2008-present Awards & Announcements
Department of Mathematics
Stefan Richter awarded Cunningham Outstanding Teaching award for 2013-14
David Anderson, Robert Daverman, Suzanne Lenhart, and Stefan Richter named AMS Fellows 2013
Vasilis Maroulas awarded Leverhulme Trust Fellowship 2012
Suzanne Lenhart Appointed SIAM Fellow 2011
Suzanne Lenhart Appointed Chancellor's Professor 2011
Ken Stephenson Elected AAAS Fellow 2011
Stefan Richter Gives AMS Regional Meeting Plenary Lecture 2010
Suzanne Lenhart Gives Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture - 2010
Suzanne Lenhart Chancellor's Honors 2010 Notable UT Woman
Suzanne Lenhart elected AAAS Fellow
Bob Daverman Elected AAAS Fellow
Michael Nielan Wins NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship 2009
NIMBioS $16M Center
Xia Chen named IMS Fellow
Lida Barrett wins MAA Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics
Sergey Gavrilets wins Guggenheim Fellowship
Donald Dessart Inducted into Educators Hall of Honor
Suzanne Lenhart Receives Patent for CPR Procedure
Professors David Anderson, Robert Daverman, Suzanne Lenhart, and Stefan Richter have been honored as members of the inaugural class of AMS Fellows, along with former Department Head and continuing department friend Lida Barrett.
Vasilis Maroulas has been awarded the Leverhulme Trust Fellowship to visit the University of Bath in Great Britain. Vasilis prevailed in a university-wide competition at Bath for one of only two Fellowship awards. He will visit the Mathematics Department at the University of Bath for 9 months beginning October 1, 2013.
Professor Suzanne Lenhart was named a 2010 SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Fellow. There were 34 SIAM Fellows appointed this year. The fellowship honors SIAM members who have made outstanding contributions to applied mathematics and computational science . Fellows are selected from nominations by their peers. SIAM has over 13,000 individual members. The 34 new SIAM Fellows will be recognized in July at the 7th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2011) in Vancouver, British Columbia.
To quote from Dr. Lenhart's nomination announcement:
Suzanne M. Lenhart of the University of Tennessee is being recognized for her research in optimal control with biological and physical applications and her significant contributions to advance undergraduate research. In addition to optimal control, she studies partial differential equations and disease, population, environmental and natural resource models. Dr. Lenhart has spent many years encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to pursue mathematics and related fields. She was awarded the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lectureship at SIAM's annual meeting last year in acknowledgment of her contributions. She is a past member of the SIAM Board of Trustees and serves on the education committees of AWM and SIAM."
Details about the entire Class of 2011 Fellows and their accomplishments, affiliations, and reasons for recognition can be found at http://connect.siam.org/?p=597.
A full list of the Fellows and their affiliations can also be found on the Fellows page at: http://fellows.siam.org/index.php?sort=year&value=2011
Suzanne Lenhart has been appointed as a UTK Chancellor's Professor. Her appointment begins August 1, 2011, and continues through the lifetime of her employment at UTK. Seven Chancellor's Professors were appointed in the intial class a few years ago, and this year's class is the first addition to that inaugural group. To quote from Dr. Lenhart's appointment letter,
"Appointment as a Chancellor's Professor constitutes the highest honor that can be accorded to a member of the faculty by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This designation recognizes extraordinary, nationally or internationally recognized, scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field as well as a record of excellence in teaching and service to the university."
There are intended to be only 18-20 Chancellor's Professors at any time, and part of their role is to "meet at regular intervals to advise the Chancellor, Provost, and Vice Chancellor for Research on matters of concern to the campus." Also, there will be a Chancellor’s Professor Faculty Lecture Series.
The appointment comes with a $20,000 research stipend "as a token of the campus' recognition of their outstanding achievement." More information about Chancellor's Professors can be at http://chancellor.utk.edu/professors/.
Ken Stephenson was elected this year as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ken was one of only 8 mathematicians elected nationally this year.
Ken's letter from the AAAS stated:
"Each year the AAAS Council elects members whose 'efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.' The honor of being elected a Fellow of the AAAS began in 1874 and is acknowledged with a certificate and rosette.
You are being honored for distinguished contributions to analysis and geometry, particularly the development of the circle packing algorithm and the theory of discrete analytic function theory."
Ken was inducted as an AAAS Fellow at this year's annual meeting in Washington, DC on Feb. 19, 2011.
