The SDSU Mathematics Research Experience for Undergraduates completed its sixth year with a talented group of students, representing 14 outstanding institutions. These students worked on various problems from an area of number theory, nonunique factorization of numerical semigroups. A numerical semigroup is a subset of the whole numbers that is closed under addition. Here is one problem solved this summer: given a numerical semigroup whose generators are in arithmetical progression, find a formula that measures the maximal factorization length of any product of k generators. Vadim Ponomarenko was aided by technical consultants: Scott Chapman (Sam Houston State University), the EditorinChief of the American Mathematical Monthly, and Pedro GarciaSanchez (Universidad de Granada), who gave lectures during the first week of the program and helped formulate the research problems.
The SDSU REU has been offered for eight weeks each summer since 2007, supported by grants from the National Science Foundation awarded to Dr. Ponomarenko. Participants often call the opportunity to engage in research a lifechanging and immensely rewarding experience. They also have lots of fun in beautiful San Diego. The REU experience is great preparation for graduate school and is a very positive addition to a student’s application. Since its inception the SDSU REU has generated 18 technical reports, seven papers published, one under review, and four more in preparation. Copies of the reports and papers and information about the program is available on the SDSU REU website: http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/mathreu/index.html
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The recent experimental realization of BoseEinstein Condensates (BECs)—leading to the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics— has ignited an intense interest from the Mathematics and Physics communities. BECs area fascinating, fertile platform for the study of nonlinear waves such as solitons and vortices with profound implications in areas such as superconductivity, superfluidity (topics of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics) and quantum computing. The main theme of this grant is to study newly emerging directions pertaining to the existence, stability, bifurcations, dynamics and interactions of coherent structures (solitons, vortices, and vortex rings) in BECs. The plan involves a coordination of mathematical modeling, analytical and asymptotic methods, and computational techniques synergistically interwoven with the collaborations of two experimental groups of Profs. P. Engels (Washington State) and D.S. Hall (Amherst College).
Figure 1: Prototypical example of the a) amplitude and b) phase profiles of a trapped vortex at the center of a parabolic trap. c) (x,y,t) dynamics for an offcenter precessing vortex from the full GPE (1) (blue points) and the reduced ODE model (2) (thin black line). d) Animation of the evolution of the density for a precessing vortex.

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Jerome Gilles, Ph.D. (Ecole Normale Superieure of Cachan, France, 2006) Gilles is a mathematician specializing in applied harmonic analysis. His areas of interest include Fourier and wavelet analysis, signal and image processing, inverse problems, compressive sensing and adaptive (datadriven) methods. He is presently developing a new adaptive wavelet theory called Empirical Wavelet Transform (EWT) which paves the way to the creation of new harmonic analysis tools providing much more accurate timefrequency representation than other existing methods. He is currently investigating the use of such tools in the neuroscience field by analyzing electroencephalographic signals involved in Parkinson’s disease and Epileptic patients.
BoWen Shen, Ph.D. (North Carolina State University, 1998) Shen is an atmospheric scientist specializing in global numerical weather and climate modeling, highend computing, and nonlinear dynamics. His areas of interest include numerical hurricane modeling, predictability of nonlinear weather systems, nonlinear multiscale analysis, scientific visualizations and parallel computing. He has been a principal investigator for the NASA HighEnd Computing (HEC) program since 2006, and a principal investigator for the NASA Advanced Information System Technology (AIST) program of Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) since 2009. Since 2011, he has studied the chaos in highorder Lorenz models with the aim of understanding the impact of butterfly effect on predictability.
William Zahner, Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2011) Zahner is a mathematics educator whose uses a sociocultural approach to learning to research how students learn important algebraic concepts though participating in mathematical discussions. Zahner’s recent work has combined tools from discourse analysis and mathematics education research to explore the affordances of classroom discussions in linguistically diverse mathematics classrooms where some students are classified as English Learners. As a graduate student, Zahner was supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation funded Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as. He also has six years of experience as a secondary mathematics teacher, including three years in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.
http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=75138
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SDSU is a large, diverse, urban university and HispanicServing Institution with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. Our campus community is diverse in many ways, including race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, and covered veteran status. We strive to build and sustain a welcoming environment for all. SDSU is seeking applicants with demonstrated experience in and/or commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresented groups. The College of Sciences is host to a large number of federallyfunded minority training programs (described at http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/casa/).
