News & Announcements
Roland Bauerschmidt Wins 2024 Breakthrough Prize for New Horizons in Mathematics
September 20, 2023
The Breakthrough Prizes—aka the 'Oscars of Science'—were announced last week. Roland Bauerschmidt, Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize for 2024. Congratulations!Read More
Professor Bauerschmidt is recognized "for outstanding contributions to probability theory and the development of renormalisation group techniques." Read more about the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and this year's winners here. The laureates will be celebrated next April at the 10th annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Los Angeles.
Lerrel Pinto Named "Robotics Innovator" by MIT Technology Review
Sepetember 20, 2023
Congratuations to Lerrel Pinto, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, who was named one of MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 last week!Read More
Professor Pinto is recognized for his influential work on household robotics. “His current research will be looked back upon as having laid many of the early building blocks of the future of robot learning,” says Pieter Abbeel, director of the robot learning lab at U.C. Berkeley.
You can read the full feature—written by Will Douglas Heaven—here.
Welcome Courant's Newest Faculty Members
The Courant Institute is excited to welcome eleven new faculty members this semester. The impressive group represents a wide range of backgrounds and research interests—read through their short bios below and extend a warm welcome when you see them around campus!
Matus Telgarsky, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, specializes in the mathematical foundations of deep learning. He is extremely excited to return to NYC, where he received a Diploma in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School once upon a time. In the intervening years, Dr. Telgarsky received a Ph.D. from University of California San Diego under Sanjoy Dasgupta, spent years at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and organized programs for the Simons Institute at Berkeley.
Tristan Buckmaster, Professor of Mathematics, completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Leipzig/Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in 2014. His research focuses on partial differential equations with a particular emphasis on hydrodynamics. Professor Buckmaster previously worked as a Courant Instructor for three years; he most recently served on the faculty of the University of Maryland.
Jinyoung Park, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Rutgers University in 2020. She joined NYU Courant last semester from Stanford University, where she served as a Szegö Assistant Professor. Her research interests include extremal and probabilistic combinatorics, asymptotic enumeration, and graph theory.
Roland Bauerschmidt, Professor of Mathematics, specializes in probability theory and analysis, particularly their applications to statistical mechanics. He received his undergraduate degree from ETH Zurich and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. He joins NYU from the University of Cambridge, where he served as a Professor of Probability.
Hau-Tieng Wu, Professor of Mathematics, received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 2011 as well as an M.D. from Taiwan’s National Yang-Ming University in 2003. Before joining Courant, Professor Wu served on the faculty of Duke University—where he runs the MISTA (Medical information and signal, theory and application) lab.
Alan Kaptanoglu, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, works at the intersection of plasma physics, machine learning, and fusion energy. He received a B.S. in Physics from Stanford University in 2016 and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington in 2021. Most recently, he served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Maryland.
Sunoo Park, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, pursues research in technology policy, cryptography, and computer security. She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Dr. Park will serve as Affiliated Interdisciplinary Faculty at the NYU School of Law.
Yanjun Han, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Data Science, completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in 2021, under the supervision of Tsachy Weissman. He then spent one year at the Simons Institute at Berkeley and one year at the MIT Statistics and Data Science Center. His research focuses on the mathematics of data science, including statistics, learning theory, bandits, and information theory. He is jointly appointed with NYU’s Center for Data Science.
Benedikt Bünz, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, received his B.S. from University of Zurich and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. His research focuses on the science of blockchains using tools from applied cryptography, game theory and consensus.
Hong Wang, Associate Professor of Mathematics, is interested in Fourier analysis and related problems. She completed her Ph.D. in 2019 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was advised by Larry Guth. Professor Wang joins NYU Courant from the University of California Los Angeles.
David Fouhey, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, received an A.B. in Computer Science from Middlebury College in 2011 and Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016. He joins NYU from the faculty of the University of Michigan. Dr. Fouhey’s work focuses on learning-based computer vision; he is jointly appointed with Tandon’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department.
(Photos correspond to bios L-R, top row followed by bottom row)Read More
Kyunghyun Cho Recognized as a "Leader Changing Healthcare in 2023"
KyungHyun Cho, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Data Science, has been named one of the "30 Leaders Under 40 Changing Healthcare in 2023" by Business Insider.Read More
A pioneer of machine learning, Professor Cho is recognized for his ongoing efforts to strengthen the collaboration between medicine and computer science. He has published innovative research on the ways that algorithms can be used to improve breast cancer screenings and design proteins for new medicines.
Congratulations to Professor Cho and the rest of this year's honorees!
“Teach a Robot to FISH” Wins Best Student Paper Award at 2023 Robotics Science and Systems Conference
July 27, 2023
“Teach a Robot to FISH: Versatile Imitation from One Minute of Demonstrations" won the Best Student Paper Award at the 19th “Robotics: Science and Systems” (RSS) Conference hosted in Daegu, Korea earlier this month. The paper was co-authored by Siddhant Haldar (a second-year doctoral student), Jyothish Pari (a recent B.A. graduate in Mathematics and Computer Science), Anant Rai (a recent M.S. graduate in Computer Science), and Lerrel Pinto (Assistant Professor of Computer Science). With co-authors at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and faculty levels, the award-winning paper demonstrates the impressive collaboration among Courant researchers.
The team sought to confront the notoriously difficult challenge of teaching robots new tasks. “Learning skills through real-world interactions is hard for robots,” say Siddhant Haldar and Jyothish Pari, the primary authors of the paper, “reinforcement learning often requires a large amount of time or a human operator to be omnipresent.” Hoping to save both time and energy, the researchers developed FISH: Fast Imitation of Skills from Humans. “In our work, we propose an algorithm for efficient robot learning that requires as little as 30 minutes to teach a new task,” they say.
How do you train a robot to perform a new task quickly and efficiently? You teach it to learn from its mistakes. “FISH computes rewards that correspond to the ‘match’ between the robot’s behavior and the demonstrations,” the paper describes, “these rewards are then used to adaptively update a residual policy that adds on to the base policy.” The authors utilized FISH to test robots on their ability to learn household tasks such as inserting a key into a lock, opening a door, and flipping bread in a pan—this last test was a success but it resulted in “a table full of rock-hard stale bagels,” Haldar and Pari admit.
The research team often conducted tests separately and discussed their findings afterwards. Haldar and Pari explain, “We divided the robotics experiments, and whenever one of us would improve the performance on a specific robot, we made sure that the algorithmic improvement was beneficial across all the different robots.” In the final month before their paper’s submission, the authors would stay late at the lab running experiments. They devised a nightly ritual for sustaining their energy: “We would all gather around 10pm every night, make ourselves a cup of tea, and play a couple matches of FIFA before getting back to work again.”
The RSS Best Paper Award proves their hard work—occasionally punctuated by video games—has paid off. The initial results are promising. On average, the new algorithm achieves a success rate of 93% which is about 3.8 times higher than previous state-of-the-art-methods. In Haldar and Pari’s view, there is still room for improvement. “This is just the initial step in this direction,” they say, “in the future, we need to develop both efficient algorithms for real-world learning and robust hardware capable of real-world interactions.” This goal is reflected in the title of the paper—if you can teach a robot to FISH, you may keep it occupied for a lifetime.Read More
Vlad Vicol Named a 2023 Simons Investigator in Mathematics
Professor Vlad Vicol has been named as a 2023 Simons Investigator in Mathematics. Selected by the Simons Foundation, nominees are "judged on their potential for innovative contributions to science over the coming years." Once chosen, Invistigators receive significant support for their research. They are appointed for an initial period of five years.
Vlad Vicol joined the Courant Institute in 2018 as an Associate Professor; he was made a Professor of Mathematics in 2020. His research focuses on the analysis of nonlinear PDEs arising in fluid dynamics. Professor Vicol had recieved the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the 2019 Clay Research Award. He was invited to speak at the 2022 International Congress of Mathematicians and was just recently named as a 2023 Fellow of the AMS.Read More
Nina Holden Awarded the Rollo Davidson Prize for 2023
Nina Holden, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has been awarded the 2023 Rollo Davidson Prize for her "leading work on random planar maps and Liouville quantum gravity" alongside University of Pennsylvania's Xin Sun. Distributed by the University of Cambridge, the Rollo Davidson Trust has been awarding an annual Prize to young probabilists since 1976. You can read more about this honor here.Read More
Subhash Khot Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
May 2, 2023
The National Academy of Sciences announced today the election of 120 new members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Courant's Subhash Khot, Silver Professor of Computer Science, was named among the distiguished honorees.