Ken is one of 7 from the College of Arts and Sciences (one of 8 in UTK) elected as an AAAS Fellow this year. More information can be found at http://www.utk.edu/tntoday/2011/01/11/aaas-fellows-top-nation/?utm_source=tntoday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2011-01-18.
Ken is the third member of the Math Department to be elected as an AAAS Fellow in recent years. Bob Daverman was elected in 2009 and Suzanne Lenhart was elected in 2010.
On November 6, 2010, Stefan Richter delivered an invited plenary address at the Fall Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society in Richmond, Virginia. The title of his lecture was “Boundary behavior and invariant subspaces in spaces of analytic functions.”
There are at most 4 Plenary Lectures at each of the 4 AMS regional meetings held twice a year. Hence there are at most 32 AMS Plenary Lectures nationally each year. Here is a list of UT faculty who have given plenary addresses at AMS meetings in the 1975-2010 period:
Stefan Richter (2010)
Sergey Gavrilets (2007)
David Anderson (1998)
Alan George (1998)
Jack Dongarra (1994)
John Walsh (1984)
Thomas Hallam (1976)
Robert Daverman (1975)
Suzanne Lenhart was awarded the Sonia Kovalevsky Prize and delivered the Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture at the 2010 annual SIAM meeting in July in Pittsburg. Dr. Lenhart is the 8th individual ever to give the Kovalevsky Lecture. The title of her lecture was "Mixing It Up: Discrete and Continuous Optimal Control for Biological Models." Here is a link to a press release: http://www.awm-math.org/PR/PR_lenhart_kovalevsky2010.pdf The Kovalevsky lectures began in 2003 and are delivered annually. These lectures are intended to highlight significant contributions of women toapplied or computational mathematics. Further information, including a list of previous lecturers, can be found at: http://www.siam.org/prizes/sponsored/kovalevsky.php.
Professor Suzanne Lenhart was the winner of the UT Notable Woman Award, given at the Chancellor's Honors Banquet last night. The UT Notable Woman Award is a highly competitive award, presented to one woman each year, on a three year rotation among the categories of Administrators, Alumnae, and Faculty/Staff. Faculty/Staff will not be eligible for this award again until 2013.
Information about Suzanne and her award can be found at:
I am pleased to announce that Professor Suzanne Lenhart was elected as a member of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) this year. The AAAS is the world's largest scientific society. To quote from Suzannes's notification letter, "You are being honored for distinguished contributions to the field of optimal control and modeling of biological and physical applications and for education, service, and outreach activities." Suzanne's induction will take place on Feb. 20, 2010, in San Diego at the Association's Annual meeting. An article can be viewed at
Bob Daverman was elected as a Fellow of the AAAS (the American Association for the Advancement of Science), which is the world's largest general scientific society. To quote from Bob's award letter, "Each year the Council elects members whose 'efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.' The honor of being elected a Fellow of the AAAS began in 1874 and is acknowledged with a certificate and rosette. You are being honored for distinguished contributions to geometric topology, taming of high dimensional manifolds, cell-like decompositions os such manifolds, and for service to the profession, particularly as Secretary of the American Mathematical Society." Bob was one of only six mathematicians selected this year as AAAS fellows, the others being Walter Craig, Rick Durrett, Alex Nagel, Jacob Rubinstein, and William Velez. An article on the new AAAS Fellows from the April 2009 Notices of the AMS can be accessed at: http://www.ams.org/notices/200904/rtx090400504p.pdf. The induction ceremony was held in Chicago on February 14, 2009, at the AAAS annual meeting. For more information about the AAAS, please see http://www.aaas.org/.
Michael Neilan was awarded an National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to start in Fall 2009. Michael is the first mathematics graduate student from UT to win an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship. Michael's advisor is Professor Xiaobing Feng. The 2010 NSF Postdoctoral Fellows were announced in the January 2010 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, p. 59-60, available at http://www.ams.org/notices/201106/. The NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship funds a recent Ph.D. to conduct a postdoctoral research program at the university of their choice. Michael Neilan will spend the first year of his fellowship at LSU, and the second at the IMA (Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications).
Mathematicians and biologists from around the world will converge on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to take part in a new institute dedicated to finding creative solutions to pressing problems from animal disease to wildfire control.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UT Knoxville $16 million to begin the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, or NIMBioS. UT Knoxville won the award in competition with 18 of the nation's other top research institutions. The center will be directed by Louis Gross, a professor of math and ecology and evolutionary biology.
