Honors & Awards

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Eleny Ionel to give Invited Lecture at International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)

Eleny Ionel
This summer Eleny Ionel has been invited to lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Beijing (China). This is a very prestigious invitation which demonstrates the international attention her research is getting. Eleny, who was featured in last year's newletter having received a Sloan Fellowship, works on symplectic topology and 4-manifolds, and Gromov-Witten and Seiberg-Witten invariants. She has also been invited to give a plenary lecture at the AMS Meeting to be held in Madison this October.

Shi Jin awarded Feng Kang Prize

This past summer, Shi Jin was notified that he has received the fourth Feng Kang Prize in Scientific Computing. The Feng Kang Prize was set up by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995 in the name of the late Professor Feng Kang, the founding father of computational mathematics in China and an independent inventor of the finite element method. Every other year two scientists, one from China and one from overseas, are given this prize. Shi was the overseas recipient in 2001. According to the citation, he was awarded the Feng Kang Prize for his ``significant contributions in Numerical PDE's and Scientific Computing.'' Shi was also awarded a Cheung Kong Professorship by China's Ministry of Education. This highly competitive professorship was set up jointly by Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Inc. and China's Ministry of Education. Every year up to ten overseas scholars from all areas of sciences and engineering are awarded this special professorship. Shi is one of the seven recipients of this position this year, and will spend about two months each summer of the next five years at China's Tsinghua University. Yongbin Ruan was awarded such a position last year.
Shi Jin

Yong-Geun Oh promoted to Professor and wins Vilas Associates Award

Yong-Geun Oh, who joined the Department of Mathematics in 1992 has been promoted to (full) Professor. The Graduate School has also named Yong-Geun as a Vilas Associate for 2002-04. This award provides summer salary support for two years and $10,000 each year in flexible research for support of his research and other scholarly activities.

On leave this academic year, Yong Geun is concentrating on research and participating in the special program "Symplectic geometry and holomorphic curves" held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is one of the editors of the recently published Proceeding of the International Conference ``Symplectic geometry and mirror symmetry." The conference was held at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS), and the proceedings published by World Scientific Press. Yong Geun plans to devote some time over the next few years writing a book on symplectic geometry and mirror symmetry, especially on the Floer theory introduced in the late 1980's in an attempt to prove the Arnold conjecture providing a lower bound on the number of fixed points of general Hamiltonian diffeomorphism groups (the number of intersection points of a pair of Lagrangian submanifolds).

The Vilas Award follows the Korean Young Scientist Award that Yong-Geung received last year from Korean president Kim Dae Jung; see last year's newsletter.

Yong-Geun Oh

Alexander Nagel named Lipman Bers Professor of Mathematics

Alex Nagel
Alexander Nagel has been awarded a special professorship at UW-Madison and has chosen the name Lipman Bers Professor of Mathematics. Alex received an undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1966 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1971. He joined our Department of Mathematics in the fall of 1970. Alex's mathematical research has focused on questions in complex and harmonic analysis. During the more than 30 years of his distinguished research career, he has studied the boundary behavior of holomorphic functions, Hilbert transforms along curves and surfaces, the decay of the Fourier transform of surface carried measures, metrics generated by vector fields, and function theory in domains of finite type. Currently his research is focused on nilpotent Lie groups that arise as submanifolds of complex vector spaces.

Alex's important and continuing contributions to our undergraduate and graduate programs were recognized by UW-Madison with the Amoco Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982. He was Chair of the Department from 1991 to 1993. In 1993 he accepted the responsibility to be Associate Dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Letters and Sciences, and remained in that position until 1998.

Alex has held visiting positions at Princeton University, at the University of Paris and other French universities, and at the Mathematical Sciences Research Center (MSRI) in Berkeley, California. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987.

Alex chose to name his professorship after Lipman Bers who was his major professor at Columbia and was an important figure in 20th century mathematics. Bers was known for his deep contributions in geometry and analysis, specifically function theory, partial differential equations, quasi-conformal mappings, moduli theory of Riemann surfaces, and Kleinian groups. He was also known for his passionate support of human rights.

Ken Ono promoted to Professor and wins Romnes Fellowship

Ken Ono who joined the Department of Mathematics as Associate Professor in 1999, has been promoted to (full) Professor. Ken has also won the prestigious Romnes Fellowship from the Graduate School. This is a $50,000 research award for faculty within 6 years of being tenured. Ken is a number theorist, one of whose special interests is the partition function p(n). Last year's newsletter contained a more detailed description of Ken's research.
Ken Ono

One of Ken's recent papers was written up as a feature story in the June 16, 2001 issue of Science News. The article is entitled ``Surprisingly Square'' and it is about recent papers by Ken, Steve Milne (Ohio State Univ.) and Don Zagier (College de France) on the representations of integers as sums of squares. The text of this story can be found at:


The December 2001 issue of Science News listed this paper as one of the most important mathematical achievements of 2001.

Ken has been selected by the U. S. National Academy of Sciences to be a member of the 2002 Chinese-American Frontiers of Science Symposium Organizing Committee. As part of the National Science Foundation's 50th Anniversary Celebration, the NSF invited Ken to give guest lectures with Leon Lederman (Emeritus Director of FermiLab, and 1988 Nobel Laureate in Physics) to high school students in Missoula, Montana on May 2, 2001. For more on this see:

http://www.missoulian.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail &doc=/2001/May/16-160-feature06.txt

http://www.missoulian.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail &doc=/2001/May/03-168-news01.txt

In connection with this celebration, Ken and Leon Lederman appeared on the NBC Today Show on May 2.

With Bruce Berndt (PhD 1969, J. R. Smart) Ken edited the AMS Contemporary Mathematics book ``q-series with applications to combinatorics, number theory and physics'' (volume 291, 2001).