News

From SIAM News: Jonathan Christopher Mattingly of Duke University has been selected to deliver the 2021 I.E. Block Community Lecture. He will be presenting the lecture at the SIAM Annual Meeting (AN21) which will be taking place virtually July 19 -23, 2021. The I.E. Block Community Lecture is open to the public and will be livestreamed on YouTube. Dr. Mattingly has been a proud and engaged member of SIAM for years. “SIAM was central to my scientific formation as an applied (stochastic) dynamicist,” Mattingly says… read more about 2021 SIAM (AN21) - I. E. Block Community lecture given by Jonathan Mattingly »

In a challenging year for collaboration, three members of the Class of 2022 are being honored for using the moment to ask big research questions and produce scholarship that shows originality and creative thinking. Katherine Gan, Logan Glasstetter and Xinyu (Norah) Tan are the recipients of this year’s Faculty Scholars Awards, the highest bestowed by Duke faculty on undergraduates with a record of independent research and scholarship. Working across three different disciplines, the students have already produced… read more about The 2021 Faculty Scholars: Three Undergraduates Showing an Exceptional Research Record  »

Six members of the Class of 2022 have been named to the inaugural class of Nakayama Scholars.  Juniors Sydney Albert, Carlee Goldberg, Erica Langan, Yi Xian “Lyndon” Lee, Ahn-Huy Nguyen, and Micalyn Struble were chosen for their stellar academics, leadership and demonstrated commitment to a career in public service. The Nakayama Public Service Scholarship is part of the university’s efforts to encourage students to use their Duke experience to engage with the large challenges facing communities around the world. The… read more about Six Students Named Inaugural Nakayama Public Service Scholars »

Duke Math's Norah Tan has been designated a Faculty Scholar for the Class of 2022.  This is the highest honor that the faculty of Duke University awards its undergraduates, and is only awarded to three to five students each year.  The members of the committee look at overall grad point average, evidence of independent work, the potential for innovative scholarship, and the intention to pursue a scholarly career.  Norah's intellectual engagement and remarkable scholarly accomplishments earned her this honor - we heartily… read more about Math major Norah Tan named Faculty Scholar »

Robert Calderbank, Professor of Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics, is being recognized for his deep contributions to information theory by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics as a 2021 SIAM Fellow. These distinguished members are nominated for their exemplary research as well as outstanding service to the community. Through their contributions, SIAM Fellows help advance the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. You can read more about SIAM here. read more about Robert Calderbank nominated as SIAM Fellow »

Nathaniel “Nat” B. White Jr., one of the first five Black undergraduate students at Duke, died March 19 in Atlanta.  He was 75.  White matriculated at Duke in 1963 along with Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, Gene Kendall, Mary Mitchell Harris and Cassandra Smith Rush. With White’s death, Kendall is the last surviving member of the original five. Born and raised in Durham, White attended Hillside High School.  In a PBS-NC interview in 2013, White explained that he had intended to go to Hampton Institute, his father’s alma mater. … read more about Nathaniel White Jr., One of First Black Undergraduates at Duke, Dies at Age 75 »

In honor of Women’s History Month, SIAM is spotlighting female mathematicians throughout March. Dr. Talitha Washington is the inaugural Director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, a Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University, and an affiliate faculty at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College.  Dr. Washington was a VIGRE Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University. Dr. Washington’s research interests include the applications of… read more about SIAM honors Professor Talitha Washington »

Social justice refers to fair relations between individuals and society, including issues such as equity, diversity, and inclusion. While the study of social justice historically has been rooted in the social sciences and humanities, mathematics and computation provide complementary and powerful approaches. Tools from dynamical systems, network science, applied topology, stochastic processes, data mining, and more have been applied to issues ranging from voting to hate speech. ICERM, the Institute for Computational and… read more about Mathematical and Computational Approaches to Social Justice »