"NIMBioS is an exceptional addition to our campus," said Jan Simek, UT Knoxville interim chancellor. "Our success in this competition reflects our growing reputation as one of the nation's top research universities. All of us are proud of this new opportunity, and we all look forward to the impact this center will have on our campus, our region and ultimately, on our nation and the world."
Funding for the institute will be used to create a high-tech center on the UT Knoxville campus that will draw more than 600 researchers from around the world each year to take part in working groups, workshops and conferences.
A unique aspect of NIMBioS will be its partnership with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park and its Twin Creeks Science Center will play a key role in the institute's work, with the park serving as a testing ground for many of the ideas that come from NIMBioS.
Partners in NIMBioS include NSF, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Industry partners include IBM and ESRI.
Mathematical biology is a growing field that applies the power of mathematics and modeling to complex biological problems at scales ranging from the tiniest microorganisms to the movement of species across thousands of acres, over periods of time that can stretch over the entire course of evolution.
Whether developing better strategies to control the spread of invasive species or determining the best way to combat wildfires, the techniques allow researchers to take a broader, more systematic approach to finding the best possible solutions.
"We believe this center is poised to be a global hub for mathematical and biological research," said Gross. "By taking a unique approach to scientific collaboration across a variety of disciplines, NIMBioS will have an immediate impact."
According to Jim Collins, NSF assistant director for biological sciences, the center reflects recent shifts in biology.
"At the start of the 21st century, biologists will become increasingly quantitative and interdisciplinary," said Collins. "This new institute has a broad mandate to pursue excellence at the interface of the life sciences and mathematics. In fulfilling this mission it complements previous and current efforts to stimulate quantitative thinking in biology while fostering interdisciplinary research and education. NIMBioS is an exciting addition to an increasing NSF portfolio at the interface of the life and physical sciences."
Connecting the Right People
NIMBioS will bring together small groups of researchers from mathematics, biology and other fields to investigate very specific applied issues that face the country, as well as fundamental scientific problems.
"This is about connecting the right people with one another, and then facilitating that connection," said Graham Hickling, an associate professor of forestry, wildlife and fisheries at the UT Institute of Agriculture. Hickling serves as associate director for partner relations at NIMBioS.
In addition to these small working groups, the institute will host larger gatherings on biological topics and on how to apply the tools of computational science to biology in general. Sergey Gavrilets, a professor of math and ecology and evolutionary biology at UT Knoxville, will oversee research at NIMBioS as associate director for scientific activities.
Said Brad Fenwick, UT Knoxville vice chancellor for research and engagement, "NIMBioS will have an immediate impact, bringing top researchers to this globally-significant institute located in the heart of our campus. More than that, however, NIMBioS will multiply the impact of our campus on the world, putting UT Knoxville at the hub of the vital and growing field of computational biology. Winning this competition represents the culmination of a long process for our institution, and I congratulate Lou and his team on this great success."
As NIMBioS associate directors, Suzanne Lenhart, professor of mathematics, will be guiding outreach, diversity and undergraduate education activities and Cynthia Peterson, professor and head of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, will be guiding graduate education activities.
This grant follows on the heels of the NSF creation of the National Institute for Computational Sciences at UT Knoxville, a $65 million award to build and operate a supercomputer to assist scientists nationwide. UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory experts in high-performance computing will work with NIMBioS scientists to apply the power of supercomputing to the difficult problems NIMBioS will answer.
NIMBioS Director and Assistant Directors
Louis Gross is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics. He will serve as the director of NIMBioS. His research focuses on computational and mathematical ecology, with applications to plant physiological ecology, conservation biology, natural resource management, and landscape ecology. As director of the Institute for Environmental Modeling, he leads researchers working on an array of environmental problems from the biotic impacts of Everglades restoration planning, to invasive species control, infectious disease management, and risk assessment of environmental contaminants.
Sergey Gavrilets is a distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics. He will serve as NIMBioS associate director for scientific activities. A leading researcher in theoretical and computational evolutionary biology, he has led and been part of extensive international collaborations. He uses mathematical models to study complex evolutionary processes, with current emphasis on the following areas: social and cultural evolution, speciation and adaptive radiation, sexual conflict, holey fitness landscapes and microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns.
Graham Hickling is a research associate professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, and director of the institute's Center for Wildlife Health. He will serve as NIMBioS associate director for partner relations. Hickling is currently developing simulation models of the spatial dynamics of ticks, pathogens, and reservoir host species (mice, raccoons, birds and deer) and their potential for human health risk. Models incorporating wildlife hosts are fundamental to understanding recent distributional changes in ticks and tick-borne pathogens because wildlife dispersal provides the primary means by which ticks invade new habitat.
