Autumn 2021 Newsletter

By Bernard Deconinck You don’t need me to tell you this was a hard year for us. It was a hard year for everyone, everywhere! We dealt with an ongoing pandemic, social and political unrest, more misinformation than ever before, forest fires and months without rain (Yes, in Seattle!) and lots of uncertainty. Through this, we managed to teach an entire year online, guide a record number of PhD graduates to completion, work with large students in two large MS programs, and start the first… Read more
By Ziyu Lu & Obinna Ukogu This past year we were first-years in the Department of Applied Mathematics. Our first year of graduate school was by turns exhilarating and exhausting. The coursework challenged us and broadened our skills, we tried out research projects, and grew familiar with our responsibilities as teaching assistants. In many ways, the year seemed quite normal, except that of course it wasn’t. All these experiences were shadowed by the global pandemic. Now we hope to… Read more
By Michael Gabalis When I got accepted into the University of Washington, I don’t think it surprised anyone when I decided to major in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. I come from a small town in Southwestern Washington, and the glamour of famous companies like Boeing and SpaceX captured my attention. I intended to finish my degree in engineering and do all the steps necessary to get out of school and into a career as soon as possible. However, in the back of my mind I… Read more
By Eli Shlizerman The last time that I wrote in AMATH UW Newsletter was in the 2015-16 academic year when I assumed a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the departments of Applied Mathematics and Electrical & Computer Engineering. Since then, a lot of progress has happened in NeuroAI-UW, the research laboratory that I have established. One progress is the promotion of my position from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure, starting this academic year. In… Read more
Written by members of the Diversity Committee The year 2020-2021 was a difficult year.  The COVID pandemic ravaged through the world upending all societal norms. The murder of George Floyd sparked a nationwide protest against institutionalized police violence towards African American citizens.  We witnessed  gross acts of violence against Asian-Americans and Jewish-Americans.  These events showed us how institutions can readily break down when there is a failure to uphold the tenets of… Read more
Congratulations to all of our graduates! Ph.D.M.Sc. AMathM.Sc. CFRMB.S. AMathB.S. CFRM Doctors of Philosophy Bobby Baraldi Advisor: Aleksandr AravkinA Proximal Quasi-Newton Trust-Region Method for Nonsmooth Regularized Optimization Yu-Chen Cheng Advisor: Hong QianAsymptotic Behaviors and Perturbation Analysis of Stochastic Dynamics and… Read more
SIAM UW AwardRecipient: Erin AngeliniFor exceptional service to the University of Washington Chapter of SIAM for the 2020-2021 academic year. Joseph Hammack Endowment AwardRecipients: Ziyu Lu, Obinna Ukogu, Ruibo ZhangFor exemplary work by a student in the Department of Applied Mathematics. Boeing Teaching Award, FacultyRecipient: Jeremy UpsalFor outstanding teaching by a faculty member in the Department of Applied Mathematics.Boeing Teaching Award, Student… Read more
By Chris Bretherton When I was a teenager, I fell in love with the mountains, waters, and trees of the Pacific Northwest and resolved to settle here.  This dream was realized when Fred Wan recruited me and Prof. Loyce Adams into UW’s newly formed Department of Applied Mathematics in 1985, fresh from MIT and a 1-year postdoc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.  Prof. Carl Pearson gave complete lectures on complex analysis off of a single notecard, Prof. Jirair… Read more
By Megan Morrison  Since the beginning of time, humans have used stories to convey important information and deeply held truths. Through graduate school I have learned how important stories are, even for math and science. I am learning how to tell good stories, and if they are true, maybe they will resonate with people and the world will make a little bit more sense.  Telling a good story is hard; I have a long way to go. As an undergraduate, I initially majored in neuroscience.… Read more
By Alanna Sholokhova When an organism experiences a strong selective pressure, it faces three potential options. It can adapt to its new circumstances, perhaps by altering its behavior, or perhaps via some physiological adaptations guided by the blind, stochastic hand of evolution. If the organism cannot adapt to its circumstances but remains in its same place, its population will, over time, dwindle and perish. If the organism cannot adapt on the correct timescale, but recognizes the… Read more
By Hannah Choi I finished my postdoctoral training in the Department of Applied Mathematics (Amath) at the University of Washington about 8 months ago and started as an assistant professor in the School of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in January. I have always loved the culture and environment of UW Amath, and I appreciate them even more now. Most of all, Amath nurtures true interdisciplinary thinking and welcomes postdocs as an important part of the community.  I… Read more
By Jason Bramburger This year has been hard on everyone, be it physically, mentally, or financially. I’ve been impressed by the way the UW AMATH community has come together to support each other in these difficult times. Like many academics, I’ve gotten used to spending my days staring at a screen for research, teaching, meetings, and everything in between. Although I was fortunate enough to spend the year working on the things I love, I’m an extrovert. My favourite parts about being a… Read more
By Katherine McDermott On this, the last afternoon before we return to campus (!), I find myself reflecting on the past 18 months. I started with AMATH as Department Administrator about three days before the UW (and the rest of the world) closed down. Before coming to AMATH, I worked as an administrator in two other departments on campus. As a result, I’ve gotten to know many of my AMATH colleagues over Zoom—or not at all. Even as I look forward to meeting most of my colleagues and the… Read more