Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There is a rumor...

that hunting season starts sometime in the fall. Hmmmmm.........

Definition - Dynamical Systems

This post will be a part of a series, marked by the tag "Dynamical Systems", in which I will offer thoughts on the nature of Dynamical Systems as a mathematical discipline.

Today I will briefly give my definition of the study, and stop there.

Definition: Dynamical Systems is the formal study of the properties of mathematical objects by studying how those objects behave under transformations.

Usually the types of transformations involved are defined in one of two ways:

  • By a continuous variable (like differential equations, where time is viewed as an action by the real numbers on the space of solutions of the ODEs, and the dynamical systems in this category are called flows), or
  • by a discrete variable (think of the behavior of points of a space under the repeated application of a single map from the space to itself. This is viewed as an integer action on the domain of the function, where each integer n is associated to the map given by the n-times composition of the function with itself).

This definition encompasses a very broad interpretation of DS, and reflects its use in so many areas of mathematics, from algebra and analysis, to probability and statistics, to topology and geometry, to number theory.

It is also my favorite....

Monday, February 26, 2007

Teaching Awards

Vote Now! Mathematics Teaching Awards
Nominations are now being accepted from all undergraduate students. Let your voice be heard! Vote for your favorite junior mathematics professor and your favorite teaching assistant (see lists below) . Simply send your vote to by March 9th. The winner will be announced in May on the Mathematics web page at

Thank you for your participation and we look forward to hearing from you,
The Department of Mathematics

Eligible faculty include:

Matthew Blair
Rich Brown
Michael Ching
Daniela DeSilva
Michael Goldberg
Eugene Ha
Jian Song
Florin Spinu
Graeme Wilkin
Qiao Zhang

Eligible teaching assistants include:

Agarwala, Susama
Baber, John
Banerjee, Abhishek
Banerjee, Romie
Breiner, Christine
Chen, Yifei
Choi, Sung Rak
Cutrone, Joseph
Dahl, Jonathan
Hezari, Hamid
Hussey, Caleb
Jiang, Jin-Cheng
Khan, Siddique
Kleene, Stephen
Kramer, Joel
Limarzi, Michael
Lin, Longzhi
Lyzinski, Vince
MacDonald, Brian
Marshburn, Nicholas
McGowan, Michael
Seyyedali, Reza
Sinclair Duncan
Tavakol, Mehdi
Tucker, Matthew
Wang, Shuai
Wright, Thomas
Zhong, Qi
Zrebiec, Scott
Zulkowski, Patrick

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Future Scholars Competition starts now.

The exam is now out and for the next three weeks, Baltimore area high school juniors will have the opportunity to compete for 10 slots as JHU Mathematics Future Scholars. The program allows recipients to take up to three math classes here at JHU tuition free for full university credit during their senior year in high school. Look here for the details.

Good luck to all!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Math in the Media - Anxiety

Funny how when math intersects with popular media (MSM is one of the nice names for main stream media in the blogosphere), it is usual to hear stories that describe some negative aspect of it or of its unpopularity in general or just how darn hard it is to achieve good test scores at the primary and secondary level.

Well, on that note, here is another one.

Signing on....

Hello to all. This post marks the beginning of a conversation I want to have with the mathematics community both here at Johns Hopkins University and there wherever you are. Primarily, this blog will manifest my thoughts, recommendations, announcements, and rants (occasionally) pertaining to mathematics in general and the department in particular as it impacts the community here at JHU.

I have not decided yet how I want to run this blog, whether I want to allow general posting or restricted, whether I want to keep this as a bulletin board or actually run it as a forum for active discussion. At this point, it is barely even public. We will see what I want to do with it in time. For now, if you have comments about this blog or need to contact me for any other reason, feel free to use my email at the university.

See you in class.