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Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 02-01 - January 3, 2002

Math Meeting to Feature Internet, Helicity, Analytic Number Theory

More than a dozen mathematicians supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will speak on mathematical concepts and the role of the Internet at the joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Jan. 6-9, 2002, at the San Diego Convention Center, Calif. NSF-funded mathematicians will also receive awards. Media are welcome. Below are some highlights of the presentations.

Dennis DeTurck, University of Pennsylvania: Helicity of vector fields in geometry, biology, and plasma physics
Invited address: Sun., Jan. 6, 2002, 11:10 a.m.

The "helicity" concept has applications ranging from the complexity of DNA to the motion of plasmas in space. With support from NSF, DeTurck studies partial differential equations and has organized a multi-university program to improve the science and math education of students at the undergraduate level and below.

Andrew Granville, University of Georgia: Probability, combinatorics, and physics in analytic number theory
Invited address: Mon., Jan. 7, 10:05 a.m.

Analytic number theory has changed because of new ideas from quantum physics and other fields. Granville heads an NSF- supported program at Georgia that "vertically integrates" the mathematics research of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates.

Tony Chan, University of California at Los Angeles: Variational PDE models and algorithms in image processing
Invited address: Mon., Jan.7, 11:10 a.m.

The integration of math and computers has allowed great strides in image processing, with uses ranging from the restoration of photos to the development of complex geometric models for object detection. Chan was one of the founders of the NSF Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA and serves on NSF's Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee.

Thomas Banchoff, Brown University: The down side of the trapezoid: an immediate past president surveys the Internet
MAA retiring president address: Wed., Jan. 9, 10:05 a.m.

The Internet is playing an increasing role in research and education. Banchoff, a long-time NSF grantee, is active in developing uses of the Internet for mathematics education, particularly software for geometric visualization and for communication between instructors and students.

American Mathematical Society Prizes
Awards ceremony: Mon., Jan. 7, 4:30 p.m.
(Note: names are embargoed until the time of the awards ceremony)

Six mathematicians with long-time research support from NSF will receive AMS honors:

  • Michael Artin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for lifetime achievements in algebra, ring theory, and algebraic geometry;
  • Mark Goresky of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., for contributions to topology and algebra;
  • Henryk Iwaniec of Rutgers University, for contributions to analytic number theory.
  • Elliot Lieb of Princeton University, for an article on entropy and the second law of thermodynamics;
  • Elias Stein of Princeton University, for lifetime achievements in various aspects of analysis; and
  • Richard Taylor of Harvard University, for research in number theory.

For more information contact:
Amber Jones (703) 292-8070/

For the meeting agenda, see:



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