The NAS is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research.
Professor Khot is a theoretical computer scientist whose work is providing critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. He received a B.Tech. (1999) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a Ph.D. (2003) from Princeton University. He has been at New York University since 2007 and was named a Silver Professor in 2016.Read More
Golden Dozen Awards
NYU's Golden Dozen Award for outstanding contributions to teaching in the classroom has been awarded to Craig Kapp and Shizhu Liu. Congratulations!Read More
Sylvia Serfaty and Fang-Hua Lin Receive 2023 NSF Awards
Sylvia Serfaty, Silver Professor of Mathematics, was recently announced at the recipient of an NSF Award to fund her team's research on "Many-particle Systems with Singular Interactions: Statistical Mechanics and Mean-field Dynamics." Among its stated goals, the project aims to advance the theoretical understanding of phase transitions between states of matter.
Fang-Hua Lin, Silver Professor of Mathematics, received funding from the National Science Foundation for his team's research project "Hydrodynamics of Liquid Crystals and Heat Flow of Harmonic Maps." The project is attempting to solve several challenging problems from the theory of liquid crystals and study concrete problems related to the heat flow of harmonic maps.
Congratulations to Professor Serfaty, Professor Lin, and their research teams!
Student Q&A with Nur Muhammad "Mahi" Shafiullah, 2023 Apple Scholar in AI/ML
In early March, Apple announced the recipients of their annual Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD fellowship program. The fellows—who are selected based on their innovative research as well as “their record as thought leaders and collaborators”—receive funding, internship opportunities, and mentorship from Apple researchers. Muhammad "Mahi" Shafiullah, a third year PhD candidate at Courant, was announced as one of the 22 fellows in the 2023 class.
Mahi was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. An early interest in math and programming led him to compete in international mathematics and informatics olympiads during high school. He was a member of Bangladesh’s National Math Team from 2011-2014 and the National Informatics Team in 2012 and 2015. In 2015, Mahi relocated to the US to pursue his undergraduate studies at MIT, where he majored in math and computer science. In his junior year, Mahi began his research on the robustness and security of deep learning models with Professor Aleksander Madry. Mahi continued his work at MIT in Professor Madry’s lab until August of 2020, when he completed a Masters of Engineering degree.
Mahi joined the Courant Institute as a PhD student in September of 2020. His advisor is Professor Lerrel Pinto. We recently caught up with Mahi to discuss his research, his time at NYU, and his hopes for the Apple fellowship:
Do you recall what first interested you in Machine Learning?
My entire academic career can be summarized as a journey—one where I try to solve increasingly concrete problems while maintaining intellectual rigor—starting from theoretical math through theoretical computer science, and then into robust machine learning and, finally, machine learning for robotics. I would say the reason for my interest is personal: a desire to change the world right here and right now. Machine Learning seems to be the right topic at the right time.
Why did you decide to pursue your studies at Courant?
Besides all the classic reasons like the amazing faculty, a long history of excelling in the mathematical sciences, and the excellent location in the middle of the vibrant ‘Big Apple,’ my primary reasons were twofold. Firstly, my current advisor Lerrel Pinto is one of the most exemplary human beings I have had the opportunity to meet. When I met with all of my potential advisors during visit days at different institutions, I recognized that they were all extremely talented. However, with Lerrel I knew that I would have the space to flourish under his supervision. I am glad to say that my instincts were right. Secondly, the floor plan at the Forbes Building (60 Fifth Avenue) resembles a giant open space—with offices made of glass walls and ample workspace in the middle. Nothing makes me happier than good collaboration, and the space seemed built to facilitate that. This made my decision easier.
Could you describe your PhD experience a bit? How has it been working with professors and fellow students?
My PhD experience has been atypical, at least compared to the stories I had heard before I joined Courant. This is mainly because of COVID-19, which carved out a big chunk of my first two years in the program. My first semester (Fall 2020), it was practically only Lerrel and myself coming into our office every day. The two of us alone on the fifth floor began to remind me of Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse. However as COVID subsided, I got to experience more of what NYU and the department has to offer, meeting with and learning from students in my lab and within CILVR. One fantastic feature of Courant—that no one told me about—is that we also have a fantastic group of Masters students, some of whom share our interest in ML and robotics! It’s been a pleasant surprise that has led to some fulfilling collaborations. I could not have performed the resulting research on my own.
What is your current research focused on?
Tl;dr: I work on machine learning for household robots.
Long version: I want to give robots the ability to learn how to complete tasks by watching humans interact with their environments, and also by practicing a little bit. Robots can solve complicated industrial tasks more easily than household chores because of the Anna Karenina principle: all assembly lines are alike, but every household setup is quirky in its own way. My current research focuses on teaching the robots multimodal action priors through demonstrations. This means that the robot can watch how you interact with your home, and by doing so, potentially learn all the possible interactions. Ideally down the line, these prior observations can become the building blocks of meaningful actions in the household, learned only from unstructured demonstrations by the owner!
Are you happy with the progress you've made?
I am absolutely not satisfied by the progress I’ve made so far! And I believe that’s a feeling I share with many people living through a global pandemic these past few years. I lament the lost time, while also acknowledging that this is possibly the best we could have done given the cards that we were dealt.
Do you have specific goals for the future of your project?
A specific, non-research yet academic goal that I have is to get to know more of the robot learning community personally. This past December, I attended my first big conference since 2019. I realized that I have severely missed making new connections with people of similar interests, and I plan to actively work to correct that. In terms of a research goal, I would like to contribute to the perception systems available to the robots. If you are going to have a robot that can help you with household chores, then it must first be able to look at your home and extract actionable information from it. However our current ML models are much better at identifying dog breeds and cars than door handles and chairs. I would like to change that, either by collecting more data or by crafting new algorithms that are more suited for indoor scenes.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as a 2023 Apple Scholar in AI/ML?
I have long admired Apple for their user-centric design and their focus to detail. I am hoping that this fellowship will give me the opportunity to work with mentors from Apple who will share those human-centric values. In scientific research it can be easy to forget that, at the end of the day, we want the applications of our work to make lives better in the real world. Hopefully, working with my mentors at Apple will help me finetune my scientific method and focus my eye towards this end result.
This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity. Headshot by Alexa Gross, courtesy of Apple.Read More
Alumni Q&A with Wojciech Zaremba, Co-Founder of OpenAI
By Sarah Ward
In 2012, when Wojciech Zaremba began researching potential PhD programs, “Deep learning as a branch of artificial intelligence was far from being popular.” He says, “Frankly, there were only three universities in the world that were cultivating this domain: University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, and New York University.” Zaremba had studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Warsaw; he was twenty-four and finishing up his master’s degree at the École Polytechnique in Paris. The next logical step was a PhD, but where? For Zaremba, his decision would be based on the institution’s faculty. “In my opinion,” he says, “the most important factor in choosing a PhD program is your advisor and the chemistry between you; everything else is secondary.” After his acceptance into Courant, Zaremba met with a current student and left that conversation thinking, “I want to be at Courant.” He got his wish. Zaremba enrolled in the computer science PhD program in September of 2013, working alongside Rob Fergus in the CILVR Lab (Computational Intelligence, Learning, Vision, and Robotics).
“Wojciech was a dazzling student during his time at NYU,” says Professor Fergus, “it was clear that he was going to play a big role in the future of AI.” That “big role” materialized even sooner than expected. In late 2015, while still completing his PhD, Zaremba was announced as a founding member in a new venture backed by a $1 billion commitment from Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and others. The venture, OpenAI, was initially formed as a non-profit research firm with a goal “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity.” While studying at Courant, Zaremba had established himself as an up-and-coming researcher through a pair of internships at Google and Facebook. He turned down job offers from the tech giants—and the accompanying “borderline crazy” salaries—in order to join OpenAI as a co-founder and help advance its mission of AI for all.
