Fall 2016 Courant Newsletter released
A digital copy of the newsletter is available on the Courant Newsletters page.
Citation: "Subhash Khot is a theoretical computer scientist whose work is providing critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. ... As computers come to drive ever more aspects of our lives, greater understanding of the limitations of computing is increasingly important. Khot’s continued ingenuity and tenacity in exploring the potential of the UGC will drive this important and fruitful area of research for many years to come."
Professor of Computer Science Bud Mishra has been involved in several recent studies that cast light on diverse issues related to cancer research.
Eyal Lubetzky has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Fellowships are awarded to IMS members in honor of their outstanding research and professional contributions in the fields of statistics and probability.
Eyal's election will be celebrated in July at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony, during the World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Toronto.
Ken Perlin's work on combining virtual reality with motion capture is featured on Eyewitness News.
Please join us on March 31 and April 1 for the XXXIst Courant Lectures. Click here for further details.
Facebook selected Sana Odeh and her work on Arab women in computing as one of six featured stories in honor of International Women's Day.
An article on artificial intelligence in Rolling Stone magazine states that "in the world of AI, [Yann] LeCun is the closest thing there is to a rock star."
Warm congratulations to Raghu Varadhan on receiving an honorary degree from Duke University! See the announcement from Duke University for more information.
Professor Ken Perlin is interviewed about Virtual Reality in Nautilus Magazine.
Professor Leif Ristroph's research on candy dissolution in fluid flows is named one of the coolest science stories of 2015 by Gizmodo.com.
In 1970, student protesters stormed into a building at New York University and took control of a computer then considered “the most expensive thing on campus.”
Professor Yevgeniy Dodis is interviewed on NBC on the use of cryptography for privacy and for security.
Further information is available in the news release from the American Mathematical Society.
Research on the rate of retreat of ice sheets in the Antarctic by Professor David Holland and former Courant Postdoc Natalya Gomez is highlighted in a press release from NYU News. Their paper appears in Nature Communications.
Fedor Bogomolov and Subhash Khot have been named Silver Professors. Congratulations! For more information on Fedor, Subhash, and the other Silver Professors, please see here.
Research on statistical patterns in cell protein distribution by Professors Daniel Stein and Charles Newman is featured in NYU News. Their findings appear in Physical Review E.
Professor Oded Regev's research in cryptography is discussed in an article in Quanta Magazine.
The Courant Institute is pleased to announce that Leif Ristroph (Mathematics and the Applied Math Lab) has won the George E. Valley, Jr. Prize of the American Physical Society, in recognition for outstanding scientific contributions being made in the early stages of his scientific career. The prize is awarded biennially. More information is available on the American Physical Society website. Our warm congratulations to Leif!
Yann LeCun's research on deep learning is featured in an article in the MIT Technology Review.
Subhash Khot has been named a Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science by the Simons Foundation. Congratulations!
Professor Joel Spencer's research regarding explosive percolation is mentioned in an article in Quanta Magazine.
Professor Leif Ristroph's research on object dissolution in fluid flows is highlighted in a piece on Science Friday. Building on earlier studies of eroding clay surfaces, this new work from the Applied Math Lab uses candy objects immersed in water currents to show how flows speed up dissolving. The researchers discovered that the same final ‘sculpture’ is unveiled regardless of the initial shape and imposed flow speed, and these observations led to a mathematical law for the rate of dissolving. Much more than a curiosity, understanding how materials dissolve can help make sense of geological features and can be put to use in chemical and pharmaceutical applications. On a lighter note, the team also recalled the famous childhood question – How many licks does it take to reach the center of a lollipop? – and used their theory to provide an estimate of 1000.
Professor David Holland and Denise Holland's research on glaciers in Greenland is mentioned in an article in the New York Times.
Professor Emeritus Robert Dewar has died at the age of 70. Robert was a faculty member in the Computer Science department from 1975 until his retirement in 2005 and was chair of the department from 1978 to 1980. Robert was a leading figure in programming languages, particularly in the development of Ada; an inspiring and admired teacher; a raconteur, singer, and actor; and a well-loved colleague and friend. Our sympathies to his family and friends.
Professor Sana Odeh's research on the involvement of women in the Arab world in computer science is discussed in an article in Forbes Magazine.
Richard Bonneau has received the 2015 Iakobachvili Faculty Science Award from the NYU School of Arts and Science. Congratulations!