Did you ever wonder what a mathematician does all day?  Or what made someone decide to become a mathematician?  Or even, what a mathematician does for fun?  You may be surprised by some of the answers!  Hosted by Professor Alex Kontorovich, MoMath's 2020-2021 Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Public Dissemination of Mathematics and Rutgers.  Through MoMath (the National Museum of Mathematics) meet Lillian Pierce, the Nicholas J. and Theresa M. Leonardy Professor of Mathematics at Duke.  Her research interests are at… read more about MoMath's Meet a Mathematician - Lillian Pierce »

The inaugural Duke Research Week was held virtually from Monday, January 25 through Friday, January 29, 2021. Joining virtually in celebration of Duke faculty and students' novel research accomplishments, Duke Research Week 2021 was a week-long program of 12 events beginning with a panel discussion on how Duke's surveillance testing has kept campus safe during COVID-19. Topics such as voting in the presidential election, new tools for researchers, and the technologies, inventions, and novel ideas that illustrate the breadth… read more about Duke Research Week - recorded talks »

One is a chemist attempting to prevent malaria infections. The other is a mathematician working to understand one of the most mysterious problems in her discipline. Both were named 2021 Sloan Research Fellows. Emily Derbyshire, assistant professor of Chemistry and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Jessica Fintzen, assistant professor of Mathematics, were among the 126 recipients of this year’s Sloan awards, which recognize early-career scholars “of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial… read more about Meet Trinity's 2021 Sloan Fellows »

At last week’s Duke Computing Roundtable, Amanda Randles opened her talk by explaining that her research was inspired by a suggestion a Duke colleague made at a similar event a few years before. It’s the exact kind of impact the roundtable's conveners hope to expand in the coming years. Sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke, the event brought together faculty, researchers and graduate students from across the university who have an interest in computational questions.… read more about Computing Roundtable Builds Interdisciplinary Community »

This fall, Bass Connections hosted a virtual event to share stories of the program’s impact with our supporters. Three Duke students described their experiences as team members on projects exploring the global financial crisis, youth concussions and sustainable farming. Leadership Opportunities Maria Paz Rios ’21, History and Mathematics Duke senior Maria Paz Rios is a member of the American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis team. The team aims to draw from local, state and national perspectives in… read more about What We’re Getting Out of Our Bass Connections Teams »

At last week’s Duke Computing Roundtable, Amanda Randles opened her talk by explaining that her research was inspired by a suggestion a Duke colleague made at a similar event a few years before. It’s the exact kind of impact the roundtable's conveners hope to expand in the coming years. Sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke, the event brought together faculty, researchers and graduate students from across the university who have an interest in computational questions.… read more about Computing Roundtable Builds Interdisciplinary Community »

DURHAM, N.C. -- The artificial intelligence behind self-driving cars, medical image analysis and other computer vision applications relies on what’s called deep neural networks. Loosely modeled on the brain, these consist of layers of interconnected “neurons” -- mathematical functions that send and receive information -- that “fire” in response to features of the input data. The first layer processes a raw data input -- such as pixels in an image -- and passes that information to the next layer above, triggering some of… read more about Accurate Neural Network Computer Vision Without The ‘Black Box’  »

Of all the things that make college students anxious, now you can add ghost cars to the list. Not haunted, unoccupied moving vehicles, Flying Dutchman style. “Ghost cars” is a term Duke Parking & Transportation (DPT) uses to define cars that enter or leave parking lots when the gates are up, like during a football game or evening event. The gate sensors don’t record them both entering and exiting, which causes problems in keeping an accurate count of the cars using a lot. A few summers ago, DPT asked a group of… read more about Quantitatively and Qualitatively, Data+ and Its Affiliated Programs Are Big Hits »

Researchers at Duke University will work with colleagues across the nation to ensure that future communication protocols used by the United States Air Force are suitable for handling the most data-heavy tasks imaginable, such as flying UAVs, and secure from adversarial attack. Led by Robert Calderbank, the Charles S. Sydnor Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mathematics, and director of the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke, and Vahid Tarokh, the Rhodes Family… read more about Duke to Lead $5 Million Center to Develop U.S. Air Force Wireless Communications Protocols »

