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From the College of Natural Sciences
Remembering and Celebrating UT Austin’s First Black Math Ph.D.s

Remembering and Celebrating UT Austin’s First Black Math Ph.D.s

For decades, the number of Black students pursuing STEM degrees has been increasing nationally, but in the 1960s in UT Austin graduate programs, it was a different story. The small group of African Americans pursuing science and math doctoral degrees then were true trailblazers. This month, the College of Natural Sciences learned of the recent passing of one of them, doctoral mathematician Llayron Clarkson, who was 97. In addition to being an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin's mathematics Ph.D. program, Clarkson was a former top academic leader at Texas Southern University.

Getting Math and Physics on the Same Page

Getting Math and Physics on the Same Page

In this illustration, three exotic particles called “anyons” circle around each other in a process called braiding. Mathematicians use a method called generalized symmetry to study such interactions.

When physicists want to explain how subatomic particles—such as electrons, photons, quarks and neutrinos—behave and interact, they use a framework called quantum field theory (QFT). QFT might be the most successful physical theory ever invented. It was used to predict the existence of the Higgs boson, antimatter and neutrinos. And it has predicted the results of particle physics experiments accurately to the highest number of decimal places ever recorded.

Math for Poets: Postdoc Heather Wilber Wins AWM Dissertation Prize

Math for Poets: Postdoc Heather Wilber Wins AWM Dissertation Prize

Heather Wilber, an NSF postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mathematics who joined the Oden Institute in May 2021, received the 2022 Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) Dissertation Prize for a study entitled, Computing numerically with rational functions. Although only published earlier this year, it has resulted in multiple papers in scientific journals already, appearing in the SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing, Linear Algebra and its Applications, and Constructive Approximation (to appear).

An Algorithm for EMS Response

An Algorithm for EMS Response

David Kulpanowski has an important job. As an IT business systems analyst with Austin-Travis County EMS, he's responsible for tracking ambulance response times in the City of Austin and then conducting simulation models to see how they can be improved.

Getting ambulances where they need to be and fast enough is a life-or-death matter.

Graduating Senior Finds Passions in Exoplanets and Outreach

Graduating Senior Finds Passions in Exoplanets and Outreach

When Zoe de Beurs arrived at UT Austin, she wasn't sure of what she wanted to do. Now, at the end of her fifth year, she's graduating from the Dean's Scholars honors program as a physics, astronomy and math triple major with an African and African Diaspora Studies minor.

Mathematician Receives Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mathematician Receives Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching

Amanda Hager, an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Mathematics, has been awarded the 2021 Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching, in recognition of her dedication to students. The student body is entirely responsible for the nomination, selection and award processes for the annual award, given exclusively to faculty in the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Liberal Arts.

Treisman Receives James Bryant Conant Award from Education Commission of the States

Treisman Receives James Bryant Conant Award from Education Commission of the States

Philip 'Uri' Treisman, founder and executive director of the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, has dedicated his career to improving mathematics and science education on a national scale, leading to measurable gains in student performance in these subjects and improvements in course success for elementary school children through university undergraduates. Now he is the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in American education, the 2020 James Bryant Conant Award from the Education Commission of the States.

Randomized Sampling Could Help Solve Billions of Equations Simultaneously

Randomized Sampling Could Help Solve Billions of Equations Simultaneously

Credit: Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences

Algebra. Mention the word in public and anyone in earshot is likely to run screaming as far from you as possible. Society's mental block when it comes to mathematics is frequently based on a misconception that the kinds of mathematical principles we learn at school - such as algebra – are of little use to us in the real world.

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Demographics Linked to Choice Not to Vaccinate Children in Texas, Study Finds

Demographics Linked to Choice Not to Vaccinate Children in Texas, Study Finds

Texans who are college-educated, live in suburban or urban areas, have higher median incomes and are ethnically white are less likely to vaccinate their children, according to analysis by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. The findings could help public health officials identify pockets of low vaccination rates where communities within the state are at higher risk for an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.

Chen Selected as an AMS Fellow

Chen Selected as an AMS Fellow

The American Mathematical Society has named Thomas Chen, chair of the Department of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin, as one of 52 Fellows of the AMS for 2020. The Fellows of the AMS designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and utilization of mathematics.

Karen Uhlenbeck Awarded Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Karen Uhlenbeck Awarded Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement

University of Texas at Austin professor emerita and Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics Karen Uhlenbeck will receive the American Mathematical Society's (AMS) 2020 Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Remembering Eminent UT Austin Mathematician John Tate

Remembering Eminent UT Austin Mathematician John Tate

Mathematician John Tate. Photo credit: Marsha Miller.

​John Tate, who won the world's top prize in mathematics and taught for nearly 20 years at The University of Texas at Austin where he was Regental Professor Emeritus, has died. He was 94.

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UT Austin Mathematician Wins Clay Research Award

UT Austin Mathematician Wins Clay Research Award

The Clay Mathematics Institute has awarded Philip Isett, a mathematics faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin and Caltech, the Clay Research Award. Isett received the prestigious award jointly with two other mathematicians in recognition of their shared contributions to "the analysis of partial differential equations" that are relevant to a mathematical understanding of moving fluids.

Imaging, Reimagined

Imaging, Reimagined

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps doctors diagnose a host of problems from tumors to spinal cord injuries to strokes. But MRI scans require patients to spend as long as a half-hour or hour uncomfortably confined in a tube, sometimes at a cost of thousands of dollars.

Mathematics’ Highest Prize Awarded to UT Austin’s Karen Uhlenbeck

Mathematics’ Highest Prize Awarded to UT Austin’s Karen Uhlenbeck

Dr. Uhlenbeck this week at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she is a current Visitor in the School of Mathematics. Photo credit: Andrea Kane, Institute for Advanced Study

A professor emerita of mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin has received mathematics' top international award for the year. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has named Karen Uhlenbeck its 2019 Abel Prize award winner.