In its first seven years, OpenAI has made significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company has published hundreds of research papers, spun off a for-profit subsidiary, and received a $10 billion investment from Microsoft. OpenAI’s products and applications (the most famous being DALL·E and ChatGPT) have finally, decisively pushed AI to the forefront of the cultural conversation. When Zaremba and I spoke on a video conference at the beginning of this year, the newest model of ChatGPT was setting the internet ablaze. The recent launch of ChatGPT-4 proves that the fire rages on, with extravagant praise, dire warning, or some combination of the two published on every major platform.
In his role as co-founder and research scientist, Zaremba leads the team responsible for an infrastructure of human feedback, which guides model behavior thanks to reinforcement learning. He also takes advantage of the model's language services himself. “I use the model to help with my writing,” he says, “it clarifies my thinking; it helps me find grammatical errors; it helps me write outlines. I literally use it everyday.” OpenAI is hoping the wider public will begin to integrate these products into their daily routines as well. In Zaremba’s opinion, collaboration with AI will lead to an “explosion of human creativity” that he compares to the invention of electricity. In our interview, Zaremba discusses his time at Courant as well as his hopes—and fears—for the future of artificial intelligence.
When were you first drawn toward your research area?
Since I was a kid, I was always quite passionate about mathematics. I enjoyed playing with numbers and with proofs. At some point, I realized that mathematics is remarkably well combined with computer science. It turns out that math, which is fairly abstract on its own, can transform things in the real world when combined with computer science. It becomes a superpower. The ability to transform computing power into reality is fundamental to artificial intelligence, almost like a law of nature. I realized that artificial intelligence has tremendous potential to redefine the boundaries of what it means to be a human. That was interesting to me, it seemed like an impactful domain to work in.
Tell me about your time at NYU Courant. What do you remember most vividly?
The majority of PhD work has to do with interaction with your PhD advisor and the other students working with your advisor, so that’s what I remember the most. It was energizing. When I was working at NYU, my sleep schedule was so unusual. I used to go to sleep at 7am and wake up at 5pm excited to focus and work uninterrupted throughout the night. That energy around Courant was remarkable to me. Rob Fergus especially was so passionate and available to his students. Sometimes I would message him on a Sunday and he’d reply, “Yeah I’m here, let’s meet in the lobby in 15 minutes.” This work is clearly coming from a place of passion, so that was very motivating.
You have said in previous interviews that you see fostering collaboration as your “superhuman skill,” could you speak more to that?
At different stages of my life, I learned various things. As a kid, it was about raw technical skill and problem-solving. That’s what my mind was drawn toward. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that you gain tremendous magnification by having many people working together. There is a misconception that is present—even within the scientific community to some extent—that there is a single clever idea or equation to solve, and then you figure it out and plug it into a computer, and you suddenly have a super smart machine. In reality, it turns out that making progress in AI is all about combining multiple efforts together. The progress requires incredible engineering, incredible research, and many other domains that were not as evident to me in the past. You have to consider accessibility for example when making AI that is reachable to the public.
You’re emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to scientific progress. You have also discussed the potential in collaboration between humans and OpenAI’s products, such as ChatGPT and DALL·E, do you see these products as a tool for human expression?
There will be various stages. We are now in the stage where, all of the sudden, AI-assisted work starts spreading out. That’s just the beginning. It seems to me that writers who leverage AI will be in better shape than writers who don't leverage AI. A writer can ask the model “Where should I divide the chapters? Can you rearrange them into that order?” or else say “Tomorrow, I will add a character that reflects these values, could you visualize what this character might look like?” So you can go back and forth in this process. This type of text generation might one day help in creating blockbuster movies. A filmmaker could ask the model, “Can you make this scene more heartwarming?” Or a visual artist could create a gallery exhibition much more quickly. I don't know how things will evolve, but we are already seeing people leverage their skills. Things that were taking artist hours on PhotoShop, they can do way, way quicker with the help of AI. It's almost like leaning into the technology rather than trying to fight against it. I actually think the world will see an explosion of human creativity.
How do you respond to criticism that OpenAI dedicates its resources to replicating artistic pursuits when the company could focus on training models in tasks that are less creative?
Look at a book like iRobot, where Isaac Asimov describes these huge robots as big as buildings that cannot speak, or can only speak about the atomic mass of salt or something like that. This is fiction, but it reflects the opinion of his time—it is easy to make robots, it is way harder to make conversational agents. This did not turn out to be the case. So people in AI were exploring all sorts of domains, and some of them were able to make progress and some of them not. Tremendous progress has happened as a consequence of training on the large amounts of available data. It turns out that models are excellent in some skills and lacking in others.
Which skills are the models making significant progress in?
In terms of specific applications, one place that AI may have a huge impact is therapy. Speaking from my own experience, I once had some disagreement with my girlfriend, so we set up a conversation between myself, my girlfriend, and AI. The AI was empathetic, making sure that we were expressing ourselves and listening to one another. My girlfriend and I were both stuck seeing our own version of reality, but that conversation helped us see other potential solutions. I suspect that it’s possible to train a model on the latest guidelines about facilitation, conflict resolution, and so on to build an AI coach which will be at the level of our best therapists. At the moment, therapy is only available to people who can afford it, but this may be a way to guide more people towards better relationships with themselves and better connections with others. Obviously some therapist may object to it.
Do you worry about AI making certain jobs obsolete?
Certainly there are some groups of people who will have to adapt. It might be a case of combining their skills with AI. Some activities in their raw form—as they were before—may be valued less, but combined capabilities are likely to be worth way more. AI will create so many opportunities that did not exist before. I do believe that AI will eventually be utilized in every discipline in some way.
What are some other potential applications of this technology?
I gave you an example of therapy, another field I'm particularly excited about is medicine and healthcare. In the current medical system, you practically have to be collapsing in order to be taken care of. I myself have been misdiagnosed in the past. I had an issue with sleep apnea and it took almost a year to find a solution. In my case, the cure was relatively simple and cheap. But still it was difficult and expensive to get good medical advice. I believe a huge number of people have chronic health problems that they are not aware of or are not properly diagnosed. Medicine as a field is quite fragmented—it’s like that old joke about the doctor that specializes in the right foot and the other doctor who specializes in the left foot. The body is connected. A problem in one part of the body might show up in a totally different part, but the medical domain is so complicated that no one human could fully comprehend it. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be possible to get to a point where anyone can pick up their phone and speak with an AI specialist. The AI can say “Try this solution. Try that. Can you show me a picture of your knee? Can you leave the phone next to your bed tonight so I can hear if your snoring has improved?” It would be cool to get to that point.
Could you speak to the application of AI in education? When you look back at your PhD, did you struggle with any tasks that might now be handed off to one of your models?
One that may be obvious is copywriting. We can already see that this is alive today. I use ChatGPT to help with my writing every day. I think that actually it will go way further. I think we’ll get to a place where scientific endeavors will be powered by and assisted by AI. For instance, a student or scientist would ask the AI, “Can you find me all the papers on this topic? Can you pull the table of numbers and plot the value versus this number of layers? What are the fallacies of this outlier?” And then boom, you have the data from a hundred papers processed in one place. We are definitely at a time in our civilization's development that so much knowledge is produced it's actually really hard to make sense of it all. You see this in academic circles all the time—people developing equivalent subjects but calling them by totally different names, and it might take years to even learn about the other’s existence.
Artificial intelligence will also be helpful in removing the language barriers between researchers, right?
Yes, that’s very exciting. Very exciting.
Does being multilingual yourself change the way you approach training the language models?
Let’s see. I strongly believe that people who don't have the most typical background are likely to be more adaptable. Experience in different sorts of domains will prepare you to perform well in a domain you haven’t seen. It’s the same with languages. But more than any specific language, I think the most important skills are learning to think quickly and learning to be resilient. Those are the most valuable, and I think they are learnable.
Do you have advice for current students learning these skills?
The first fundamental component, which may be the hardest, is overcoming a sense of hopelessness. Many women especially are told that they cannot study math or computer science, that they can’t compete. A big part of personal development is learning to disregard this. Of course, you still have to be realistic with your expectations. It’s almost like a mathematical formula: you start with something you have a decent chance at succeeding in, and then you try something twice as hard, and then you double it and double it. You must also learn to be at peace with the fact that the challenge is part of the journey. We are familiar with success stories of these remarkable figures and Nobel Prize winners, but their failures were part of the process as well. They learned from their failures and continued onward.