Peter Lax received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from NYU, a well deserved honor for Peter's contributions to Mathematics and the university. An alumnus and Professor Emeritus at the Courant Institute, Peter is also the recipient of the Abel prize in 2005, and recently went to Washington to receive the Lomonosov Gold Medal, the highest award given by the Russian Academy of Sciences, which he was awarded in 2013.
Click here for further information.
Book signing April 23 at 4 pm in the 13th floor faculty lounge
Louis Nirenberg and John Nash have been awarded the 2015 Abel Prize "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis." The award -- widely considered the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in Mathematics -- will be presented by King Harald of Norway in Oslo on May 19, 2015.
For more information and the official press release, click here.
Yuri Tschinkel has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Warm congratulations, Yuri! Please see the AAAS news release for more information.
Warm congratulations to John Rinzel for winning the 2015 Arthur T. Winfree Prize from the Society for Mathematical Biology!
For more, visit the Society for Mathematical Biology website.
The International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) awards the Lagrange Prize to Andy in recognition of his ground-breaking, original, fundamental and pioneering contributions to applied mathematics and, in particular, to wave front propagation and combustion, scattering theory, fluid dynamics and atmosphere climate science.
Click here for the ICIAM press release.
Andrew K Lee
Melissa Amber Schiff
David McLaughlin and Patrick Cousot are the 2014 Silver Professors! Warm congratulations to Dave and to Patrick!!
For more information on Dave, Patrick and the other Silver Professors, please click here.
David Sontag and Thomas Wies have each received an NSF CAREER award for their projects "Exact Algorithms for Learning Latent Structures" (Sontag) and "Abstracting Programs for Automated Debugging" (Wies).
Congratulations to David and to Thomas!!
Yann LeCun's work on back-propagation neural networks and deep learning are the subject of an in-depth profile in Wired.
The 2014 Recipient of the SIAM Richard C. DiPrima Prize is Tom Trogdon! Congratulations Tom!!
For further details, please visit the SIAM website.
Please see the news release for further information. Also read "What It Takes to Win the World's Highest Computer Science Honor" in Wired.
For further information, please click here: http://www.siam.org/meetings/an14/prizes.php
At the 2014 ACM-ICPC International Collegiate Programming Contest, held in Ekaterinburg, Russia, the NYU team placed 13th overall, and 1st among North American teams, beating out teams from such schools as MIT, Stanford, CMU, and Berkeley. Congratulations to the team Bowen Yu, Fabian Gundlach, and Danilo Neves Ribeiro and their coaches Brett Bernstein, Evan Korth, and Sean McIntyre!
For further info, please click here: http://icpc.baylor.edu/scoreboard/
Congratulations Selin on receiving this year's Golden Dozen Award!!
The IEEE Computer Society has awarded the Harlan D. Mills 2014 Award to Patrick Cousot and Radhia Cousot for the invention of abstract interpretation, development of tool support, and its practical application. Congratulations! Link
Please see the NYU webpage for more information.
Dennis Shasha has been named a Fellow of the ACM. Congratulations! Please visit the ACM website for more information.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Please visit the AMS website for more information.
Leslie Greengard joins the Simons Foundation as the director of the Simons Center for Data Analysis (SCDA), while continuing to serve as a member of the Courant Institute faculty. As Director of the SCDA, Greengard "will build and lead a team of scientists committed to analyzing large-scale, rich data sets and to developing innovative mathematical methods to examine such data." A detailed announcement can be found at the Simons Foundation website.
Yann LeCun has been awarded the 2014 IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Neural Networks Pioneer Award, recognizing "significant contributions to early concepts and sustained development in the field of neural networks."
David Sontag is leading a research group including collaborators from NYU/NYU Langone as well as Independence Blue Cross to apply machine learning techniques to IBC's medical and pharmacy claims data to detect patients at risk for undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes. The full article is available from the Wall Street Journal.
Jeffrey Cheeger has been awarded a 2013 Simons Fellowships by the Simons Foundation, along with 39 other fellows in Mathematics. The announcement is available from the Simons Foundation.
Edith Windsor (MS in Math, 1957) "who has bravely waged the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act" will receive the NYU Presidential Medal at this year's commencement ceremony. The full press release is available from NYU News.
Zvi Kedem has received the Outstanding Contribution to ACM award for his leadership in rebuilding the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) as a modern cognitive map of the computing field for the worldwide computing community. As editor-in-chief, Kedem managed the effort to revise and automate the key component that underlies the ACM Digital Library’s search index infrastructure. The full press release is available from the ACM.
