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News from the Graduate Program

There have been many changes to our graduate program this year. For the first time, our department has a team of two graduate coordinators, Alan Noell and Leticia Barchini. Our priority is to provide individualized guidance to each of our students. We are committed to recruiting the strongest possible students to our program, and to encouraging and supporting them through their learning process.

In order to achieve optimal communication with the students we have scheduled one-on-one meetings with each student twice a year. During these meetings, the coordinator and the student set up concrete goals for the coming semester, evaluate progress, and discuss experiences. These meetings have been very instructive to us. Comments and suggestions from students have helped us to design a significant modification of our program. This modification was presented to and approved by the faculty as a whole in the spring of 2009. We will start implementing the changes in the fall. It is fair to say that the key changes concern setting goals for timely progress through the program, and carefully evaluating whether these goals are being achieved. In addition, a new course in Finite Element Methods has been added to our Applied Mathematics graduate program.

To aid with our recruitment goals, we developed a new brochure advertising our program. You can find an online version here.

We expect seven graduate students to complete their programs during the coming semester. As a result, we have had an exciting recruiting season, and nine new students are expected to join us next year. We are grateful to our Administrative Support Assistant Megan Ewy for her invaluable work. The Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, through Associate Dean for Research Dr. Van Den Bussche, has been very supportive by providing extra funds to attract top candidates to OSU. The incoming students will add to the strength, vitality, and diversity of our program.

Jorge Dioses, Melissa Mills, and Zhenyi Liu had an active year as leaders of the Mathematics Graduate Student Society. They organized a series of seminars by students and faculty members, accompanied by refreshments and prizes.

Graduate students Netra Khanal and Ramjee Sharma are joint authors, along with two faculty, on a paper that is accepted for publication. Netra is already a published author and has presented conference papers on his work. Dhanapati Adhikari presented a paper on global regularity at a conference held at the University of New Mexico. Ramjee and Dhanapati participated in the focused workshop on 3D Euler and 2D surface quasi-geostrophic equations held at the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto in April. The workshop was organized by an impressive group of leading researchers in this area in order to develop a joint research program. Several of our students are planning to attend conferences this summer.

Our advanced topics courses have been very popular. During the Spring Semester, Assistant Professor Anantharam Raghuram ran a course on Sheaf Theory and Professor Jiahong Wu ran a course on Mathematical Fluid Mechanics.

At a more personal level, Nina Wise (née Copley) successfully completed her comprehensive exams (with her studies funded by a Homeland Security grant) and, shortly afterward, had a gorgeous baby girl, Arzela. We are already working on recruiting Arzela, who seems happy visiting the department.

A separate article will describe the awards, made possible through generous private donations and endowments, that recognize exceptional achievements by both undergraduate and graduate students in our department. Here, we want to comment briefly on the graduate student recipients. Dhanapati Adhikari was selected to receive the Jeanne Agnew Outstanding Teaching Award; he is exemplary both as a teacher and as a student, with a 4.0 graduate-school GPA. Ramjee Sharma will receive the Jeanne LeCaine Agnew Fellowship. Ramjee is expected to complete his degree within a year. As noted above, he has a paper accepted for publication and has participated in workshops and conferences. The O.H. Hamilton Award will be given to Xiaowei Yang for his performance in topology courses and in the topology comprehensive exam. The Schiller J. Scroggs Distinguished Graduate Fellowship will be awarded to Toshihisa Kubo. Toshihisa passed his qualifying exams within nine months of completing the comprehensive exams. The E.K. McLachlan Award will be given to Kenneth Ward. Kenneth requested and received permission to take the Ph.D. comprehensive exams while he was still a Masters student. This January he attempted three comprehensive exams and passed them all. He is joining our Ph.D. program in August with the comprehensive exam requirement already fulfilled. The John and Caryl Jobe Mathematics Graduate Student Fellowship has been offered to incoming student Timur Kupaev.

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