Suzanne Lenhart is a professor of mathematics and a part-time member of the research staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She will serve as NIMBioS associate director for outreach, education and diversity. Lenhart is an applied mathematician with research publications spanning several areas of biology including HIV, TB, bioreactors, bioeconomics, cardiac function, population dynamics, disease modeling, and resource management. She also has extensive experience through her work as a former president of the Association for Women in Mathematics, as well as volunteer activities and involvement with local high school students and with Mu Alpha Theta.
Cynthia Peterson is professor and head of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and director of the graduate program in genome science and technology. She will serve as NIMBioS associate director for graduate education. Peterson's research focuses on the interactions among circulatory proteins and their role in regulating homeostasis, the inflammatory response, infectious disease, and the biological clock. These efforts integrate protein biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular, cell, and structural biology. She also has extensive knowledge regarding the application of computational methods to issues of structural biology. She will direct SCALE-IT, an NSF-funded IGERT program housed at UT Knoxville.
Additional information is also available in NatureNews.
Xia Chen, Professor of Mathematics, University of Tennessee, has been named Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). An induction ceremony for all 2008 Fellows took place July 14, 2008 at the IMS Annual Meeting/World Congress in Singapore.
Professor Chen received the award for contributions to the theory of ergodic Markov chains with general state space, to limit laws, and to large and moderate deviations for intersection local times.
Each Fellow nominee is assessed by a committee of his/her peers for the award. In 2008, after reviewing 47 nominations, 17 were selected for Fellowship. Created in 1933, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics is a member organization which fosters the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. The IMS has 4500 active members throughout the world. Approximately 5% of the current IMS membership has earned the status of fellowship.
Xia Chen is the second member of the Math Department to be named a Fellow, Jan Rosinski was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 1997.
Lida K. Barrett's solid mathematical background and her ability to get at the heart of problems and to find bold solutions led her into positions in mathematical policy: as a senior administrator at several universities, as President of the Mathematical Association of America, as Senior Staff Associate at the National Science Foundation, and as Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. To this day, she continues to serve on many committees and boards and to contribute to mathematics, to mathematics education, and to increasing the participation of members of underrepresented groups in mathematics.
Her first administrative role was in 1973 as Head of the Mathematics Department at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the first female department head in the College of Arts and Sciences and one of the first women to head a doctoral mathematics program. (It was not until 1970, after her husband's death, that she was able to hold a tenured position -- becoming only the third female full professor in the college.)
As Associate Provost at Northern Illinois University (NIU), Dr. Barrett formed a Blue Ribbon Committee to review the entire undergraduate experience. She next served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State University. In these positions, she remained an active supporter of the MAA Illinois and Louisiana-Mississippi Sections, respectively.
Lida Barrett served on the MAA's Audit and Budget Committee from 1984 until 1989 when she became President-Elect of the Association. She advocated keeping the MAA headquarters at its current location and supporting its historical preservation. As the second female president of the MAA, Barrett sought to increase minority membership and involvement in the MAA and within the mathematics community. She helped initiate and/or enhance MAA programs and committees highlighting minority interests. She supported national awareness initiatives such as Mathematics Awareness Week (later Mathematics Awareness Month) and strengthened the relationship between the MAA and the AMS that remains to this day.
Throughout her life, Professor Barrett has championed the causes of the teaching and learning of exemplary mathematics in the schools and colleges of our nation and of increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in mathematics. In 1988-1989 she served as a member of the Committee on the Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000 (a committee of the National Academy of Sciences) and in 1989-1992, as a member of the Mathematical Science Education Board. Through her work at the National Science Foundation as Senior Staff Associate for PreCollege Education for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR), she helped develop and sharpen EHR's investments in K-12 science and mathematics education. She contributed to a ramped-up K-12 effort at NSF and was instrumental in developing the K-12 subgroup report that became part of the Federal Government's first five-year plan (1994-1998) as laid out in the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) report. At NSF she organized three major national, invitational conferences on science and technology education, which provided important tools for moving NSF to the forefront of national education initiatives in areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.
Dr. Barrett later went on to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where she taught undergraduate mathematics and was involved in the professional development of the Academy's instructors.