OpenAI states that its mission is creating technology that benefits humanity, how is the company ensuring that this is the case?
The ethical concerns are extremely, extremely, extremely important. The technology we have now—and the technology on the way—is very powerful. It would be a shame if all of our hard work became more harmful than helpful. But I believe that the opposite will be true; I want the opposite to be true; I am working for the opposite to be true. OpenAI has made a tremendous effort to think about AI from a policy perspective. There is a whole internal team thinking about the economical risks, the ethical risks, how governments should be involved in the technology and so on. They have sophisticated opinions, and they work on this topic full time.
Can you recall an occasion when the model said something that took you by surprise?
Many times! It was exciting when we got to the point with the model that some of its jokes were funny. For a while, the model could mimic the structure of a joke but they didn’t make any sense. Then one day, it made a machine learning joke about a chicken crossing the road. It was joking about itself. I also remember once working on an earlier version of ChatGPT when suddenly the model invented its own name—it was like Aurelius or something classical. We asked the model why that name and it made some reference to Greek mythology. I was like “Wow. That is actually a nice name.”
(When asked, the current model of ChatGPT did not recall this specific incident but suggested that Athena or Hermes might be a fitting mythological name for itself. Athena because she is “often associated with wisdom, intelligence, and strategic thinking;” Hermes because he is “the messenger of the gods and said to be quick-witted and cunning.”)
You mentioned Asimov’s iRobot earlier, do you have a favorite fictional depiction of AI?
When I look at SciFi books and movies, I find them interesting but not very reflective of reality. Many of them turn out to predict dystopian negativity. But I think—I would actually assign a decent probability to it—that AI will turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the human race. Let me make an analogy to an innovation of the past. Think about something like electricity. When electricity was invented, people were extremely scared of it. There were demonstrations showing how you could kill an elephant with electricity. So when the electric companies said “We’re going to put electricity in the walls of your home,” people freaked out. They asked “Why would I want something in the house that can kill me and my kids?” So I think that kind of shows how things evolve. Over time, you can see electricity transforming from a threat to a utility. People develop a basic need.
This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity. Photo by Grenobli.Read More
Nur Muhammad "Mahi" Shafiullah Annnounced as Apple Scholar in AI/ML
Congratulations to Nur Muhammad "Mahi" Shafiullah, a third year PhD candidate in our Computer Science department, who has been announced as a 2023 recipient of the Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD fellowship. Candidates for the program are chosen based on "their innovative research, record as thought leaders and collaborators, and commitment to advancing their respective fields." Mahi's research focuses on the challenges of household robotics, innovating methods which integrate robot learning and recent advances in ML. His advisor is Lerrel Pinto.Read More
Jonathan Niles-Weed Receives 2023 IMS Tweedie New Researcher Award
Jonathan Niles-Weed, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Data Science, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Tweedie New Researcher Award by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Professor Niles-Weed was selected for his work “driving the development of statistical optimal transport and expanding the boundaries of statistics to problems with a geometric structure by drawing connections with probability, analysis, and computation.”
He will present the Tweedie New Researcher Invited Lecture at the IMS New Researchers Conference, which will take place in Toronto this coming August. Congratulations to Professor Niles-Weed on his impressive accomplishment!Read More
Dennis Shasha Named a Senior Member by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
We're please to announce that Dennis Shasha, Silver Professor of Computer Science, was named a senior member by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) today. Professor Shasha holds 31 patents; he has co-created software systems to combat epidemics, to prevent software piracy, and to create energy-efficient blockchains. The NAI describes senior members as "rising stars who foster a spirit of innovation within their communities and institutions while mentoring the next generation of inventors." Congratulations Professor Shasha! You can read more about the impressive honor here.Read More
S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan Awarded 2023 Padma Vibhusan Medal
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, current Professor of Mathematics and former Director of Courant, has been awarded the 2023 Padma Vibhusan medal. Announced on Republic Day each January 26th, the Padma Vibhusan is the second-highest civilian award in the Republic of India. Professor Varadhan is being honored for his "exceptional and distinguished service" to the fields of science and technology. The medal will be conferred at a ceremony later this year.
Professor Varadhan is one of the most influential mathematicians of the past century. He recieved the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama in 2010. He has also been awarded the Birkhoff Prize, the Abel Prize, and the Leroy P. Steele Prize. Professor Varadhan has been affliated with the Courant Institute since 1963, when he arrived as a postdoctoral fellow. He served two appointments as Director of Courant, from 1980-1984 and 1992-94. Congratulations to Raghu!
Denis Zorin Named as ACM Fellow 2022
Denis Zorin has been named as one of the 57 ACM Fellows of 2022 by the Associations for Computing Machinery. The ACM Fellows Program was founded in 1993 to celebrate the exceptional contributions of the leading members in the computing field. The award recognizes the top 1% of ACM Members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information. According to the ACM, "These individuals have helped to enlighten researchers, developers, practitioners and end users of information technology throughout the world."
Professor Zorin was awarded this year's honor for his "contributions to computer graphics, geometry processing, and scientific computing." He is a Silver Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science; Professor Zorin also serves as Chair of Courant's Department of Computer Science. Congratulations on this tremendous achievement! You can read more about the fellowship and honorees here.
NYU Courant Mourns the Loss of Professor Martin Davis
Martin Davis passed away on January 1, 2023 at the age of ninety-four. Professor Davis was a faculty member at Courant from 1965 until his retirement in 1996. He was instrumental in the founding of our Computer Science department in 1969, serving as a charter member. Professor Davis’ work centered on computability theory and mathematical logic.
He was born on March 8, 1928 in New York City to Helen Gotlieb and Harry Davis, both of whom had recently emigrated from Poland. The Davis family settled in the Bronx, where Helen and Harry supported their sons by selling embroidered clothing and household linens out of the front room of their apartment. Davis began attending the Bronx High School of Science in 1940, just a few years after its founding. Here, he developed his interest in mathematics against the backdrop of the Second World War. He graduated in 1944 and enrolled in the City College of New York.
At the City College of New York, Davis met and was greatly influenced by the logician Emil Post. Their conversations formed the basis of much of Davis’ later work. After completing his undergraduate degree, Davis pursued his graduate studies in Mathematics at Princeton in 1948. He described a “heavy culture clash” with his fellow students, stating that his working-class background made him feel like an outsider at the university. Nevertheless, he completed both his Master’s and Ph.D. within two years, writing his thesis On the Theory of Recursive Unsolvability under the supervision of Alonzo Church.
In 1950, Davis was appointed as a research instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Once there, he joined the Control Systems Lab and began working on the ORDVAC, making him one of the world’s earliest computer programmers. Urbana-Champaign is also where Martin Davis first met Virginia Whiteford Palmer, a Smith College graduate studying Library Science at the University of Illinois. The pair wed in September of 1951 and would go on to welcome two sons, Harold and Nathan.
During the 1950s, Davis held a variety of academic positions and continued his research in logic and computability theory. He had been fascinated by Hilbert’s tenth problem—an algorithm to solve general Diophantine equations—since his undergraduate lessons with Emil Post, who conjectured that the problem was undecidable. In 1949, Davis achieved an important first step toward proving this. Over the next decade, Davis continued work on Hilbert’s tenth problem in collaboration with Julia Robinson and Hilary Putnam. Yuri Matiyasevich finally completed the proof in 1970, resulting in the MRDP theorem (an abbreviation of Matiyasevich–Robinson–Davis–Putnam). In 1961, Davis developed the DPLL algorithm for solving Boolean satisfiability alongside Hilary Putnam and their students George Logemann and Donald Loveland. This algorithm remains the foundation of the powerful current technology for solving these problems.
In 1965, Davis joined the faculty of the Courant Institute, where he would remain for the next thirty-one years. He co-founded the Computer Science department in 1969. Though he was a mathematician by training and continued to make major contributions to mathematics, Davis recognized that the emerging field had its own unique needs and culture. During his time at Courant, Professor Davis was an educator and researcher of the highest caliber. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982 and was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1983. Davis retired in 1996 and was named Professor Emeritus.