Applications should include: a cover letter, curriculum vita, a statement of research program, and three letters of recommendation. Applications should be submitted through http://apply.interfolio.com/26445. Confidential recommendation letters have to be submitted by the letter writers directly through the interfolio site, from which you may send “request recommendation” emails. Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2014 and continue until the position is filled. For questions on the application procedure, please email jjfan@mail.sdsu.edu.
SDSU is a Title IX, equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.
The person holding this position is considered a “mandated report” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
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Joel started at SDSU right after graduating from Carlsbad High School in 2010. From that time on, he dedicated his studies to the single subject teaching credential program for mathematics at SDSU. His main inspiration stems from his high school calculus teacher, Mr. Rosen. Highlight of his studies at State was being awarded the Steven Michael Rogers Scholarship for Excellence in Mathematics. This award validated his choice of career path. In the fall, Joel will begin his teaching credential at SDSU. Upon completion, he desires to either teach in Carlsbad and be involved with surf and skate PE, or pursue teaching at Hoover High School. Joel is the recipient of the Outstanding Baccalaureate Award presented by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. He graduated on May 16, 2014 receiving a B.A. in Mathematics. We wish Joel good luck and continued success in his career aspirations.
Joel’s selection of his Most Influential Faculty was Dr Chris Rasmussen
Additional awards and recognition were presented to graduates and faculty at the
Annual Commencement Awards & Social on May 6th. Awards included:
Baccalaureate Degree Awards
Outstanding Baccalaureate Candidate in Mathematics & Statistics
JOEL ROBERT BERNABEO
B.A. Mathematics, Single Subject Teaching Credential
Academic Excellence in Mathematics
NADIA MARIE OTT
B.S. Mathematics, emphasis Applied Mathematics
Academic Excellence in Statistics
KIERAN GREGORY SPRUNK
B.S. Statistics
Master’s Degree Awards
Academic Excellence in Mathematics
LILJANA GJORGE HRISTOVA & SARA WANG
M.S. Applied Mathematics
Academic Excellence in Mathematics Education
AIDA LINDA SILVA
M.A. Teaching Service
Academic Excellence in Statistics
PETER RANDOLPH TRUBEY & PETER TUANPING WANG
M.S. Statistics
Favorite Faculty Award presented by Student Affairs
STEVE KIRSCHVINK, COREY MANCHESTER & RENEE THOMPSON
Graduate Teaching Assistants
Spencer Bagley, Ph.D., Mathematics & Science Education
Christian Junginger, MS Statistics
Tyler Levasseur, MS Applied Mathematics
Shelbi Mayo, MS Applied Mathematics
Vi Trang, MA Mathematics
Peter Trubey, MS Statistics
Peter Wang, MS Statistics
Yifan Zhu, MS Statistics
Congratulations and best wishes to all of our
Department of Mathematics & Statistics Awardees
and the Graduating Class of 2014.
Theresa Morrison is a third year undergraduate student studying applied mathematics and physics. She has also been participating in collaboration between our department and the department of biology and the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at UCSD. Theresa’s work is helping provide quantitative analyses of MRI images of the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients. She presented her work at the Student Research Symposium and received the President’s Award for her presentation.
Cystic Fibrosis is a severe disease that is effects around 30,000 people in the United States and has a median age of death around 38 years. While the disease affects the entire body, death is usually the result of respiratory failure, making lung health critically important. Our research focuses on developing a method for analyzing MRI images so they can be used as a sensitive and noninvasive technique for measuring lung health. MRI images show water content in the image. Within a healthy lung, water is observed from lung tissue and blood; however within a CF lung water can also be present due to high levels of mucus.
Theresa’s work focuses on isolating mucus within the lung and quantifying its volume. Her project identifies moving mucus within the lung through image registration and the comparison of images. She isolated a small region within the lung and used a three step process for the registration. First she found the center of intensity and did a translational registration. Second she used an iterative process in Matlab to create an affine transformation. Third she found the intermediate point of these transformations and used that for the final registration.
Theresa has been working with Professor Salamon from the Department of Mathematics at SDSU and Professor Rebecca Theilmann from the Department of Radiology at UCSD.