John Rinzel was named a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Fellow for "contributions to mathematical neuroscience and physiology," along with 32 other new fellows this year. Among Rinzel’s research were co-authored studies, with Pablo Jercog, a former graduate student at NYU’s Department of Physics and Center for Neural Science, identifying mechanisms the brain uses to help process sound localization cues. Their findings, which appeared in the journals PLoS Biology and Nature Neuroscience, focused on how the brain computes the different arrival times of sound into each ear to estimate the location of its source. The full press release is available from NYU News.s
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded funding for the NYU Courant Girls Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Summer Program (G-Stem). With Matthew Leingang as Principal investigator, G-Stem will recruit its first cohort to attend the six week Summer 2013 program, which will provide high school girls who have high aptitude in STEM subjects the opportunity to receive mentoring from STEM professionals, as well as participate in activities such as classes, lectures, and field trips.
The Entrupy system, developed by Lakshmi Subramanian and Ashlesh Sharma, for labelling works of art against counterfeiting, is featured in Forbes magazine as one of "Four Disruptive Technologies to Watch in 2013".
Global Distinguished Professor Sylvia Serfaty was awarded a Henri Poincaré Prize at the 2012 International Congress on Mathematical Physics, along with Freeman Dyson, Barry Simon, and Nalini Anantharaman. Serfaty won the prize "for her outstanding work on the theory of Ginzburg-Landau equations, including remarkable progress towards the rigorous proof of the onset of the Abrikosov lattice in the theory of superconductivity. "
Courant alumnus Ivan Corwin received an International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Young Scientist Prize along with two other recipients at the 2012 International Congress on Mathematical Physics, for his "outstanding contributions to the probabilistic analysis of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation modelling stochastic growth process."
A research team headed by Chris Bregler followed olympic athletes during their training in pools across the U.S. this spring, and developed ground-breaking techniques to capture their movement above and below the water's surface. The full article is available from NYU Today.
Yann LeCun and collaborators at five universities teach self-piloted drones to improvise when encountering unexpected obstacles, as featured in Popular Science.
As reported in the New York Times, A team of scientists at Google, including Marc'Aurelio Ranzato (Ph.D. NYU Computer Science, 2009), implemented a distributed neural network with 1 billion connection over a network with 16,000 processors (1000 machines). Applying "deep learning" to a dataset of 10,000,000 unlabelled images, the network achieved an accuracy of 15.8% in identifying 20,000 different categories, an improvement of 70% over the state of the art. The article also quotes Yann LeCun on the application of deep learning techniques to speech recognition.
Chris Bregler's Motion Capture Lab has been working with Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, in applying motion capture technique to the gestures and motions of an orchestral conductor. The full story is available from the New York Times. Link.
Researchers in Applied Math Lab used pyramid-shaped paper "bugs" to determine that in flight, top-heavy structures are more likely to maintain balance than the standard structure that bears a lower center of gravity. The results of the NSF and DOE-funded study may contribute to an alternative approach to aircraft design. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.
Evan Korth and Computer Science major Tal Safran are interviewed by CNN about the growing job opportunities offered to Computer Science majors. The full video is available online from CNN Money.
Pierre Germain has received a Sloan Research Fellowship along with 125 other young scholars. The Fellowship recognizes early-career scientists who demonstrate "unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field". Germain studies nonlinear dispersive equations, which describe a wealth of physical phenomena, from quantum mechanics to general relativity to fluid mechanics. Germain's recent work has focused on waves at the surface of the ocean. His research provides tools to understand their behaviour over long periods of time, which aids in our understanding of tsunamis, among other phenomena. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Mike Shelley, Jun Zhang, and researchers from the Applied Math Lab find that obstacles in an organism's path could help it move quicker rather than slower. The NSF and DOE-supported study bases its findings off of both live microscopic worms (the nematode C. elegans) and a computer model. This comparative study between experiment and simulation enahances the understanding of biological locomotion strategies of such organisms in complex geometries. Moreover, the simulated dynamics reproduces life-like behaviours that had been interpreted as coming from sensing and response of the worm to its local environment. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.
The first International Hackathon for the Social Good in the Arab World was held October 28-30 at NYU Abu Dhabi. The event brought together 50 student participants, from colleges in the Middle East and the US, and more than 20 experts acting as speakers, mentors, and judges, for three-days of intensive programming. NYU-NY undergraduates Max Stoller and Tengchao Zhou, teaming with Monir Abu Hilal from PSUT (Jordan) won second prize for their application "OpenMena," a web-based resource designed to provide government data in an accessible format for computer programmers.
