2019 Research Symposium Plenary and Keynote Talk Abstracts

Plenary Lectures

Plenary Lecture: Susanne C.  Brenner, Louisiana State University, Title: Higher Order Elliptic Problems
Abstract: In this talk I will present some higher order elliptic problems arising from diverse application areas and discuss the theoretical and numerical challenges posed by such problems.
Brief Bio: Susanne C. Brenner is a Louisiana State University System Boyd Professor. In 2005 she was awarded a Humboldt Research Award from the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2011 she was awarded the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture. She is a SIAM Fellow (Class of 2010), AMS Fellow (Inaugural Class 2013) and AAAS Fellow (2012). Currently she serves as Managing Editor of Mathematics of Computation. She also serves on the editorial boards of the SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, Numerische Mathematik, Numerical Algorithms, Electronic Transactions on Numerical Analysis, the Journal of Numerical Mathematics and SIAM Classics in Applied Mathematics. She serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (since 2016) and the AMS Council (since 2012). She is currently also a Member-at-Large of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section A). In addition, she was a member of the Electorate Nominating Committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section A) and the SIAM Fellows Selection Committee (2014-2016; Chair 2015-2016). She is a past SIAM Vice President for Publications and served on the SIAM Council.

Plenary Lecture: Kristin Lauter, Microsoft Research. Title: How to Keep your Secrets in a Post-Quantum World
Abstract: As we move towards a world which includes quantum computers which exist at scale, we are forced to consider the question of what hard problems in mathematics our next generation of cryptographic systems will be based on.  Supersingular Isogeny Graphs were proposed for use in cryptography in 2006 by Charles, Goren, and Lauter. Supersingular Isogeny Graphs are examples of Ramanujan graphs, which are optimal expander graphs. These graphs have the property  that relatively short walks on the graph approximate the uniform distribution, and for this reason, walks on expander graphs are often used as a good source of randomness in computer science. But the reason these graphs are important for cryptography is that finding paths in these graphs, i.e. routing, is hard: there are no known subexponential algorithms to solve this problem, either classically or on a quantum computer.  For this reason, cryptosystems based on the hardness of problems on Supersingular Isogeny Graphs are currently under consideration for standardization in the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) Competition. This talk will introduce these graphs, the cryptographic applications, and the various algorithmic approaches which have been tried to attack these systems.
Brief Bio: Kristin Lauter is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager for the Cryptography group at Microsoft Research. Her research areas are number theory and algebraic geometry , with applications to cryptography. She is particularly known for her work on homomorphic encryption, elliptic curve cryptography , and for introducing supersingular isogeny graphs as a hard problem into cryptography. She served as President of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 2015 –2017. Lauter was elected to the 2015 Class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society “for contributions to arithmetic geometry and cryptography as well as service to the community.” In 2017, she was selected as a Fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics in the inaugural class. She was selected as the Polya Lecturer for the Mathematical Association of America for 2018-2020. In 2008, Lauter and her coauthors were awarded the Selfridge Prize in Computational Number Theory. She is a co-founder of the Women in Numbers Network , a research collaboration community for women in number theory, and she is the lead PI for the AWM NSF Advance Grant (2015-2020) to create and sustain research networks for women in all areas of mathematics. She is the Series Editor for the AWM Springer Series.

Plenary Lecture: Chelsea Walton, University of Illinois. Title: Quantum Symmetry
Breif Bio: Chelsea Walton was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, attending Detroit Public Schools for most of her education, before enrolling at Michigan State University, graduating in 2005 with a B.S. with High Honors in Mathematics. Her mentor at MSU was Jeanne Wald, a noncommutative ring theorist. During her time at MSU, she participated in an alternative spring break program in Puebla, Mexico in 2002, and a Race Relations summer study abroad program in South Africa in 2003, and still has great interests in race relations and diversity, especially in increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences. After her second year of graduate school at Michigan, Chelsea was invited to complete her research at the University of Manchester with her thesis adviser, Toby Stafford, while still returning to Michigan, to work with her other thesis adviser, Karen Smith, teaching for one semester per year for the last three years of her program. Chelsea was an NSF postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2011-2012 with postdoc mentor James Zhang, and was also at MSRI for the Spring 2013 program on Noncommutative Algebraic Geometry and Representation Theory with postdoc mentor Sarah Witherspoon. Chelsea’s last postdoctoral position was at MIT, where she was a Moore Instructor in the Math Department in 2012-2015, with postdoc mentor was Pavel Etingof. Chelsea was a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Mathematics at Temple University (2015-2018) and is now employed as an Associate Professor in the Mathematics Department at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Saturday Banquet

Saturday, April 6, 2019. Banquet, Student Center Grand Hall.

Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and well-being among children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics. Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of scientific issues. She maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the USEPA, NIH, CDC, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the USDA, the State of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award. She became provost at Rice University in July 2015. Her responsibilities as provost include promoting and supporting excellence in all dimensions of the University’s academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs and activities. She is responsible for developing and implementing plans for $230+ million in strategic investments focused on molecular nanotechnology, data sciences, neuroengineering, synthetic and physical biology, inequities and inequalities, and overall research competitiveness. She is also working collaboratively to establish a financial plan and development strategy for $250+ million in major renovations of university facilities. Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A., both in economics, from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Mariam Manuel, PhD candidate, is a graduate from the University of Houston (UH), teachHOUSTON program, and the UTeach Engineering Education Master’s program at the University of Texas in Austin. She is currently an Instructional Assistant Professor/ Master Teacher for teachHOUSTON, a secondary STEM teacher preparation program at UH. Mariam is a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University with a concentration in Engineering Education, her research involves exploring the intersection of engineering design and culturally responsive pedagogy as it relates to science and mathematics instruction. Additionally, Mariam teaches Physics for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers. She also authored and teaches the engineering education courses, Fundamentals of Engineering Education and Projects in Engineering Design, for the University of Houston STEM Master’s program provided through the College of Education. She is currently Co-PI on two NSF grants regarding engineering education and teacher leadership. Mariam’s serves as the faculty sponsor for student organizations such as the teachHOUSTON student society, COOGS Against Human Trafficking, and, COOGS Against Domestic Violence. Her efforts in mentorship also include her commitment to serving as an active member on the Houston- Area Regional Leadership Team for the Texas Girls Collaborative. Moreover, Mariam Manuel has served on the UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA) as an inaugural board member and has held the role of Secretary/Treasurer. She currently holds the position of Alumni Representative and chairs the National Publications Committee for USEA. Mariam is also the recipient of the 2018 Million Women Mentors Stand Up for STEM Award which recognizes Mariam’s efforts in mentoring young girls and women to pursue STEM related career pathways.