Throughout his career, Davis was an accomplished and prolific writer on topics in mathematics, computer science, and the history of computing. His books include Computability and Unsolvability, a seminal text in the area; Engines of Logic: Mathematicians and the Origin of the Computer; A First Course in Functional Analysis; and Applied Nonstandard Analysis among others. He was awarded both the Leroy P. Steele Prize and the Lester Ford Award in 1974 for his expository writing about Hilbert's tenth problem, and—together with Reuben Hersh—the Chauvenet Prize for their article on nonstandard analysis.
After his retirement, Martin and Virginia traveled widely and settled in Berkeley, California. Martin remained active in the mathematical community around UC Berkeley and served as an artist’s assistant to Virginia, who took up textile design. The couple were constant and loving companions for the entirety of their seventy-one-year marriage. Martin and Virginia Davis passed within a few hours of one another on New Years Day earlier this month. The entire Courant community sends heartfelt condolences to Martin and Virginia's family and friends. We remain ever grateful for their immense contributions to our Institute. You may read a longer biography of Professor Davis at this link.
Martin and Virginia Davis, photographed by AMS.org in 2008Read More
"In memoriam: Marco Avellaneda (1955-2022)" by Rama Cont
Earlier this week, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) published a tribute to Marco Avellaneda. Authored by Rama Cont, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of Mathematical Finance at the University of Oxford, the paper provides a sketch of Professor Avellaneda's trajectory and outlines some of his main research contributions to mathematical finance. You can read the full article, entitled "In memoriam: Marco Avellaneda (1955-2022)," at this link.Read More
NYU Pathways to AI Program for Summer 2023
The NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is excited to announce the launch of our second Pathways to AI Program for Summer 2023! Sponsored by DeepMind Technologies, the program seeks to expand the field of scientists historically underrepresented in AI. Students will take a series of introductory classes and participate in lab rotations to help them prepare for a career in AI research.Read More
Gérard Ben Arous Wins NeurIPS Outstanding Paper Award
Gérard Ben Arous, Silver Professor of Mathematics, has received the NeurIPS 2022 Outstanding Paper Award for his work on "High-dimensional limit theorems for SGD: Effective dynamics and critical scaling"—published in collaboration with former Courant affiliates Reza Gheissari (Northwestern University) and Aukosh Jagannath (University of Waterloo).
Founded in 1987, the NeurIPS conference and a multi-track interdisciplinary annual meeting that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia, and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. You can learn more about the NeurIPS 2022 Awards here. And you can read the winning paper here.
Congratulations to Professor Ben Arous, his co-authors, and all the honorees!Read More
Leslie Greengard Awarded the 2023 ICIAM Pioneer Prize
Professor Leslie Greengard has been named as the winner of the 2023 ICIAM Pioneer Prize. First awarded in 1999, the Pioneer Prize "was established to acknowledge pioneering work that introduces applied mathematical methods and scientific computing techniques to an industrial problem area or a new scientific field of application," according Siam News.
Professor Greengard was chosen as the 2023 winner for his pioneering work on fast algorithms including the fast multipole method (one of the top-ten algorithms of the 20th century), fast Gauss transform, and fast direct solvers; and for the development of innovative high-order, automatically adaptive algorithms for differential and integral equations. You can read more about this accomplishment—and the committee that selected Professor Greengard—at the ICIAM website.
We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Professor Greengard on this tremendous honor!Read More
Launching a New Initiative, NYU and DeepMind Clear the Path for Future AI Researchers
By Sarah Ward
The students had returned from the edge, and they were ready for lunch. On a bright August morning, the group of ten—the inaugural class of the Pathways to AI initiative—had visited the Edge, a glass observation deck that hovers a hundred stories above Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. Now back at NYU for a celebratory luncheon, the students gazed out the windows of the Kimmel Center and identified the Edge’s sharp profile against the skyline. This morning’s outing was the last of many during the six-week program. “This was my first time in New York,” says Aadit Shah, a freshman at Ohio State University, “and I feel like we went everywhere. We went to Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street. It was amazing, a really nice way to get to know one another.” The ten students had come to the city from all around the United States and Puerto Rico, each undergraduate selected from nearly two-hundred applicants to participate in the launch of an ambitious new program.
A collaboration between NYU Courant and DeepMind, Pathways to AI aims to find the next generation of researchers by expanding the field to include those historically underrepresented in the sciences. “The Idea of the program is to increase diversity in the pipeline of researchers going into AI” says Matthew Zeidenberg, a Clinical Associate Professor of Computer Science and the program’s Faculty Coordinator. “Our aim is to enrich the education of the participants,” confirms Russel Caflisch, Director of the Courant Institute, “and attract them to jobs in AI research."
The task of selecting these first participants fell to the members of an admissions committee, which included Program Coordinator Olvy Nunez. “I was excited to participate in the Pathways to AI admissions' committee,” he says, “since I come from an underrepresented community myself, I've always been passionate in contributing to programs like these.” The committee focused on finding “the strongest candidates possible” during the selection process. And while Pathways to AI is designed for students from underrepresented populations, the program does not promote diversity for diversity’s sake. As Alfredo Canziani, an Assistant Professor and Program Instructor, explains, “If you have only one type of researcher working on a specific problem, their perspectives will be very similar, but if you have people from different backgrounds with different experiences, you may have different views on the same subject.” A variety of perspectives in AI research will “inevitably improve the overall result,” Canziani contends, making diversity a scientific priority as well as an ethical one.
For their part, the ten chosen undergraduates appreciated the opportunity to learn about AI from leading minds in the field—access made possible through the program's partnership with DeepMind. "The Courant Institute is tremendously grateful to DeepMind for their generous support, both financial and scientific, of the Pathways to AI program,” says Professor Caflisch, “This support is enabling us to bring a cohort of talented and diverse students to Courant to work on exciting research projects in AI.”
The program was divided into classes ("Big Ideas in AI" taught by Canziani, “Math for AI” taught by Fanny Shum, “Python for AI” taught by Yang Tang, and “Tools for AI” taught by Zeidenberg) and lab rotations—where the students were able to gain hands-on experience with current faculty and postdoc researchers. These rotations allowed the students to capture a glimpse into the life of an AI researcher. “You hear about research all the time,” says Tia Chen,“but you don’t know what it’s actually like.” Observing the day-to-day was enlightening for the students. Their small class size also enabled them to get additional help and attention from their instructors. “We grew really close,” says Aadit, “which helped in the classroom as well. We all lived on the same floor of the dorm so we could go and knock on each other’s doors and ask questions about our homework.” The group’s closeness is evident and endearing. “Getting to know everyone was the most fun part,” Malik Durant says as his classmates nodded in unison. Their visit to the Edge may have been the final Pathways to AI-sanctioned outing, but the group had made plans to meet up that evening and enjoy a final night on the town.
Malik, a sophomore majoring in Computer Science at Dillard University, held quite a narrow view of artificial intelligence before Pathways to AI. “I thought Oh AI, we’re doing robots,” he says, but the “eye-opening program” helped him see a variety of potential applications. Blessing Adomakoh, fellow student and a freshman at Pomona College, notes the common misconception: “People think AI is going to replace humans, but that’s not true. AI can be used in so many different ways to speed up processes in healthcare and advance medical technology.” Tia, who recently finished her first year at Tufts, found herself surprised by how interdisciplinary the subject could be. “We read philosophy,” she says, “and I discovered that I’m interested in ideas about fairness in AI.” She cites natural language processing as an example of bias in machine learning, where some models used by medical researchers have mistakenly attributed male pronouns to doctors and female pronouns to nurses. Tia now wants to help counter that issue. “I wouldn’t have known it was a possible direction if it weren’t for this program,” she says.
A shared source of surprise amongst the students is the newness of AI as a research area. “I thought AI was more advanced,” says Aadit, “but we’ve only made progress in the past ten years, and it’s going to keep growing exponentially.” Professor Zeidenberg confirms, “It’s a new field, the more you learn the less you know.” The comparative novelty of the subject increases the sense that this Pathways to AI class is getting in on the ground floor of artificial intelligence, and then holding the door open for those behind them. Poonam Sahoo, a Mathematics major at Stanford, says of her time in the program, “It’s just really rewarding, especially since any other tech space or STEM space I’ve been in has been very homogeneous and very skewed gender-wise or racially.” Pathways to AI has offered Poonam a different vision of her future in research. “Coming into this program, “ she continues, “where everyone is from different places, different programs, different schools, it is so valuable to learn and share resources. I feel like we learn a lot from each other.”