The full press release is available from NYUAD.Read More
The White House announced in a Sept. 27, 2011 Press Release that S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan was named a recipient of the National Medal of Science, "for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the twentieth century and become a cornerstone of both pure and applied probability. The mathematical insights he developed have been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering." President Obama presented the award to recipients on October 21st, 2011. A full Press Release is available from NYU Today. Congratulations, Raghu!
In the New York Times, Chris Bregler discusses the performance-based animation technologies which are used to make convincing chimpanzees in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
The Risk Economics Lab for Decision Metrics has been established at Courant with a $1 million leadership pledge from the David K. A. Mordecai and Samantha Kappagoda Charitable Trust. The RiskEcon Lab, housed within the newly created Center for Computational Economics and Algorithmic Data Analytics, will apply a range of computational methods to researching geopolitical and socioeconomic issues, such as aging and health trends, immigration, and consumer behavior. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Mikhael Gromov has been elected a Foreign Member of The Royal Society, UK, along with 44 Fellows and 7 other Foreign Members. As stated in their citation: "Gromov ranks among the most deeply original mathematicians of our time, with contributions ranging from group theory, Riemannian and symplectic geometry, and the topology of partial differential relations, to his recent interest in the mathematics of biomolecular systems. His remarkable insight and unorthodox viewpoints have redefined whole areas of mathematics, most notably the subject of geometric group theory." The full article is available from NYU Today.
THE CENTER FOR MATHEMATICAL TALENT at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU is pleased to announce a partnership with the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES to offer an After School STEM Mentoring program in mathematics for July and August 2011.
Chris Bregler, Rob Fergus, Postdoc Graham Taylor, and PhD student Ian Spiro use an innovative data collection method -- a collaborative music video project by a Dutch progressive-electro band -- in order to develop computer vision technology. The full article is available from NYU Today.
In the new book Stored Clocked Programs Inside DNA: A Simplifying Framework for Nanocomputing, Dennis Shasha and recent Courant Alumna Jessie Chang "have outlined a method for storing programs inside DNA that simplifies nanocomputing." The full article is available from NYU Today.
Marsha Berger has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in a class of 212 new members and 16 foreign Honorary Members. As stated in the NYU press release, "AAAS has elected as fellows and foreign honorary members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation." She will be inducted at a special ceremony on October 1.The full release is available from NYU Today.
Gerard Ben Arous has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Fellowships are awarded to IMS members in honor of their "outstanding research and professional contributions." His election will be celebrated at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony on August 1.
NYU President John Sexton and Provost Dave McLaughlin announced the appointment of Gerard Ben Arous as the new Director of the Courant Institute on April 26, 2011. A specialist of probability theory and its applications, Gerard arrived to NYU's Courant Institute in 2002. John Sexton said, "The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences has a history of scholarship, discovery, and recognitions that is justly admired throughout higher education. In selecting a director, we sought someone who would be prepared not just to maintain Courant's stature but to advance it. I am very pleased that within our own ranks we have found just such a person." In addition to being named Director of the Courant Institute, Gerard has been appointed Vice Provost for Science and Engineering Development. His Directorship becomes effective September 1, 2011. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Yann LeCun and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, MIT, and Wageningen University have received a $4.5 million 5-year grant to develop a "bird-sized, self-flying plane that can navigate through both forests and urban environments." The full article is available from NYU Today
Jinyang Li and Rob Fergus have been awarded fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Sloan Foundation Fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Richard Cole, Chuck Newman, and Olof Widlund have been named Silver Professors. Funded by an endowment to the University from alumnus Julius Silver, Silver Chairs are awarded in recognition of outstanding scholarly contributions. The three Courant Institute faculty members will be awarded the distinction along with other FAS faculty at a ceremony in the Fall.
In an episode of "Innovation Nation," the Science/Discovery channel features Chris Bregler's "Motion Capture."
Eric Vanden-Eijnden has received the 2011 SIAM J. D. Crawford Prize for his "transformative work in stochastic dynamical systems, [which] stimulat[es] new ideas in applied and computational mathematics while also impacting applications." Eric will be awarded the prize at a SIAM ceremony in May.