Lida Barrett received her Bachelor's degree from Rice University at the age of 18, but her interest in mathematics began much sooner as a member of her junior high school mathematics team in Texas. Perhaps her concern for the plight of women and minority students in mathematics dates back to her college days. When she arrived as a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Texas, she and Mary Ellen Rudin were the only female graduate students. She met and married a fellow graduate student, John H. Barrett, and after he accepted a position at the University of Delaware she commuted to the University of Pennsylvania to continue her graduate study. Although her mathematical development was influenced by R. L. Moore, she finished her Ph.D. under John Kline at the University of Pennsylvania. She suffered from the effects of the "anti-nepotism" rules that plagued many women for many decades until they were slowly abandoned during the 1970's and '80's. But she persevered, saying "You take the hand that's dealt you; you look at the challenges that are there, and you meet them, head on." Her husband died at an early age, leaving her with a family of three children to raise while she pursued a rigorous career in mathematics. All of these experiences made her an exemplary mentor and role model for many young women in mathematics.
It is a pleasure to present her with the 2008 Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics.
Guggenheim Fellowships are extremely prestigious. Sergey is a Distinguished Professor at UT, with an appointment shared between Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and Mathematics. His home page can be found here: http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~gavrila/. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (see http://www.gf.org/index.html) provides fellowships for advanced professionals in all fields (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, creative arts) except the performing arts. The title of Sergey's Guggenheim proposal is: The social brain hypothesis: coevolution of genes, memes, and social networks. For a list of 2008 Guggeneheim Fellowship recipients, see http://www.gf.org/newfellow.html and http://www.gf.org/newfellow-fields.html.
Donald Dessart, retired professor and former Macebearer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was inducted Wednesday into the Educators Hall of Honor.
The Educators Hall of Honor in the UT College of Education, Health and Human Sciences recognizes professionals in education who have inspired and challenged students. A reception was held on campus to recognize Dessart.
Dessart, a professor of math and math education, won several major awards while at UT: the John Tunstall Award as Outstanding Faculty Member in 1986, 1988 and 1989; the Excellence in Humanity and Teaching Award in 1995 and the Helen B. Watson Faculty/Student Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2000. He was elected Macebearer for 1998-99, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member.
He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education, which is presented yearly to recognize a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics member for many years of service and dedication to mathematics education.
During his career, Dessart mentored 55 doctoral students and many junior faculty both in the mathematics department and in education. He has served as a board member, vice president and president for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association.
Now retired, Dessart was elected president of the UT Science Forum in 2007. The Educators Hall of Honor was established in 2002. Plaques bearing the names of the teachers are displayed in the Claxton Education Building. Inductees are nominated by individuals who want to honor their former mentors, teachers or colleagues.
More than 30 educators have been inducted into the hall, including UT President Emeritus Joseph E. Johnson and former UT President, the late Andy Holt. The hall is open to any professional in the United States, and members have come from throughout Tennessee and the nation. Those honored have been teachers from elementary school to the college ranks. People who would like to nominate a teacher make a donation of $1,000 in the name of the honoree. The donations go toward the Educators Hall of Honor endowment for scholarships.
US Patent # 7,311,680 was awarded to Suzanne Lenhart (UTK), Vladimir Protopopescu (ORNL and UTK), and Eunok Jung (Korea) on Dec. 25, 2007. The title of their patent is: "Optimal Control of CPR Procedure Using Hemodynamic Circulation Model."
Patent Abstract: A method for determining a chest pressure profile for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) includes the steps of representing a hemodynamic circulation model based on a plurality of difference equations for a patient, applying an optimal control (OC) algorithm to the circulation model, and determining a chest pressure profile. The chest pressure profile defines a timing pattern of externally applied pressure to a chest of a patient to maximize blood flow through the patient. A CPR device includes a chest compressor, a controller communicably connected to the chest compressor, and a computer communicably connected to the controller. The computer determines the chest pressure profile by applying an OC algorithm to a hemodynamic circulation model based on the plurality of difference equations.
This patent is partially based on results published in the following papers:
E. Jung, S. Lenhart, V. Protopopescu, and C. Babbs, Optimal Control Theory Applied to a Difference Equation Model of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Math. Methods and Models in Applied Sciences 15 (2005), 1519-1532.
E. Jung, S. Lenhart, V. Protopopescu, and C. Babbs, Optimal Strategy for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation With Continuous Chest Compression, Math. Academic Emergency Medical Journal 13 (2006), 715-721.
S. Lenhart, V. Protopropescu, E. Jung, and C. Babbs, Optimal control for a standard CPR Model, Nonlinear Analysis 63, 2005, electronic 1391-1397.
E. Jung, S. Lenhart, V. Protopopescu, and C. Babbs Optimal control applied to a thoraco-abdominal CPR model Math Med Biol 25 (2008), 157-170.