Theresa presented her talk at the CSU Student Research Competition on Friday 2 May 2014.
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examines history and origins of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and recounts his personal journey from statistics to industry to teaching machine learning and running R on Unix clusters.
Read more:
April 2014 blog. Learning and Teaching Machine Learning
March 2014 blog. Identity Fraud and Analytics
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The journal will contain insights on mathematics education from introductory courses such as caluclus to higher level courses such as linear algebra, all the way through advanced courses in analysis and abstract algebra. It will also be a venue for research that focuses on graduate level mathematics teaching and learning as well as research that examines how mathematicians go about their professional practice. In addition, the journal will be an outlet for the publication of mathematics education research conducted in other tertiary settings, such as technical and community colleges. It will provide the intellectual foundation for improving university mathematics teaching and learning and it will address specific problems in the secondarytertiary transition.
The journal will be published three times per year with 45 papers per issue.
EditorsinChief:
Karen Marongelle, PhD, Portland State University
Chris Rasmussen, PhD, San Diego State University
Mike Thomas, PhD, University of Auckland
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Dr. Shen will deliver his presentation entitled “Global warming: How do we know it’s real?” on Friday, March 14, 2014, from 3 to 5 p.m. in AL 201. The lecture is open to the university community and to the public, free of charge. Seating is limited, however, and will be available on a firstcome, firstserved basis.
The University Research Lecture Series is sponsored by Graduate and Research Affairs and the University Research Council in recognition of SDSU faculty who make outstanding research and teaching contributions.
Dr. Shen started his career at SDSU as a Professor in 2006, after serving as McCalla Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. His research tackles problems of great significance and breadth including climate change and uncertainty, for which he has developed and used a range of mathematical and statistical tools. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents the conclusions of a multinational, multidisciplinary series of working groups approximately every 6 years. These reports are viewed by many as the authoritative general assessment for both academics and the public of our understanding of the status, drivers, and consequences of climate change.
In 1994, Dr. Shen developed a new approach, the spectral optimal averaging (SOA) method for estimating uncertainty in climate change assessment based on both observational data and models, which in turn was adopted by the IPCC in 2001 for the first quantification of uncertainty on the observed rates of climate warming. Rather than presenting their findings as absolutes, the IPCC provides estimates of certainty for their findings in an effort to provide to the public an indirect measure of confidence in their conclusions.
Dr. Shen has made several methodological contributions to a wide range of application areas, such as spacetime signal detection for identifying carbon dioxide factor in the global average surface air temperature, and probabilistic assessment of cloud cover for stochastic climate models, which treat climate variables as random variables.
Dr. Shen maintains a highly interdisciplinary research program and has collaborated with meteorologists, oceanographers, agricultural scientists, computer scientists, and hydrologists. He has held visiting positions at various institutions and governmental labs, including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, and the University of Tokyo. In addition to pursuing excellence in advanced education and research, Dr. Shen cares about K12 education. He recently worked with a local elementary school to protect vernal pools in the Carmel Mountain Preserve. He also donated desks and chairs to the oneroom elementary school he attended in his remote Chinese mountain village. He successfully lobbied the Chinese government to invest the US dollar equivalent of $50 billion from 20072012 to provide free Grades 19 education to children in socially and economically disadvantaged rural areas of China.
Dr. Shen has been a consistent author of refereed papers with 99 papers in top journals including Nature Geoscience, J. of Geophysical Research and J. of Climate, as well as being the author of three books, numerous government technical reports and conference proceedings. Recognition of his research program is also evidenced in the continuous funding of his research since 1988 by highly competitive federal programs such as NSF, Dept. of Energy, NOAA, or NSERC of Canada.
His strong history with graduate education includes not only seven Ph.D. students, 20 MS students, but also serving as a supervisor for three Ph.D. and four MS students. His contributions in service include national roles such as President of the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society, VP of Canadian Mathematical Society, as well as many international recognitions including his work to help establish the SDSU Confucius Institute and to develop the SDSU Xiamen Summer School in Global Climate Change and Emerging Infection Disease in China.
Dr. Welter invites you, your students, and the community to participate in this year’s lecture program presented by one of our most outstanding faculty members.
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