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In Memoriam — Michael Zhao

The Department mourns the sudden and unexpected loss of its first-year doctoral student, Michael Zhao.  Michael was an outstanding undergraduate at the University of Utah.  He came here after spending a year as a Part III student in Cambridge.  Michael had made a promising start on his doctoral studies here and was planning to specialize in number theory or algebraic geometry.  He is survived by his parents, Shaoqing Song and Fuli Zhao, and by a brother, Alan Zhao.  The Department will announce a memorial gathering for him in the near future.

Funeral Arrangements have been made, as follows:


Friday, 12/21/2018 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Viewing
Saturday, 12/22/2018 12:00 – 2:00 PM – Viewing; 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Funeral Services


Larkin Sunset Gardens
950 E. Dimple Dell Road
Sandy, UT 84092


Michael Zhao

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2018 REU Presentations

Each summer the department hosts an intensive 10 week research program for Columbia undergraduates. This summer 17 undergrad students participated, working under the direction of faculty and grad student advisors. The students will give presentations of their work on Wednesday, August 1 from 1:30pm – 3:00pm in 417 Math. Each group will give a short talk (about 20 minutes). All are invited to attend.

The projects are:

Knot Floer homology, bordered algebras and double points” (faculty advisors: Akram Alishahi and Linh Truong)

  • Joseph Freund
  • Abhishek Kodumagulla
  • Max Krawczyk
  • Ayeong Lee
  • Bharatha Rankothge
  • Hsin Pei Toh

Enumerative geometry and arithmetic” (faculty advisors Jo Nelson and Ila Varma)

  • (Alex) Zhongyi Zhang – Grad Student
  • Teresa Brown
  • Quang Dao
  • Mariya Delyakova
  • Lucas Furtado
  • Evan Wickenden
  • Myeonhu Kim

Curves on surfaces over finite fields” (faculty advisors: Daniel Litt and Alex Perry)

  • Raymond Cheng – Grad Student
  • Ben Church
  • Chunying Huangdai
  • Matthew Lerner-Brecher
  • Navtej Singh
  • Ming Jing



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Profs. Andrei Okounkov and Wei Zhang to speak at 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians

Congratulations to Professors Andrei Okounkov and Wei Zhang, who have been selected to speak at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). The next ICM will be held August 1 – 9, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. For a full list of speakers, and more details about the event, visit the ICM website:



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Simon Brendle selected as a 2017 Simons Investigator

Congratulations to Prof. Simon Brendle, who was recently selected as a 2017 Simons Investigator!

Simon Investigators are outstanding scientists who receive long-term research support from the Simons Foundation. This is intended to support the scientist during their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field, and effectively mentoring junior scientists. For more information about the Simons Foundation and this award, visit their webpage:


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Stacks Project Workshop

A week long workshop in Algebraic Geometry will be held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, from July 31 to August 4, 2017. The workshop is intended to support the ongoing Stacks Project, lead by Prof. Johan de Jong.

For more information, please visit the workshop website:


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Thera Stochastics: A Mathematics Conference in Honor of Ioannis Karatzas

A probability conference in honor of Prof. Ioannis Karatzas will be held May 31 – June 2, 2017 in Santorini, Greece.

The conference will include the following speakers:

  • Beatrice Acciaio
  • Ivan Corwin
  • Christa Cuchiero
  • Jaksa Cvitanic
  • Robert Fernholz
  • Michael Harrison
  • Tomoyuki Ichiba
  • Johannes Muhle-Karbe
  • Marcel Nutz
  • Andrei Okounkov
  • Nicolas Perkowski
  • Kavita Ramanan
  • Julien Reygner
  • Steven Shreve
  • Mete Soner
  • Josef Teichmann
  • Gordan Zitkovic

For more details, please visit the conference website:

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Columbia University Symposium on Probability & Society

On February 17 there will be a half-day symposium featuring a series of short talks by Columbia faculty working on probability and its interactions with society.

Date: Friday, February 17th
Time: 9am-1pm
Location: 413 Kent


9:00am  : Introduction — Ivan Corwin (Mathematics)
9:20am  : Yash Kanoria (Business School)
9:40am  : Sharon Di (Civil Engineering)
10:00am: Joel Cohen (School of International & Public Affairs; Earth & Environmental Sciences)
10:20am: Robert Erikson (Political Science)
10:40am: Break
11:00am: Philip Protter (Statistics)
11:20am: Bruce Levin (Biostatistics; School of Public Health)
11:40am: Tim Halpin-Healy (Barnard Physics)
12:00pm: Ioannis Karatzas (Mathematics; Statistics)
12:20pm: Mihalis Yannakakis (Computer Science)
12:40pm: David Yao (Industrial Engineering & Operations Research)

A light pizza lunch will be provided afterwards in the Cantor Lounge, room 508 Mathematics.

(This event is cohosted by members of the departments of Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science Institute)

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“The Discrete Charm of Geometry” Film Screening

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Prof. Mohammed Abouzaid awarded 2017 New Horizons Prize

Congratulations to Prof. Mohammed Abouzaid, who was recently announced as a recipient of the 2017 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize.

The 5th annual New Horizons prize recognizes “promising early-career researchers who have already produced important work in mathematics”. More information on the Prize and an official press release can be found here:

A recorded broadcast of the prize ceremony will air Sunday, December 18 at 7pm EST/PST on FOX.

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Welcome Incoming Class of 2016

Welcome to the 2016 cohort of graduate students! A list of our new phd students can be found at:

As a reminder, fall classes begin Tuesday, September 6.

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