News

Vigfusson receives NSF CAREER Award
Published: 12/03/2015
Ymir Vigfusson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has received the department's first ever NSF CAREER grant for his project "SentientCache: Rethinking the Cache Abstraction". The CAREER program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. Vigfusson's work focuses on improving the performance and cost-effectiveness of large-scale distributed systems by automatically learning what data should be memorized; a description is at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1553579&HistoricalAwards=false.
Emory Math-Physics Theorem Named 50th Top Story of 2015 in Science by Discover Magazine
Published: 12/01/2015
Emory Professors John Duncan and Ken Ono, together with Ono’s former Emory Ph.D. student Michael Griffin (now faculty at Princeton), have been recognized for their work on Mathematical Physics. John, Ken and Michael proved the so-called “Umbral Moonshine Conjecture”, a generalization of Monstrous Moonshine which won Richard Borcherds the Fields medal in 1998. Their work was named the 50th top story of 2015 in science by Discover magazine.

Here is the link to the story (behind paywall):

http://discovermagazine.com/2016/janfeb/50-drinking-up-maths-moonshine.

Here is the text of the story.

In the late 1970s, two mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Norton, saw a deep connection between two mathematical objects that should have nothing to do with each other. On one side of the link was a fundamental object in number theory called the j-function. On the other was a mysterious entity that described a new kind of symmetry, but might not even exist. If it did, though, it would be enormous (8x1053 components), so they dubbed it the "monster group." The connection sounded so crazy, Conway and Norton called their theory "monstrous moonshine."

In 1992, Richard Borcherds proved monstrous moonshine. He found the link between the monster group (which does exist) and the j-function through string theory, the idea that the universe is made of tiny strings vibrating in high dimensions. But monstrous moonshine, it turns out, was just the beginning.

In March, John Duncan, Michael Griffin and Ken Ono proved 23 other moonshine-like correspondences between groups like the monster group and functions like the j-function, a conjecture dubbed "umbral moonshine." It's most likely all of these connections are also made through string theory, which may lead to even bigger game. "The ultimate goad," Duncan says, "is to unify quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of gravity. That's a very, very big goal for physics, one of the biggest goals for science."
Ken Ono named the 2017-2018 Distinguished George Polya Lecturer by the Mathematical Association of America
Published: 11/09/2015
The MAA appoints a new Pólya Lecturer every year, whose primary responsibility is presenting talks at MAA section meetings. Each appointee serves a term of two aca- demic years; the first year overlaps with the second year of the previous Pólya Lecturer. Read more about it here.
US News interviews David Borthwick about MathCS graduate programs
Published: 11/02/2015
Dr. David Borthwick interviewed by US News.

Read more about it here.
Interdisciplinary project analyzes 'patchwriting' through math, computer science
Published: 10/14/2015
This fall, Dr. James Lu begins research on 'patchwriting'. He was selected as one of three Emory faculty research teams selected to receive the 2015 Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship through Emory's Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA). He also seeks to learn more about the cognitive processes involved in patchwriting - why a writer may choose certain pieces of text, for example.

Read more about it here.