News

Emory Mathematics Fellows search now underway.
Published: 10/27/2011
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science seeks outstanding recent PhD graduates in Mathematics, for term appointments as Emory Fellows. These postdoctoral fellowships combine substantial independence with wide-ranging opportunities for professional development, and provide generous resources. Emory Fellowships are a central part of the department’s plan to enhance excellence at all levels. Fellows will have the chance to pursue research in conjunction with senior faculty members and graduate students, and will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. Salaries are highly competitive. Fellows will also have access to research funds for travel, equipment and other expenses. Appointments are term-limited with an expected duration of two to three years, and are subject to final funding approval. For the 2012-2013 academic year, the department will consider candidates who specialize in an area of mathematics that is a focus of research within the department. More information on research emphases in the department can be found here.

We invite applications from outstanding junior scholars. Candidates must have (or soon receive) a PhD in a relevant discipline, demonstrate promise of exceptional research ability, and have a commitment to excellence in teaching. Applications consisting of a cover letter, CV, research and teaching statements, and three recommendation letters directly from recommenders should be submitted via mathjobs.org. In addition, applicants must specify a potential mentor and/or research group within the department. Women and underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Informal inquiries are also invited by email: fellows_search@mathcs.emory.edu .

Screening begins January 1, 2012 and will continue until the positions are filled.

Emory University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from women and members of minority groups.
Aaron Abrams and Skip Garibaldi have received the 2011 Lester R. Ford Award from the Mathematical Association of America
Published: 08/29/2011
Aaron Abrams and Skip Garibaldi, “Finding Good Bets in the Lottery, and Why You Shouldn’t Take Them”, American Mathematical Monthly, 117 (2010), no. 1, 3-26.

Lottery operators make money – lots of it apparently – so on average, players must lose money. But does this apply to rolling jackpots, where winnings can reach staggering amounts? (Rolling jackpots are those games in which prize money is rolled over from one game to the next when no one wins the jackpot.) Does there come a time when playing such a lottery makes a good bet? If so, when is that? And does that make playing a good investment?

After constructing a model of a rolling jackpot lottery, the authors of this paper consider these questions. They develop an analysis of rate of return, from which they draw their conclusions regarding bets. Two outstanding features of this work are the incorporation of concrete lotteries as examples and the mathematics (mostly elementary calculus) and statistics used. They do not end their analysis at bets however, but go on to explore the less familiar (to most readers) territory of investments. This necessitates considering risk. And so, economics and subsequently linear algebra get involved. This supports their conclusion that lotteries will almost never be good investments.

The subject matter, the mathematics used, the examples, and the conclusions, but especially the presentation of the material, all combine to make “Finding Good Bets” an exceptional article.

Pictured: Skip Garibaldi (right) receives the award from MAA President Paul Zorn.

This award-winning article can be read here without subscription.
ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) “Best Paper” Award
Published: 08/08/2011
This year's ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) annual conference best paper award was presented to Mikhail Ageev (Moscow State University), and Qi Guo, Dmitry Lagun, and Eugene Agichtein (Emory University), for their paper "Find It If You Can: A Game for Modeling Different Types of Web Search Success Using Interaction Data". The paper, written while Mikhail was visiting the IR Lab at Emory, proposes a principled formalization of different types of success for informational search, and it presents a scalable game-like infrastructure for crowdsourcing search behavior studies. The SIGIR annual conference is the premier conference in information retrieval. This year, the rate of acceptance for submitted papers was 19.8%. More details on the conference and award can be found on the SIGIR website:

http://www.sigir.org/awards/awards.html
PAlmetto Number Theory Series (PANTS) XVI meeting
Published: 07/14/2011
Emory University is hosting the PAlmetto Number Theory Series (PANTS) XVI conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will take place September 10-11, 2011. The goal of the PANTS meetings is to provide an opportunity for number theorists in the Southeast, to hear about recent research in all areas of number theory, pure and applied. For more information, please click here
The Department will host The 15th International Conference on Random Structures and Algorithms, May 24 - 28.
Published: 05/25/2011
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences is pleased to host this biennial international research meeting devoted to probabilistic methods in discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science and optimization. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a venue for these communities to explore the most recent theoretical developments and their applications.

More information can be found at the conference website: http://rsa2011.amu.edu.pl/

Participants are encouraged to visit the site and to register now. We will be able to support some participants, due to the generous funding provided by Emory University, our co-hosts the Georgia Institute of Technology and Adam Mickiewicz University, and by the National Science Foundation.