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Jennifer Noll – Revealing the beauty and power of statistics

Jennifer Noll – Revealing the beauty and power of statistics
CAREER Award recipient Dr. Jennifer Noll works to transform college students' statistical thinking.

"Divide and conquer" to solve infeasible problems

"Divide and conquer" to solve infeasible problems
Dimension reduction via upscaling: Many problems in science and engineering are not amenable for solution even with the presence of the current, ever-increasing, computer power.

Fariborz Maseeh

Fariborz Maseeh
Has invested $3.9 million in computational science, a discipline that allows researchers to model complex systems such as brain function, regional freeways, even climate change.

The Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics is dedicated to excellence in research and teaching in mathematics, statistics, and mathematics education. Guided by the mission of Portland State University and by the principles of disciplinary excellence and cross-disciplinary engagement, we are particularly committed to building expertise and providing leadership in such areas as applied and computational mathematics and statistics and mathematics education.


Departmental News

The department hosted the second annual Cascade RAIN (Regional, Applied, Interdisciplinary and Numerical mathematics) Meeting on Saturday, April 4th, 2015.  These free, one-day seminars bring together researchers and graduate students, primarily from the Pacific Northwest region, to present their work in a lively and collegial atmosphere. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Southern California Earthquake Center, which is jointly supported by the USGS and NSF, awarded Dr. Brittany Erickson $25,000 to support her work on the proposal "The Effects of Plasticity and the Evolution of Damage Zones in Earthquake Cycle Simulations".

The goal of this proposal is to develop a computational earthquake cycle model for studying the evolution of damaged fault zones over multiple ruptures. The plan is to implement plasticity in a 2D anti-plane quasi-dynamic earthquake cycle code, and to run simulations to assess the effect of plasticity on first-order earthquake parameters (magnitude and recurrence time).

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The 27th Annual Pacific Northwest Numerical Analysis Seminar was held in Portland for the first time on October 18, 2014.  More than 70 scientists, from over 25 institutions, registered. In addition to participants from academia and government labs, we welcomed computational scientists from 11 companies. The program began with a poster session, an introduction to computational mathematics at PSU by Jay Gopalakrishnan, followed by a series of eight invited presentations.  The talks showed how computational mathematics helps in varied areas ranging from classical quantum chemistry to topical events like the disastrous Oso mudslide in neighboring Washington. The conference day turned out to be one of those rare sunny fall days and many participants were seen strolling through the Portland farmer's market at lunch break.  All in all, the conference was a great success.

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Mau Nam Nguyen and Sean Larsen have been the recipients of new NSF grants.  Mau Nam is the PI for the grant titled Variational Analysis of Optimal Value Functions and Applications to Nonsmooth Optimization.  Sean is a co-PI in a joint grant with the MAA and Chris Rasmussen from SDSU. The project is titled Progress Through Calculus.

Jong Sung Kim together with several colleagues at OHSU was the recipient of a 2014 Commission on Cancer Award, from the American College of Surgeons, for a paper published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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New faculty:  We welcomed three new colleagues this fall.

Steven Boyce joins us as an Assistant Professor and works in Mathematics Education.  He received his PhD this Spring from Virginia Tech.  Steven’s general research focus is the modeling of the dynamics and variation between and within (preK-16) students’ mathematics.

Brittany Erickson comes from a Post Doc position at San Diego State.  She received her PhD in 2010 from UC Santa Barbara.  Her research focuses on developing computational methods for solving a wide range of partial differential equations (PDEs) describing Earth system processes, in particular, mathematical models or simulating the full earthquake cycle.  She joins us as an Assistant Professor.

Panayot Vassilevski joins us as a Professor.  His research is in Computational Mathematics specializing in algebraic multilevel/multigrid methods as well as in scale-free graphs modeling various networks in science and society.  Panayot has been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for many years.  He was attracted to PSU by the department’s initiative on computational mathematics and the current faculty team.