Bud Mishra has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS selected Mishra for his "distinguished contributions to the field of computational and systems approaches to the fields of robotics, hardware verification, and computational biology." The full press release is available from NYU Today.
The Bôcher Prize, awarded by the American Mathematical Society, recognizes "the most notable paper in analysis published during the preceding six years." The AMS awarded the prize to Naor "for introducing new invariants of metric spaces and for applying his new understanding of the distortion between various metric structures to theoretical computer science." The full press release is available from NYU Today.
The 2010 ACM Gordon Bell prize for outstanding achievement in high-performance computing has been awarded to a team from Georgia Tech, NYU and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The NYU members of the team are Shravan Veerapaneni and Denis Zorin. The team was led by George Biros who was a postdoc at NYU in 2000-2003. They created a blood-flow simulation of 260 million deformable red blood cells flowing in plasma, topping the previous largest blood-flow simulation (of 14,000 cells) by four orders of magnitude. It ran at 700 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second) on the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge.The code is based on the kernel-independent version of the fast multipole method developed at NYU by Lexing Ying (PhD, Computer Science, 2004), George Biros and Denis Zorin. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
As reported in The Economist, Yann LeCun has developed vision systems for mobile robots based on convolutional neural networks, which learn from examples how to interpret what they see. He is also collaborating with researchers at Yale on the ``NeuFlow'' chip, which may soon be guiding self-driving cars. The NeuFlow chip can process a stream of megapixel images in real time. The full article is available from the International Business Times.
More than 200 students from 33 universities gathered Saturday, October 9, 2010 to attend HackNY's fall Hackathon at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The Hackathon, which concluded NYU's Startup Week, hosted fourteen companies, including Meetup, Aviary and Drop.io. The companies demoed their APIs before students, who then developed their own products and demos. The full article is available from Tech Crunch. Evan Korth and the other co-founders of HackNY are on the Business Insider's list of 100 coolest NY Tech People.
Diaspora, an Open Facebook alternative founded by NYU students, released its source code on Sept. 15th, as reported by the New York Times.
Louis Nirenberg has been selected by the International Congress of Mathematicians as the first recipient of the Chern Medal "for his role in the formulation of the modern theory of non-linear elliptic partial differential equations and for mentoring numerous students and post-docs in this area.” The Chern Medal, named after Shiing-Shen Chern, recognizes individuals “whose lifelong outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics warrant the highest level of recognition.” The Institute will host a special reception in honor of Louis in Fall 2010. The ICM annoucement, as well as laudations and a work profile, are available from the ICM.
The National Science Foundation has given a $2.85 million grant to NYU-Poly to launch "an innovative graduate education program to educate scientists and engineers to address the increasingly complex issues surrounding information security and privacy." The program will enlist faculty from across NYU departments, including the Courant Institute, and includes funding for graduate students. The full release is available from NYU Today.
"Natural Computing" by Professor Dennis Shasha and his coauthor Cathy Lazere explores technology on the edge of the possible (robots in space, high speed financial trading, safety engineering, computing with viruses) and shows that a surprising fusion is occurring between biology and computation. The Wall Street Journal reviews the book in "The Lessons of Living Things."
Spencer Greenberg, Courant PhD student and co-founder of Rebellion Research, speaks with the Wall Street Journal in "Letting the Machines Decide" about using machine learning to make investment decisions.
The Courant Institute "has received a $708,468 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a Center for Mathematical Talent that will discover and support high-school and middle-school students with exceptional potential in the New York City area." The full article is available from NYU Today.
Using computer vision technology, NYU’s Movement Laboratory "has reconstructed Yankee closer Mariano Rivera’s pitching motion to offer an animated three-dimensional look at how he appears before hitters." The video is part of a New York Times magazine online feature, “Mariano Rivera, King of Closers.” The full release is available from NYU Today.
Jihun Yu, Computer Science doctoral student, was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an internship with Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic -- Hollywood's leading Visual Effects Company behind movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Iron Man, and Avatar. Yu has been conducting groundbreaking research in graphics simulation of physical systems, and, in particular, how to make fluids and flames appear more realistic. More details are available from Oscars.org and from NYU Today.
In "Steering Grads to Start-ups," The Wall Street Journal writes about HackNY's programs and internships which aim to "steer more graduates in computer science, math and related fields to New York City technology start-ups instead of the well-worn path to Wall Street." HackNY is organized jointly by NYU's & Columbia's ACM chapters, ADI at Columbia, and NYU's Tech@NYU.