Above: The group poses with gelato on University Place.
Left: Students and mentors celebrate at the final luncheon.
Right: A talk on AI with Professor Yann LeCun.Read More
NIST selects a winning algorithm based on Oded Regev's work
After a six year competition, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has chosen the first group of encryption tools designed to withstand the assault of a future quantum computer, which could potentially crack the security used to protect privacy in our current digital systems.
In the general encription category, the winning algorithm was the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm, which relies upon the influential research of Courant's Oded Regev.
“NIST constantly looks to the future to anticipate the needs of U.S. industry and society as a whole, and when they are built, quantum computers powerful enough to break present-day encryption will pose a serious threat to our information systems,” said Laurie E. Locascio, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director. “Our post-quantum cryptography program has leveraged the top minds in cryptography worldwide to produce this first group of quantum-resistant algorithms that will lead to a standard and significantly increase the security of our digital information.”Read More
Jonathan Niles-Weed chosen as a Sloan Research Fellow
Courant faculty Jonathan Niles-Weed has been elected as a 2022 Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowship honors "early-career scholars who represent the most promising researchers working today."
His main areas of study are statistics, probability, and the mathematics of data science, with a focus on statistical and computational problems arising from data with geometric structure. Much of his recent work is dedicated to developing a statistical theory of optimal transport.
A full list of the 2022 Sloan Research Fellows can be found on their website.
Congratulations Jonathan!Read More
NYU Courant Mourns the Loss of Professor Marco Avellaneda
Marco was on the faculty of NYU Courant for almost 40 years, starting as a Courant Instructor in 1985. After his early work on applied math, he spent most of his career working on mathematical finance. Marco was a tremendously creative and energetic person and we will greatly miss him. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Marco's wife, Cassandra Richmond.Read More
Sponsored by DeepMind Technologies, the program seeks to expand the field of scientists historically underrepresented in AI. Students will take a series of introductory classes and participate in lab rotations to help them prepare for a career in AI research.Read More
Terri Burns, Courant'16, Becomes Youngest Member of the NYU Board of Trustees
At age 27, Terri Burns, graduate of NYU Courant's Computer Science department in 2016 and first Black female partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures) recently became the youngest member of the NYU Board of Trustees.Read More
Updates on the building constructionRead More
Guido DePhilippis named 2021 Simons Investigator
Further information is available here
Jeff Cheeger has been awarded the 2021 Shaw Prize in Mathematical SciencesJeff Cheeger has been awarded the 2021 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences for his "remarkable insights that have transformed, and continue to transform, modern geometry."For more information, read the press release here.Congratulations, Jeff!Read More
Yann LeCun Elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Congratulations, Yann!Read More
Nader Masmoudi Elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Congratulations, Nader!Read More
NYU Courant Mourns the Loss of Professor Jerry Percus
Our colleague Jerry Percus passed away on March 7 at the age of 94. Jerry came to the Courant Institute in 1958, after obtaining his doctorate at Columbia and working for several years at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Jerry was internationally recognized for his pioneering work in statistical mechanics and combinatorics, and made seminal contributions to our understanding of fluids and biomathematics.
In addition to the famous Percus-Yevick Equation for the radial distribution function of fluids, he alone or jointly with students and coworkers, made important advances in all aspects of statistical mechanics. He was the first (or among the very first) to study "consistency" of approximate one and two particle classical distributions and quantum density matrices. This led to the Percus-Yamada condition in the former. He derived and solved equations for the velocity correlation function of fluids. He was the acknowledged master of the statistical mechanics of non-uniform fluids. His analysis of non-isotropic fluids in terms of appropriately designed isotropic ones contributed much to this subject.
In recent decades Jerry's interests turned to pioneering studies in biomathematics, in particular genome analysis and developmental biology. Many of his papers were in collaboration with his late wife, Ora. Jerry's unique and highly creative perspective on a wide range of problems in physics, mathematics, and biology will be greatly missed.Read More
NYU Courant Mourns the Loss of Professor Andrew J. Majda
Andrew Joseph Majda passed away on March 12, 2021 at the age of 72.
Renowned for both his theoretical contributions to partial differential equations and his applied work in diverse areas such as asymptotic methods, numerical methods, scattering theory, shock waves, combustion, incompressible flow, vortex motion, turbulent diffusion, and atmosphere ocean science, Andy Majda made a number of seminal contributions in mathematics and physics. One of the most notable is the Beal-Kato-Majda theorem, which limits the possibility for singularities in inviscid, incompressible fluid flow. Andy’s primary research interests were in modern applied mathematics in the broadest possible sense merging asymptotic methods, numerical methods, physical reasoning, and rigorous mathematical analysis.
Andy was born on January 30, 1949 in East Chicago, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Purdue University (1970) and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford (1973). His doctoral dissertation was entitled “Coercive Inequalities for Nonelliptic Symmetric Systems.” Andy first joined the NYU Courant Mathematics Department as a Courant Instructor in 1973 and was here for just two years before moving on to faculty appointments at UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Princeton. NYU was a special place for Andy, and he returned in 1994 as the Samuel F. B. Morse Professor of Arts and Sciences in the Mathematics Department at Courant and remained here since then. He retired on January 1, 2021 and became Professor Emeritus of Mathematics.
As a pioneering theoretical and applied mathematician, Andy consistently received scientific recognition throughout his career. One of his earliest honors was as plenary speaker at the first ever International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Paris in 1987. Most recently, in 2016, Andy received the Leroy P. Steele Prize for seminal contribution to research, which is awarded by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). He received the Lagrange Prize of ICIAM, the Norbert Wiener Prize of the AMS and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis, the John von Neumann Prize of SIAM, and the Gibbs Prize of the AMS. Andy was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of both the AMS and SIAM. Twice he was awarded the Medal of the College de France, and he was elected as a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He received Honorary Doctorates from Fudan University, China Northwest University, and Purdue University, as well as The New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences.
In addition to his outstanding research, Andy was a devoted PhD advisor to thirty doctoral students, a mentor to over thirty postdoctoral researchers, and he inspired many collaborators and others in the mathematical sciences community. His published books include Compressible Fluid Flow and Systems of Conservation Laws in Several Space Variables (Springer-Verlag), Vorticity and Incompressible Flow with A. Bertozzi (Cambridge University Press), Lecture Notes for the Courant Lecture Note Series of the AMS. Other published works include the Introduction to PDE’s and Waves for the Atmosphere and Ocean, the CRM monograph series on Information Theory and Stochastics for Multiscale Nonlinear Systems, with M. Grote and R. Abramov, all published by the AMS, and Nonlinear Dynamics and Statistical Theories for Basic Geophysical Flows with Xiaoming Wang published by Cambridge University Press. His newest book with John Harlim, is entitled Filtering Complex Turbulent Systems and was published Cambridge University Press.
Andy made major contributions to NYU, locally here at the NYU New York campus and overseas. In his years at the Courant Institute, Andy created the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science (CAOS) with eight multi-disciplinary faculty to promote cross-disciplinary research with modern applied mathematics in climate modeling and prediction. Later, he founded NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Prototype Climate Modeling and served as its head and Principal Investigator. More recently, Andy’s research interests included multi-scale multi-cloud modeling for the tropics, stochastic and statistical modeling for climate, and novel mathematical strategies for prediction and data assimilation in complex multi-scale systems.
Andy is survived by his wife of 46 years, Gerta Keller, who is a Professor of Paleontology and Geology in the Geosciences Department of Princeton University. Full of energy and ideas, Andy was greatly influential at the Courant Institute and in the math community and will be dearly missed by all of his colleagues and friends.Read More
Sylvia Serfaty Elected to the European Academy of SciencesCongratulations, Sylvia!Read More
Gerard Ben Arous and Lai-Sang Young elected to the National Academy of SciencesFor further information see the official announcement.Read More
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Donation
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has made a donation to Courant of a computer system and access to cloud based computing, with up to 2 petaflops of computing power, for use in COVID-related research.
For more detail, see this letter from Courant Director, Russel Caflisch.
