Melanie Matchett Wood has been named as a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor. These professorships are awarded only to those who "possess unusual qualifications and promise, having been recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of their research". The title may be carried for the duration of her career in Madison. This is truly an accomplishment, as Melanie was awarded the Vilas Early Career Investigator award just last year. It is truly a testament to Melanie's research that she has gone from the junior to the senior award in just one year. Congratuations!
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 UW 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.
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.
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!