Yann LeCun and Rob Fergus's "Deep Learning" program, sponsored by DARPA, seeks to "develop code that can teach itself to spot objects in a picture, actions in a video, or voices in a crowd" on the first try and without supervision. The full story is available from Wired.
An international team of researchers led by Eric Vanden-Eijnden used novel computational methods in combination with molecular dynamics simulations to identify the pathways of diffusion of a carbon monoxide molecule inside myoglobin, a protein involved in oxygen transport and storage in various animal species including humans. These results shed light on the important mechanism of ligand-protein binding and indicate how dynamical aspects of protein function are related to its structure. The full article was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and can be found at
Prof. Cameron F Abrams (Drexel University) and Eric Vanden-Eijnden used a new molecular dynamics simulation method to investigate the conformational variability of large proteins, a problem of interest e.g. in drug design. The method was applied to two complex proteins, a subunit of GroEL, a protein that catalyzes folding of substrate proteins, and the HIV-1 envelope gp120, a protein responsible for the fusion of the virus with a target cell. In this second example, the method generates plausible all-atom models of the unliganded conformation of HIV-1 gp120, which was uncharacterized so far and may prove useful in the development of inhibitors and immunogens. The full article was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science and can be found at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/22/0914540107.abstract.
Local developers, marketers, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs will gather in Warren Weaver Hall this June 11-13 to pitch ideas, form teams and launch new business ventures. Full details are available at nyc.startupweekend.org.
The New York Times reports on Diaspora, the decentralized Facebook alternative being developed by Computer Science Students Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and Raphael Sofaer.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Paul Garabedian.
Paul was one of the outstanding mathematicians of his time. As a pure mathematician, he made fundamental contributions to the theory of partial differential equations and to the theory of functions of a complex variable. As an applied mathematician his astonishing calculation of shockless airfoils has had a major impact on modern aircraft design, and his studies of plasma stability are central to the problem of designing fusion reactors... [more]
Andrew Majda and Jalal Shatah have been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in a class of 211 fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members. Academy Chair Louis W. Cabot said, “The men and women we elect today are true pathbreakers who have made unique contributions to their fields, and to the world.”
Andy & Jalal will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9th. Congratulations, Andy & Jalal!
Olof Widlund has been named a 2010 SIAM Fellow, "for contributions to the theory of domain decomposition methods." SIAM Fellowships recognize distinguished members who are "leading thinkers and ambassadors of applied mathematics and computational science." Congratulations to Olof!
The inaugural, 24-hour "Hackathon" will take place in Warren Weaver Hall this April 2-3. The 24-hour event hosted by hackNY will bring more than 100 students from 20 different New York-area universities to work with datasets and technologies from the hottest NYC startups—including Foursquare, 10gen, Aviary, Chartbeat, and Hot Potato—at NYU's Courant Institute. Startups will introduce and demo their technologies; students will then have 24 hours to develop their own products and demos. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Sourav Chatterjee has received the 2010 Rollo Davidson Prize, along with co-winner Gady Kozma of the Weizmann Institute. This major international prize is awarded annually by the University of Cambridge to recognize young probabilists. Chatterjee was chosen “for [his] work on Stein's method, spin glasses and concentration of measure.”
We are delighted to announce that Subhash Khot has received the extremely prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award. This award is given annually by NSF to an outstanding young researcher in any field of science and engineering supported by NSF. Subhash joins a very distinguished recipient list; few mathematicians or computer scientists have won this award in the past.
Jeannette Wing, Assistant Director for Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at NSF, has written: "We in CISE are thrilled to have Subhash named the Waterman winner. Subhash is a brilliant theoretical computer scientist and is most well known for his Unique Games Conjecture. He has made many unexpected and original contributions to computational complexity and his work draws connections between optimization, computer science, mathematics."
Congratulations to Subhash!
Mark Tygert has been chosen as a 2010 Sloan Research Fellow, joining 22 current Courant Faculty members who have previously received Sloan Fellowships. The Fellowships “support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers,” and Tygert’s research “explores a range of computations, including randomized algorithms and statistics, in order to improve electrical engineering, data mining, machine learning, and weather prediction. Research in this field seeks to enhance the design of microchips, antennas, and stealth aircraft and also to boost the functionality of search engines.” More information is available from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and NYU Public Affairs.
Dilip Krishnan and Adriana Lopez, graduate students in Computer Science, have received a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship, respectively. The awards are given to outstanding students in the areas of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics. More information on the awards is available from Microsoft.
