equations.
Steffen has done significant and groundbreaking work in the two major aspects of computability theory, namely the study of complexity of sets of integers (regarded as coding natural mathematical problems) and applied computability (the study of the effective content of various branches of mathematics, in particular, algebra and model theory). He has been a energetic member of our logic group, organizing meetings, seminars, and other activities.
YongGeun Oh receives Korean Young Scientist Prize 
YongGeun Oh 
YongGeun received the PhD from UCBerkeley in 1988 under A. Weinstein. He spent postdoctoral years at MSRI (Berkeley) in 198889, at the Courant Institute of NYU in 19891991, and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 199192. He came to Madison in 1992 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. The academic years 19982000 were spent at the Korean Institute for Advanced Study and Kyoto University.
Since receiving the PhD, YongGeun has concentrated his research on developing and enhancing the socalled Floer homology theory in symplectic geometry and its application to various problems in symplectic geometry and topology.
Ken Ono is PECASE Recipient 
Ken Ono 
As PECASE recipient, Ken participated in the NSF's 50th Anniversary Celebration and its yearlong initiative Scientists and Engineers in the School. Along with Nobel Laureates Leon Lederman (1988, physics) and Russell Alan Hulse (1993, physics), Ken visited with high school students in the Midland, Michigan area in order to share science, experiential learning, and personal experiences with innovation and discovery. As part of this celebration, Ken and his PECASE Postdoctoral Fellow, Gwynneth Coogan, gave a presentation to students at Cherokee Heights Middle School in Madison in September, 2000. Coogan received the PhD from the University of Colorado in 1999 and is Assistant Professor at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She is spending the 200001 academic year in Madison teaching and doing research. In addition to her academic abilities, Gwynneth was a member of the 1992 USA Olympic Track and Field Team, competing in the 10,000meter event. She was also an alternate member for the 1996 Team in the marathon.
One of Professor Ono's research interests is the partition
function p(n). Ramanujan discovered congruences for the
partition function involving the numbers 5, 7, and 11. For
instance,

Ken used the theory of modular forms and discovered a connection
between p(n) and a specific modular form. This led him to
establish the existence of the congruences modulo a prime number
for p(n). But he provided only one specific example:

This past summer, Professor Ono was one of the instructors at the
National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia. At this Camp, near
Bartow, West Virginia in the Monongahela National Forest, were two
graduating seniors from every state in the union. The Camp was
established in 1964, in the postSputnik era, as a gift to the
nation on West Virginia's 100th birthday.