July 23, 2020
It’s my great pleasure to announce a truly impressive gift-in-kind to the Courant Institute that will have a profound impact on COVID-19-related research both at Courant and throughout NYU. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), one of the country’s leading manufacturers of computer processors, is donating a high-performance computer system and remote access to a second, cloudbased system, with both systems consisting of AMD CPUs and GPUs. The first system will be located at NYU’s new High Performance Computing Center and the cloud-based system will be located at Penguin Computing. Together, the computer systems will provide our researchers with up to two petaflops of computing power. We will be putting these resources to use in projects from a wide range of disciplines to address numerous aspects of the COVID-19 crisis and related applications. These include research aimed at developing drugs that can be used to treat both COVID-19 and future SARS virus mutations; retrieval of relevant research findings from the vast biomedical literature; analysis of medical imaging for screening of patients; and studying political attitudes and voting behavior in response to financial hardships stemming from the pandemic. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on higher education research, both in terms of its direction and the need for immediate results, so the timing of this donation is particularly fortuitous. We are tremendously grateful to AMD for their extraordinary gift.
Russel CaflischRead More
Jeff Cheeger to receive an honorary degree from the University of Chicago.
Jeff is one of six distinguished scholars who will receive the honorary degree in 2021. Further information can be found here.Read More
Jeff Cheeger to receive an honorary degree from the University of Chicago
Jeff is one of six distinguished scholars who will receive the honorary degree in 2021. Further information can be found here.Read More
Daniele Panozzo has been awarded a Sloan Fellowship for his work in solving partial differential equations on complex geometrical domains. Congratulations!Read More
NYU Courant Mourns the Loss of Professor Louis Nirenberg
Louis Nirenberg died in New York City on January 26, 2020 at the age of 94.
He was a leading mathematician, whose fundamental contributions in the field of partial differential equations were hugely influential. This area of mathematics provides the language we use to describe—and the techniques we use to analyze—diverse problems from many fields, including geometry, physics, and engineering. Louis' earliest work, in the 1950's, solved two longstanding problems from geometry by proving new estimates for fully-nonlinear elliptic equations. Over the course of his long and productive career his achievements included the solution of many other important problems, and—equally significant—the introduction of many new ideas and techniques.
Louis was born in 1925 in Hamilton, Ontario, but grew up in Montreal. He studied Mathematics and Physics at McGill University, graduating in 1945, then came to New York University as a Mathematics masters student. The postwar years were a remarkable time for mathematics at NYU—his fellow students included Eugene Isaacson, Peter Lax, Joseph Keller, Martin Kruskal, Cathleen Morawetz, Harold Grad, and Avron Douglis. Louis remained at NYU for his entire career: after completing his PhD in 1949 with guidance from James Stoker and Kurt Friedrichs, he held a two-year postdoctoral position then joined the faculty in 1951. His title was Professor of Mathematics from 1957 until 1999, when he retired and became Professor Emeritus. He was Director of the Courant Institute from 1970 to 1972.
Louis' impact was partly due to his exquisite taste in problems. One very successful mode was to recognize, through specific challenges, the need for new tools or estimates. His ability to identify such challenges—and to find the required tools or estimates—was a major driver of his impact. His early work on problems from geometry had this character; other examples include his papers in the 60's with Joseph Kohn on problems from complex differential geometry, and those in the 80's with Haim Brezis on nonlinear elliptic equations with critical exponents.
A different, equally successful mode was to identify tools that were clearly important, then systematically explore their power. His work on the regularity of solutions of linear elliptic equations and systems had this character; it was done in the 50's and 60's with Shmuel Agmon and Avron Douglis. Another example is his work on the symmetry of solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations using the “method of moving planes” and the “sliding method,” developed in the 80's and 90's with Basilis Gidas, Wei-Ming Ni, and Henry Berestycki.
Louis also loved challenges—particularly ones involving estimates or inequalities—and this was the motivation for many projects. One example is his work on solutions of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, which describe for example the flow of water. We still don't know whether its solutions are smooth or not, so it is natural to ask about the size of the set where they are not smooth. The estimates Louis proved in the 80's with Luis Caffarelli and Robert Kohn remain the state of the art.
A gifted teacher and mentor, Louis was advisor to 46 PhD students (starting with Walter Littman in 1956 and ending with Kanishka Perera in 1997), and he also had a formative influence on many postdocs and collaborators.
Lively and gregarious, Louis loved music, art, and film almost as much as he loved mathematics. He maintained close friendships with many colleagues around the world. He loved to travel, and to host visitors. He particularly enjoyed working with others; as a result, almost all his papers were coauthored.
Louis received many prestigious awards, including the Abel Prize (2015), the American Mathematical Society's Leroy P. Steele Prizes for Seminal Contribution to Research (2014) and Lifetime Achievement (1994), the International Mathematical Union's Chern Medal (2010), the National Medal of Science (1995), the Canadian Mathematical Society's Jeffery-Williams Prize (1987), the Crafoord Prize (1982), and the American Mathematical Society's Bôcher Prize (1959).
He became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1965, a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1969, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2013. He was also a member of numerous honorary societies in other countries, including Accademia dei Lincei (1978), Accademia Mediterranea della Scienza (1982), Académie des Sciences (1989), Istituto Lombardo Accademia Scienze e Lettere (1991), Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1994), and Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters (2015). He received honorary degrees from McGill University (1986), University of Pisa (1990), Université de Paris IX Paris-Dauphine (1990), McMaster University (2000), University of British Columbia (2010); and he was named Honorary Professor by Nankai University (1987), Zhejiang University (1988), and Peking University (2016).
Louis is survived by his son Marc, his daughter Lisa and her partner, Joseph Ganci, his grandchildren Jimmy and Alma, his sister Deborah, and his partner Nanette.
Additional information about Louis, including video, is available at the Simons Foundation's "Science Lives" website, via this link: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/2014/04/21/louis-nirenberg/
An autobiography is included in a recent book The Abel Prize 2013-2017 (H. Holden and R. Piene eds, Springer-Verlag, 2019, pp 379-389).Read More
Legion of HonorRead More
Margaret Wright receives John von Neumann Prize
Silver Professor Margaret Wright is the recipient of the John von Neumann Prize.
The John von Neumann Prize is the highest honor and flagship lecture of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Margaret is recognized for her pioneering contributions to the numerical solution of optimization problems and to the exposition of the subject. Margaret will deliver the John von Neumann Prize Lecture "A Hungarian Feast of Applied Mathematics" at this year's ICIAM in Valencia, Spain on July 16.
For further information, please see the press release from SIAM.Read More
Denis Zorin receives ACM Computer Graphics Achievement Award
Denis Zorin has received the 2019 Computer Graphics Achievement Award "in recognition of his fundamental contributions to computer graphics and geometric modeling."
Joan Bruna and Leif Ristroph receive CAREER Awards
Joan Bruna and Leif Ristroph are recipients of National Science Foundation CAREER Awards!
Congratulations to Joan and to Leif!Read More
Serfaty, Shelley, and Zeitouni elected to AMACAD
Professors Sylvia Serfaty, Michael Shelley, and Ofer Zeitouni have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AMACAD). For more information, please see the press release from the Academy. Congratulations!Read More
Yann LeCun, receives the ACM A.M. Turing Award!
See the NYU press release for more information. Congratulations, Yann!Read More
2019 Silver ProfessorsRead More
Marsha Berger awarded Norbert Wiener Prize
Marsha Berger, Silver Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, will be awarded the 2019 Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics.
The citation notes that Marsha is being recognized for her "fundamental contributions to adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) and to Cartesian mesh techniques for automating the simulation of compressible flows in complex geometry."
Presented jointly by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (AMS), the Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics is awarded every three years for an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense.
Marsha is a frequent visitor to NASA Ames, where she has spent every summer since 1990, and several sabbaticals. Her honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Berger was a recipient of the IEEE Fernbach award, and was part of the team that won the 2002 Software of the Year Award from NASA for its Cart3D software.