Nektarios Paisios, Computer Science doctoral student, has received a 2010-2011 Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. In addition to the scholarship, recipients of the award, which is based on academics, innovation, and leadership, are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid networking retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. More information is available from Lime Connect.
Giuseppe Narzisi and Daniel Wichs, Computer Science doctoral students, have received IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards. The Fellowship Awards Program "is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. " More information on the Awards can be found from IBM.
Marco Avellaneda has been chosen as Risk Magazine's 2010 Quant of the Year. He was cited for "his groundbreaking work on the effect of short-selling restrictions on price dynamics. His paper, 'A dynamic model for hard to borrow stocks,' co-authored with Mike Lipkin of Katama Trading, was published in Risk [in June 2009], and has quickly become a classic of market microstructure literature."
The New York Academy of Sciences presented Ameet Talwalkar with the Best Student Paper Award at its Annual Machine Learning Symposium, for his paper "Ensemble Nystrom Method". The full symposium details can be found from the National Academy of Sciences.
Leslie Greengard is one of 11 university faculty selected to conduct next-generation research projects by the Defense Department as part of its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program. The awards are for "promising university faculty performing unclassified, basic research that holds the promise to enhance long-term U.S. strategic interests." The Full News Release is available from the Department of Defense.
Through a series of forecast experiments using a general circulation model, Ed Gerber et. al. find that the stratosphere does influence the troposphere. As stated in the Geophysical Research Letters highlight and in Science Daily, "The results indicate that improved resolution in stratospheric simulations would probably lead to better weather forecasts."
As a part of its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded 50 million hours of supercomputing time to C. S. Chang and co-investigators Scott Parker (U. of Colorado), Scott Klasky (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Linda Sugiyama (MIT) for their project “High-Fidelity Tokamak Edge Simulation for Efficient Confinement of Fusion Plasma." More information can be found from the DOE.
The Courant Institute welcomes Katepalli R. Sreenivasan (Sreeni), Senior Vice Provost for NYU, to the Institute as a Professor of Physics and Mathematics. Before coming to NYU, Sreeni was the Director of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy). He was also previously a Distinguished University Professor and the Director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. Sreeni is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The National Academy of Sciences has awarded its 2010 Award for Initiatives in Research to Mark Tygert, “for his development of fast algorithms in mathematical physics, operator compression, and linear algebra, using deep, innovative ideas based on randomization and harmonic analysis.”
We are devastated by the passing of Professor Sam Roweis on January 12, 2010. Our condolences go out to his family, as well as to his many friends in the broader community, especially at the University of Toronto and Google Research, where he worked before joining the Courant Institute in September 2009. He was a brilliant scientist with tremendous warmth and enthusiasm and a dear friend to many of us. His full memorial biography may be viewed here.
Ken Perlin, Computer Science student Ilya Rosenberg, and Media Research Lab collaborators "hope to bring a new kind of multitouch to everything from new e-readers to musical instruments, with their new company, Touchco." The full blog is available from the New York Times.
The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a joint research endeavor between NYU, Microsoft Research, and seven other universities and colleges, expects its initial conclusions about "what makes an effective educational gaming experience" to be published in 2010. Co-directors Ken Perlin and Jan Plass explain long-term goals in the full article:
In November 2009 the American Mathematical Society announced that Sylvain Cappell will serve as its Vice President for a term of three years. The election results can be viewed at the AMS website.
"The Abel Prize: 2003-2007" features the first 6 Abel prize winners, including Courant Professors Peter Lax and S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, with autobiographies, interviews, and research descriptions. The book was published December 1st, 2009 by Springer.
A new ocean swimming model by Courant Professor Steve Childress and Jean-Luc Thiffeault of the University of Wisconsin test the idea that "by some estimates, ocean mixing caused by swimming creatures is comparable to the mixing by the wind and tides." The full article is available from the Technology Review.
Bud Mishra has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow, IEEE's "highest grade of membership". This honor "recognizes unusual distinction in the profession" and, according to the IEEE citation, Mishra was chosen for "contribution to the mathematical modeling of robotic grasping".
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our distinguished colleague and friend, Professor Amir Pnueli, on November 2, 2009. For more information, please read the Computer Science Department's tribute to Amir.
Rob Fergus and student Dilip Krishnan are developing a "dark camera," which emits light over a broader range of frequencies, to take sharp images without the standard intrusive flash. The full article can be found at the New Scientist.
