Distinguished U of M math professor to speak May 7

Distinguished U of M math professor to speak May 7

Dr. Doug Arnold, director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) at the University of Minnesota, will speak at the Center for Applied Mathematics' next colloquium.

Arnold's talk, "Start Seeing Mathematics," will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, in 3M Auditorium, Room 150, Owens Science Hall. Refreshments will be served at 7:15 p.m. outside 3M Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Ever since the 17th century, when Descartes unified the ancient subjects of arithmetic and geometry, visualization has been an important part of mathematics. But mathematical concepts easily move beyond our ability to visualize them easily. Even such a basic notion as a function of one complex variable brings an individual into four dimensions and requires ingenuity to visualize. In recent decades, computers have become a powerful tool for mathematical visualization. This talk will merge a historical and a contemporary view of some aspects of mathematical visualization, including the speaker's recent video on Moebius transformations.

Arnold and colleague Jonathan Rogness prepared the video "Moebius Transformations Revealed," which was posted on YouTube and immediately became one of the most popular videos on the site.

In July 2008, Arnold will become McKnight Presidential Endowed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. He will serve a two-year term as president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, beginning at the start of 2009.

He received his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1979. From 1979 through 1989, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland.

In 1989, he moved to Penn State University, where he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the university, in 1996 and the Teresa Cohen Service Award, presented by the Mathematics Department, in 1998, and where he remained until assuming the position of director at the IMA in August 2001.

Arnold has written about 80 papers and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals. In 1991, he was awarded the first International Giovanni Sacchi Landriani Prize by the Academy of Arts and Letters of Lombardy Institute (Milan, Italy, 1991) for "outstanding contributions to the field of numerical methods for partial differential equations."

In 2000, Arnold was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Eberly College of Science. In 2002, he was a plenary lecturer at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing, and he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008.