The University of New Mexico
invites you to SUnMaRC!

Southwestern Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference - February 27 2009 - March 1, 2009


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   Invited Speakers




   Talk Abstracts



Invited Speakers

Patrick Weidman, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

Patrick Weidman is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Affiliate Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California, after which he joined UC Boulder. Patrick's research is in the area of Fluid Dynamics.

He has studied a variety of physics phenomena both theoretically and experimentally. As examples, some of his more recent work includes studies of sliding spinning disks, sloshing of fluids in containers, vortex rings dynamics, and interactions of internal solitary waves.

He has even found a model for the Eiffel tower profile! Patrick is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an award given to acknowledge his many contributions to the field. Patrick is also an avid climber and mountaineer. Among many others he has climbed each of Colorado's fourteeners several times.

Title: Model Equations for the Eiffel Tower Profile: Historical Perspective and New Results
When: Friday 7:15pm

Abstract: A review of mathematical models for the shape of the Eiffel Tower show they are not consistent with Eiffel's writings. Reported here is a new model derived from Eiffel's concern about wind loads on the tower, as documented in a communication to the French Civil Engineering Society on March 30, 1885. This model reveals an exponential skyline profile, while the actual tower profile closely resembles two piecewise continuous exponentials. This discrepancy is explained by specific safety factors that Eiffel & Company incorporated in the construction of the lower half of the 300 meter tower.

Mike Nakamaye, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Mexico

Mike Nakamaye is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico. Mike graduated from Harvard University and has been at UNM since 1999. Mike's research is in Number Theory and he has also been involved in the La Meta program aimed at supporting teachers in K-12 education. 

Mike is an energetic and enthusiastic person and teacher, that has won university wide "Outstanding Teacher of the year" awards both at UNM and at Harvard and holds a Presidential teaching fellow at UNM. Mike is also an avid cyclist whom you'll see more often in bike clothes than other.

Title: When is 0/100 a better score on a test than 99/100?
When: Saturday 10:30am

Abstract: We deal with distances on a daily basis in a very concrete way. Indeed, deciding what route to take in order to get to work or to the store usually involves minimizing some distance.  Once the mathematical properties of distance have been abstracted, it turns out that there some very strange notions of what it means for two numbers on the number line to be "close.''  We will discuss some of these very strange notions of distance and the beautiful mathematics to which they give rise.

Pedro Embid, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of New Mexico

Pedro Embid is a professor of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico. Pedro graduated from University of California at Berkeley. He then spent some time back in his home country of Venezuela. He returned to the US and joined UNM in 1985.

He has also spent 4 years at Princeton University and the Institute of Advanced Studies. Pedro works in the area of geophysical fluids and collaborates with researchers at LANL. He is one of our department's most beloved undergraduate and graduate teachers, and has received numerous teaching awards.

Title: Applied Mathematics: a personal perspective.
When: Saturday 2:00pm

Joseph Galewsky, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico

Joe Galewsky is a professor of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. Joe received his PhD in Geophysics from the University of California Santa Cruz.

He then worked as a software engineer for a few years before returning to academia at Columbia University and joining UNM in 2005. He is also a visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research at Boulder, and he gets to go to Hawaii to do his research!

Much of his work regards the study of dynamical links between climate and topography, such as the feedback relation between clouds, rain, and cyclones and sedimentation and geodynamics.

Title: On the wings of a butterfly:  Developing improved weather forecasts in New Mexico
When: Sunday 10:30am

Abstract:Numerical weather prediction rightly stands as one of the great triumphs of 20th Century science, bringing together advances in computational sciences, applied mathematics, and fluid mechanics.  With the advent of massively parallel computers capable of hundreds of trillions of floating point operations per second (TFLOPS), there are new opportunities to advance the field of numerical weather prediction and associated decision-support through a variety of deterministic and probabilistic techniques.

The State of New Mexico recently invested in a new 172 TFLOPS computer that will enable the development of next-generation weather forecasting techniques in New Mexico. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the field of numerical weather prediction and outline some of the interesting research problems that lie at the intersection of meteorology, economics, computational science, applied mathematics and statistics.