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Speaker: Ingrid Daubechies (Duke)
When: Thursday, April 27 at 4pm
Where: William E. Kirwan Hall Room 3206
 Mathematics for Art Investigation: Mathematical tools for image analysis increasingly play a role in helping art historians and art conservators assess the state of conversation of paintings, and probe into the secrets of their history.  the talk will review several case studies, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Van Eyck among others.

Ingrid Daubechies earned her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Vrije Universiteit Brussel.  In addition to seminal advances in time-frequency analysis, she is best known for her breakthroughs in wavelet research and contributions to digital signal processing.  Some of the wavelet bases and other computational techniques she developed were incorporated into the JPEG2000 standard for image compression.

Ingrid's career has seen many impressive firsts: the first female full professor of mathematics at Princeton; the first woman the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics in 2000; the first woman president of the International Mathematics Union in 2010; and she is very likely the first and only mathematician to have been granted the title of Baroness by Belgium's King albert II.

Ingrid continues to break new ground in mathematics research, focusing on signal analysis and inverse problems, with applications ranging from fMRI and geophysics to paleontology and fine art painting.


Oliveiro posterv3 thumbClick To ZoomSpeaker: Dr. Tomaso Poggio (MIT)
When: Thursday, April 28 at 4pm
Where: John S. Toll Physics Building Room 1412
 The birth of artificial-intelligence research as an autonomous discipline is generally thought to have been the month long Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, which convened 10 leading electrical engineers — including MIT’s Marvin Minsky and Claude Shannon — to discuss “how to make machines use language” and “form abstractions and concepts.” A decade later, impressed by rapid advances in the design of digital computers, Minsky was emboldened to declare that “within a generation ... the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will substantially be solved.”

The problem, of course, turned out to be much more difficult than AI’s pioneers had imagined. In recent years, by exploiting machine learning — in which computers learn to perform tasks from sets of training examples — artificial-intelligence researchers have built special-purpose systems that can do things like interpret spoken language or play professional-level Go games or drive cars using vision. Some of the present excitement is due to realistic expectations for further progress.

There is also a substantial amount of hype. However, systems that are intelligent in narrow domains are being developed.

I will briefly review today’s engineering of intelligence and some of the mathematics underlying it, the mathematics of learning from data. I will also sketch the vision of the MIT Center for Brains, Minds and Machines which strives to make progress on the science of intelligence.

Watch the Kirwan Undergraduate Lecture >>


The Inaugural William E. Kirwan Distinguished Undergraduate Lecture

Feuerbach’s Theorem: A Beautiful Theorem Deserves a Beautiful Proof" by Professor Douglas Hofstadter* on April 23rd, 2015 4:00-5:00pm in Physics 1412. 

Douglas Hofstadter is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science at Indiana University, Director of  the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, and the author of the Pulitzer Prizewinning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.

Watch the Kirwan Undergraduate Lecture >>
Watch the Colloquium Lecture >>

We would like to draw your attention to several exciting conferences coming up in the Mathematics Department:

  1. The Spring Dynamics Conference, Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2, 2017.
  2. An afternoon of geometric analysis in honor of Sergei Novikov, Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  The event will be followed by a special presentation to Sergei and a dinner.
  3. The Maryland Analysis and Geometry Atelier.  This event takes place Monday, August 21, 2017 - Friday, August 25, 2017 but registration is requested before April 15, 2017.


We are delighted to announce that faculty members Jacob Bedrossian, Maria Cameron, Amin Gholampour, and Christian Zickert have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, effective the summer of 2017.  Congratulations to all four of you!

In addition, we have hired two new assistant professors, also effective the summer of 2017.  One of them is Tamas Darvas, who has already been here for a while as a research associate.  The other is Lise-Marie Imbert-Gérard, currently at the Courant Institute at NYU.  We welcome both of you to our faculty.

Department Chair Scott Wolpert will be receiving this year's Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award at the Faculty-Staff Convocation on September 14th at 3PM in Memorial Chapel.  This is for his work with small-group calculus (ACCEL), for being PI on a large NSF undergraduate scholarship grant, for reorganizing the campus design-your-major program (Individual Studies), cofounding the now Federal Fellows program and for serving on the “four year plans” committee (Student Academic Success Degree Completion Policy).  Scott reports that “I have totally enjoyed working with many folks around the campus.”

The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award honors annually 4-6 tenured faculty members who combine outstanding scholarship with teaching excellence. Selected by a committee of former DSTs based on dossiers containing curriculum vitae, teaching dossier, statement about how the nominee integrates research and teaching, external letters of support from distinguished scholars outside the university, and letters of support from current or past students. DSTs receive $5,000 to support scholarly and instructional activities; they also deliver a public address and may participate in an Honors seminar.

Aside from his major research contributions, Levermore is being honored for his distinguished advising of many PhDs and his curriculum work (along with Doron Levy and Ron Lipsman) on Math 246.   In Math 246, we have transitioned from a traditional text to an interactive web experience with text, problems, demos and videos.   The web experience is suited to the current generation, and provides student savings of over $150,000 per year.

Date & Time: TBA
Title: "Can We Model Uncertainty?"

Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions Summer School (OPSF-S6)
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
July 11-July 15, 2016

This program is for graduate students and post-docs. We expect to be able to fund up a number of students, early career researchers and students from third-world countries.

The OPSF summer schools are organized by the Orthogonal Polynomials, Special Functions and Applications (OPSFA) Steering Committee. The OPSF-S6 program consists of a one-week summer school for graduate students and early career researchers to be held in Summer 2016 on the campus of the University of Maryland. It will focus on orthogonal polynomials and special functions, and feature lectures delivered by top researchers in their fields.

More information can be found at this Summer School homepage here: http://www.norbertwiener.umd.edu/Education/OPSFS6/