Lillian Pierce, the Nicholas J. and Theresa M. Leonardy Professor of Mathematics, was quoted in a Quanta Magazine article about Nicolas Bourbaki, an anonymous society that has written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought for almost a century. Pierce describes meeting the group and explains that their anonymity is in a “spirit of fun." “There is no rigor to the secrecy,” she said. Read the article at Quanta. read more about Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki »

As COVID-19 disrupted school life throughout the world, DUMU responded by hosting the 2020 Duke Math Meet online this past Halloween, October 31st.  Roughly 450 students from over 80 teams around the country participated in the 2020 Duke Math Meet.  Because of the 12-hour time difference, four ITCCC teams from Beijing were permitted to participate late Saturday evening. The Power Round, Team Round, and Individual Round proceeded as normal with the aid of the submission platform Gradescope.  For the Devil Round, teams had… read more about DMM 2020 »

From the AMS press release: Forty-six mathematical scientists from around the world have been named Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for 2021, the program's ninth year. The Fellows of the AMS designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. The AMS is pleased to present the class of 2021 Fellows who are being recognized by their peers for their contributions to the profession, and also… read more about Lillian Pierce named Fellow of the AMS »

Working in the fields of computational and applied math, new math faculty member Hongkai Zhao develops models and algorithms that can solve problems in science and engineering. Much of Zhao’s recent work has focused on inverse and imaging problems, which have direct applications for medical technologies such as CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound, optical tomography and radar imaging. Based on different physical models and imaging modalities, the goal is to construct images or infer desired biomedical information from the… read more about Hongkai Zhao: Creating Efficient Algorithms for Science and Engineering Applications »

In July, Duke distributed 150,000 masks to university staff, faculty and students as part of its return to work protocols, which require all members of the Duke community who come to campus to wear a mask and complete daily symptom monitoring.  Offices and individuals in need of a transparent face covering can contact Duke Disability Management System for the spring semester. So far, Duke has distributed about 600 see-through masks to employees and students.  “A clear mask can be the positive difference in a student… read more about Professor Miller uses a see-through face mask to help communication »

Conceived about a year ago, as the brainchild of mathematician Ingrid Daubechies and fiber artist Dominique Ehrmann, the Mathemalchemy project is now an exciting collaborative enterprise, driven by the energy and enthusiasm of twenty-three mathematical artists and artistic mathematicians. The end goal is to realize by the summer of 2021 a large multimedia art installation that celebrates the creativity and beauty of mathematics. Check out more about this amazing project Hread more about Mathemalchemy »

Duke Math sponsors the Mathematics Employment Experience for High School Students (MEEHS) program, led by Professor Kirsten Wickelgren (Math).  In this program teams of high school students, teachers and researchers work together on mathematical problems and exposition during a week of the summer.  Two high school teachers select about four students each to work alongside researchers on a single problem.  This year's problem was data on 42 similar cases involving one prosecutor. The prosecutor has a pool of eligible jurors… read more about MEEHS use math to conclude jurors removed illegally »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke students will soon emerge more prepared to use data to create new knowledge in a host of disciplines thanks to the newly launched Center for Computational Thinking (CCT).  The new center is a response to the growing demands for more computational skills among new college graduates. It will infuse data literacy across the academic experience while simultaneously preparing students to consider the ethical, legal, and social impacts of technology. “The CCT will provide training in a co-curricular seminar-… read more about Duke Launches Center to Bring Computational Thinking to All Students »

Working in the fields of computational and applied math, new math faculty member Hongkai Zhao develops models and algorithms that can solve problems in science and engineering. Much of Zhao’s recent work has focused on inverse and imaging problems, which have direct applications for medical technologies such as CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound, optical tomography and radar imaging. Based on different physical models and imaging modalities, the goal is to construct images or infer desired biomedical information from the… read more about Hongkai Zhao: Creating Efficient Algorithms for Science and Engineering Applications »