A team of researchers led by Bud Mishra is currently working to create computer-based models charting the growth of pancreatic cancer. The full article can be found at Washington Square News.
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem by a clever technique for multiplying large numbers. The numbers involved are so enormous that if their digits were written out by hand they would stretch to the moon and back. The team of three includes David Harvey (Courant Institute). Please follow link for full article.
The National Science Foundation awarded CIMS a $10 million grant "to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice sheet and its potential influence on rising sea levels." David Holland, the principal researcher of the project, will lead the NYU team in their first trip to the continent in January 2011.
As reported in NYU Today, Chris Bregler and colleagues received a $1.47 Million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to further work on enhancing motion capture tools.
Science Nation reports new findings on snake movement from studies conducted by Courant Professor Mike Shelley, former post-doctoral researcher David Hu and undergraduate researchers Jasmine Nirody and Terri Scott.
SIAM has awarded its 2009 Dahlquist Prize to Eric Vanden-Eijnden. Vanden-Eijnden was chosen for the prize "for his research contributions to the development and analysis of numerical methods in stochastic dynamics, with applications to the study of multi-scale problems, rare events and free energy calculations." The Prize is awarded every two years to a young scientist "for original contributions to fields associated with Germund Dahlquist." More information can be found at the SIAM website.
Bingjie Li received an award from the Mathematical Association of America for receiving the highest score in the Metro NY area on the 2008 Putnam Exam. Her achievement was recognized at the MAA Sectional Meeting on May 3rd, 2009.
The National Academy of Sciences announced its election of Percy Deift on the morning of April 28th, together with 71 other new members, and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries. Prof. Deift joins an active N.A.S. membership of 2,150 members and 404 foreign associates, all "dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare." More details can be found at the National Academy of Science's webpage.
In April 2009, David Holland presented his research findings at a special conference celebrating the International Polar Year (IPY) Fieldwork, "a two-year deployment of scientists from more than 60 nations into the polar regions." Video of the presenation, as well as a Press Release regarding the conference, are available from the NSF (links above).
For his revolutionary contributions to geometry,” Courant Professor Mikhael Gromov has received the Abel Prize. According to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, “Mikhail Gromov has led some of the most important developments, producing profoundly original general ideas which have resulted in new perspectives on geometry and other areas of mathematics. Gromov’s name is forever attached to deep results and important concepts with Riemannian geometry, symplectic geometry, string theory and group theory.” More information can be found at http://www.abelprisen.no/en/prisvinnere/2009/. King Harald of Norway presented the award to Gromov in Oslo on May 19, 2009. An article regarding the Institute's three recipients of the Abel Prize appeared in the New York Times on May 31st.
Jack Schwartz passed away in his sleep early morning on Monday, March 2nd. Jack was the founding chair of the computer science department and the central player in setting the computer science research agenda at Courant in the decades before and after the department's founding; this included seminal work in compilers, programming languages, parallel computing, robotics, bioinformatics, and multimedia. Indeed, most of the large-scale research efforts of the last forty years in the computer science department owe their initial impulse to his vision, his tireless energy, and his omnivorous scientific curiosity. The obituary from the New York Times can be seen at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/science/04schwartz.html. Details on a special memorial to be held at the Courant Institute can be found at http://cims.nyu.edu/Jack_Celebration.pdf.
Matthew Leingang has been awarded a grant from the Educational Advancement Foundation (http://www.educationaladvancementfoundation.org/) to develop Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) materials for undergraduate instructors. Inquiry-Based Learning moves away from uni-directional techniques, such as lecturing, towards styles which actively engage students in their learning.
Eero Simoncelli has been named a Fellow of the IEEE, for "contributions to statistical models of visual images." The grade of Fellow "recognizes unusual distinction in the profession."
Assaf Naor has been awarded the 2008 Salem Prize for his "contribution to the structural theory of metric spaces and its applications to computer science." The prize is awarded each year to a young mathematician.
Dan Stein has been elected Fellow of the AAAS for his leadership in the theoretical condensed matter physics. According to the AAAS, "Stein's scholarship has contributed to topics as diverse as protein biophysics, biological evolution, amorphous semiconductors and superfluids, liquid crystals, neutron stars, and the interface between particle physics and cosmology." He and other new Fellows will be recognized at the Association's annual meeting in Chicago on February 14, 2009. More information is available at: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2008/1218fellows.shtml