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Jianfeng Lu's mathematical studies put numbers to work for researchers in materials science, physics, chemistry and other fields. Photo by Les Todd/Duke University Photography

New faculty member applies math to solve some of the hardest questions in science Durham, NC - As a mathematician, Jianfeng Lu appreciates the abstract beauty of theories and proofs. But he also sees his craft as a powerful, pragmatic tool for... read more »


Jonathan Gao will write his senior thesis on the economics of mergers.

Durham, NC - Are you blaming those rising prices for airplane tickets on the mergers in the industry? Senior Jonathan Gao says you might be right but the economics of the ticket price isn't that straightforward. The economics and math major from... read more »


Hunter Nisonoff

Durham, NC - When he wasn't boxing at a local gym in Durham and playing intramural soccer, senior Hunter Nisonoff spent his summer researching potential HIV vaccines in Bruce Donald’s lab. Nisonoff, a math major and global health and chemistry minor... read more »


Mathematician Lillian Pierce has moved with her family into Blackwell residence hall, where she'll be faculty-in-residence. Photo by Duke University Photography

As a four-year-old, Lillian Pierce remembers watching her mother balance her checkbook and realizing that the numbers juxtaposed on the page were, in a sense, communicating with each other. “My mother explained that the numbers told her what to... read more »


An artist's illustration of HPV. Credit: JAMA, ©AMA

Researchers are building complex mathematical models to understand cancer's evolution and how to treat it. Durham, NC - Two Duke researchers are focusing on the deadly mathematics behind the mutated genes and damaged cells that drive cancer.  "... read more »


In this composite photograph, a hidden portrait under the Vincent van Gogh painting ''Patch of Grass'' from 1887, is seen.

With math equations that analyze brush strokes, new discoveries about the world's greatest art are possible. It took X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and a painting algorithm to reveal the hidden portrait of a peasant underneath the painting of... read more »


Ingrid Daubechies is the first women president of the International Mathematical Union.

A common prejudice holds that women can't match the strength of men in mathematics. But for more than three decades, Belgian physicist/mathematician Ingrid Daubechies has been proving the prejudice wrong – and using maths to make a better world. As... read more »


Anne Talkington with the MAMS function

Anne Talkington, an undergraduate Mathematics student under the auspices of Richard Durrett, attempts to gain a quantitative grasp on cancer through mathematical modeling. Historically, tumor growth has... read more »


A computer simulation of a virtual city containing two groups of people shows how the distribution of neighborhoods with a given racial makeup is likely to change as the density of households -- regardless of their group identity -- increases past a certain threshold. Courtesy of Rick Durrett and Yuan Zhang

Durham, NC - Racially and economically mixed cities are more likely to stay integrated if the density of households stays low, finds a new analysis of a now-famous model of segregation. By simulating the movement of families between neighborhoods in... read more »


How Can Math Be Used to Keep us Healthy and Safe?

Q. How can math be used to keep us healthy and safe? We have all sorts of data at our fingertips – on healthcare trials and treatments, crime statistics, and weather patterns for example. But how do we use the data to make the best and most ethical... read more »


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