Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

News Items

Is a District Gerrymandered or Not?


Lorenzo Najt studies algorithms that can build a large group of maps for a state, predict their outcomes, then compare those to the map that legislators selected. He works with UW–Madison mathematics professor Jordan Ellenberg as well as associate professor Justin Solomon and postdoctoral associate Daryl DeFord at MIT.

“What if we had a big bag of all the different maps that you could have?” Najt explained. “If we reached our hand in and took out maps randomly and then compared them to the one that you proposed, maybe your map would look extremely unusual in terms of its partisan advantage.

Link:  https://grad.wisc.edu/2020/04/23/mathematics-research-builds-better-ways-to-identify-gerrymandering/

Exploring the world of Atari, doughnuts and geometry


Autumn Kent offered a perspective of mathematical thinking in terms of Atari, doughnuts and geometry in the recent "Fueling Discovery" insert for the Wisconsin State Journal. 

Link:  https://madisonstatejournal-wi.newsmemory.com/?special=Fueling+Discovery

How Math tracks the Coronavirus


Much of the discussion about the coronavirus comes from mathematical models about how they expect the coronavirus to behave.  Professor Jordan Ellenberg has been discussing mathematical models of coronavirus in several online forums.

Qin Li joins in Coronavirus Fight


Qin Li has been working with other researchers here at the UW to combat coronavirus.  She is part of a group of researchers, led by UW Geography Professor Song Gao, using cell phone tracking data to model traveling and the spread of the coronavirus.  Li will use the team’s data to inform mathematical models of the spread of COVID-19. 

“We want people to take action to further prevent or mitigate the threat of the virus,” Gao says. “Our development of a COVID-19 spread model will be community-centered, which incorporates community responses into both the model development and the model interpretation process.”

Link:  https://news.wisc.edu/uw-madison-researchers-tracking-travel-social-media-to-help-contain-virus/

2017 Talent Search Winner Named Goldwater Scholar


Mostafa Hassan, of Greenfield, Wisconsin, has been named 1 of 4 Goldwater Scholars for the UW this year.  He will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer engineering. He is a 2017 winner of the Wisconsin Math, Science, and Engineering Talent Search, a proctored competitive written examination, and a recipient of the prestigious Van Vleck Scholarship at UW–Madison.

His freshman year, Hassan completed a theoretical physical chemistry project with Professor Edwin Sibert. The following summer, he completed a number-theory project with Naser Talebizadeh Sardari, a postdoctoral fellow. The collaboration resulted in a co-authored paper that is in the process of being submitted for publication. Hassan is currently working on a tensor-rank project with mathematics Professor Jordan Ellenberg, and he is completing directed reading on dispersive partial differential equations with mathematics Professor Mihaela Ifrim in preparation for future research. Hassan plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, with an interest in partial differential equations and harmonic analysis.

Link:  https://news.wisc.edu/four-uw-madison-students-named-2020-goldwater-scholars-the-most-possible-for-any-institution/

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