Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

News Items

Nan Chen works on model for predicting Indian Monsoons

New research from an NYU/Abu Dhabi team has found that temperatures in the Atlantic are having a growing effect on the Indian monsoon, something that could prove crucial in predicting how severe rains are likely to be.

The study comes as climate change alters the patterns of monsoon rainfall in India, with likely far-reaching effects on agriculture, the economy and society.

In the latest study the team, which includes Nan Chen as well as 3 other NYU/Abu Dhabi researchers (Sabeerali CT, Ajayamohan RS, Bangalath HK) looked at the relationship between sea-surface temperature variability in the Atlantic and variability in the Indian summer monsoon.

Colder sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic, linked to a weather system called the Atlantic Zonal Mode (AZM), tend to be associated with stronger monsoon rains.

The colder temperatures over the Atlantic strengthen the waves into the Indian Ocean, which increases the difference in upper atmospheric temperature between the Indian Ocean and the Indian continent. This causes more powerful moisture-laden winds to blow onto the land, leading to greater monsoon rains.


Support plus drive equals success

A supportive environment helped a group of female graduate students in mathematics reach lofty goals. Already a leader in the number of women hired as faculty members, the department hopes to continue improving the experience for female students to help bring equity to the field.

After graduation, a group of seven female graduate students,  Eva Elduque, Jing Hao, Wanlin Li, Amy Huang, Yuhua Zhu, Di Fang and Yuan Liu, mathematics will head off to post-doctoral opportunities at some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, including Georgia Tech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, Texas A&M University and the University of Michigan. Their success, in a field that has historically presented institutional challenges for women, says something important about the environment for female students in the Department of Mathematics at UW-Madison. 



Four faculty honored with Van Vleck Prizes

Every four years the UW-Madison Mathematics Department awards Van Vleck Prizes to faculty members on the basis of excellence in research and promise of significant future achievement.  The prizes are funded by the Van Vleck Professorship Fund.   The four winners of the 2019 Van Vleck Prizes are...

  • George Craciun
  • Jordan Ellenberg
  • Laurentiu Maxim
  • Benedek Valko

Math Academic Staff Honored for Career Achievement

Soledad Benguria-Andrews and Sara Nagreen were honored for career achievement and excellence by the College of Letters and Science on May 8, 2019.  Soledad won a 2019 Early Career award for her work with redefining the Calculus sequence; this impacts thousands of students each year!  Sara won a Mid-Career Award for her impact on service, including several committees for recognition, climate, IT, communications, and information security.


Math Department Awards Ceremony 5/1

911 Van Vleck



UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 263-3054

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