Congratulations, Marsha!Read More
Jeff Cheeger awarded Steele Prize
Silver Professor of Mathematics, Jeff Cheeger, has received the 2019 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement for his fundamental contributions to geometric analysis and their far-reaching influence on related areas of mathematics. Congratulations, Jeff!Read More
Brandon Seward awarded 2018 Brin Prize
Congratulations to Brandon Seward on receiving the 2018 Michael Brin Dynamical Systems Prize for Young Mathematicians. Seward was recognized "for his groundbreaking work on entropy theory for actions of countable groups, extending to this general setting fundamental results of the classical theory such as Sinai's Factor Theorem and Krieger's Finite Generators Theorem."Read More
Percy Deift awarded the 2018 Henri Poincare Prize
Percy Deift has been honored for his "seminal contributions to Schroedinger operators, inverse scattering theory, nonlinear waves, asymptotic analysis of Fredholm and Toeplitz determinants, universality in random matrix theory, and his deep analysis of integrable models." Congratulations, Percy!
For further information, please see the official Henri Poincaré Prize page.Read More
Oded Regev receives Gödel Prize
Oded Regev has been awarded the 2018 Gödel Prize for his 2005 paper, "On lattices, learning with errors, random linear codes, and cryptography." The Gödel Prize is given annually by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computational Theory (SIGACT). It honors seminal work in theoretical computer science. The citation states, "Regev's work has ushered in a revolution in cryptography, in both theory and practice. On the theoretical side, LWE (Learning With Errors) has served as a simple and yet amazingly versatile foundation for nearly every kind of cryptographic object imaginable—along with many that were unimaginable until recently, and which still have no known constructions without LWE. Toward the practical end, LWE and its direct descendants are at the heart of several efficient real-world cryptosystems."Read More
Paul Bourgade, Poincaré Chair laureateRead More
2018 Sloan Fellows
For further information, see the Sloan Foundation website.Read More
Research and Training Group in Mathematical Modeling and Simulation
The mathematics department is happy to announce the successful creation of a new Research and Training Group (RTG) in Mathematical Modeling and Simulation, a five-year vertically-integrated research activity funded by the National Science Foundation (award DMS-1646339) since the Fall of 2017. This RTG is devoted to training through research of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in several salient aspects of modern applied mathematics, and will emphasize the connections among modeling, simulation and experimental observation.Read More
2018 Silver ProfessorsRead More
Nader Masmoudi receives Fermat Prize
Nader Masmoudi has been awarded the 2017 Fermat Prize by the Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse for "his very deep and creative work in the field of nonlinear partial differential equations." Congratulations!Read More
Patrick Cousot awarded John von Neumann Medal
Patrick Cousot is the recipient of the IEEE John von Neumann medal, given "for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology". The medal citation states that he is being recognized "for introducing abstract interpretation, a powerful framework for automatically calculating program properties with broad application to verification and optimization." Congratulations!Read More
Sylvain Cappell to receive 2018 AMS Award for Distinguished Public Service
Congratulations to Sylvain Cappell, recipient of the 2018 AMS Award for Distinguished Public Service! Sylvain will officially receive the award on January 11, 2018 at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Diego.Read More
MS in Computing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
Courant's Computer Science Department is proud to announce the creation of an exciting new Master of Science program on Computing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MS-CEI) in collaboration with the NYU Stern School of Business.The MS-CEI program will train students to become the next generation entrepreneurs and innovation leaders by providing strong fundamentals in rigorous computer science applications, systems engineering and entrepreneurship. Professors Evan Korth and Lakshmi Subramanian are directing the new program.Read More
Richard Bonneau heads up Center for Data Science
For more information, see the press release from the Center for Data Science.Read More
In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Cathleen Synge Morawetz
Cathleen Synge Morawetz died on August 8, 2017. She was 94 years old.
A celebration of her life and work will be held in room WWH 109 on November 17 at 1pm.Read More
Courant and Tandon Math Departments to Merge
As of September 1, 2017 the Mathematics faculty at the Tandon School of Engineering will join the Department of Mathematics in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The Courant math department will be the math department for both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Tandon School of Engineering. The department will be responsible for mathematics classes across the university.
We expect that this merger will foster many new academic collaborations between faculty in engineering and the mathematical sciences.
The department will now offer two undergraduate degrees -- a BA in Mathematics (offered to the students in the College of Arts and Sciences) and a BS in Mathematics (offered to students in the Tandon School of Engineering). The coursework for the BS degree will cover a wide range of mathematical topics and will require students to specify a component in one field of engineering. In addition, as a result of the merger, the Courant Mathematics Department is considering developing an MS degree in Engineering Mathematics as an addition to its rich array of graduate programs.Read More
Joel Spencer named SIAM Fellow
Joel Spencer has been named a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics for "contributions to discrete mathematics and theory of computing, particularly random graphs and networks, Ramsey theory, logic, and randomized algorithms." Congratulations!Read More
Mike O'Neil wins a 2017 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award!
Mike is Assistant professor of mathematics at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He received the 2017 ONR Young Investigator award to pursue a new generation of simulation and design tools for computational electromagnetics using fast, high-order, analysis-based algorithms. Congratulations, Mike!Read More
2017 Silver ProfessorsRead More
Yann LeCun elected to NAE
Yann LeCun has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, "for developing convolutional neural networks and their applications in computer vision and other areas of artificial intelligence." Congratulations!Read More
Daniele Panozzo wins NSF CAREER Award
Daniele Panozzo has been awarded an NSF CAREER award supporting his research project "Coupling Geometric Acquisition and Digital Fabrication". The goal of this project is to develop algorithmic foundations to tightly integrate 3D scanning and digital fabrication, enabling new applications in life sciences and medicine. Congratulations!Read More
Fall 2016 Courant Newsletter released
A digital copy of the newsletter is available on the Courant Newsletters page.Read More
Subhash Khot named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow
Citation: "Subhash Khot is a theoretical computer scientist whose work is providing critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. ... As computers come to drive ever more aspects of our lives, greater understanding of the limitations of computing is increasingly important. Khot’s continued ingenuity and tenacity in exploring the potential of the UGC will drive this important and fruitful area of research for many years to come."
Predicting Cancer ProgressRead More
Conserving Computer ArtRead More
Predicting Dengue Fever
Lakshmi Subramanian's work on predicting outbreaks of dengue fever by data mining calls to a hotline is featured in the Atlantic Magazine. Additonal information can be found in the press release from NYU News.Read More
Honoring Women in Mathematics
Lisa Fauci, PhD Math '86 and professor of mathematics at Tulane University, was chosen to deliver the 2016 Kovalevsky Lecture "for her pioneering contributions to mathematical and computational modeling of aquatic locomotion, microorganism motility and fluid dynamics of human reproduction."Read More
Bud Mishra Pursues Finance, Genetic and Therapeutic Avenues in Cancer Research
Professor of Computer Science Bud Mishra has been involved in several recent studies that cast light on diverse issues related to cancer research.Read More
Eyal Lubetzky Elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics
Eyal Lubetzky has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Fellowships are awarded to IMS members in honor of their outstanding research and professional contributions in the fields of statistics and probability.
Eyal's election will be celebrated in July at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony, during the World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Toronto.Read More
Leslie Greengard Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Leslie Greengard has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Warm congratulations to you, Leslie!Read More
hackNY Student Hackathon held at Courant
The Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon was held at the Courant Institue on April 2-3, 2016. Read about the event in the New York Business Journal, and learn more about HackNY on the organization's website.Read More
Ken Perlin on Virtual Reality
Ken Perlin's work on combining virtual reality with motion capture is featured on Eyewitness News.Read More
H.T. Yau is the 2016 Courant Lecturer
Please join us on March 31 and April 1 for the XXXIst Courant Lectures. Click here for further details.Read More
Guy Story, M.S. Computer Science '80, speaks at NYU Entrepreneurs Festival
Guy Story, MS Computer Science '80, in his keynote talk with Josh Brunstein of Bloomberg Businessweek at the Fifth Annual NYU Entrepreneurs Festival. Story, who was founding CTO of Audible, Inc. and is now General Manager for Automotive, Alexa Voice Services, has primary responsibility for bringing Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo and other devices, to the automotive sector.
(Photograph by Remya Thomas)
Sana Odeh's work is featured on International Women's Day
Facebook selected Sana Odeh and her work on Arab women in computing as one of six featured stories in honor of International Women's Day.Read More
A rock star of Artificial Intelligence
An article on artificial intelligence in Rolling Stone magazine states that "in the world of AI, [Yann] LeCun is the closest thing there is to a rock star."Read More
Mikael Rechtsman receives the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics
Mikael Rechtsman, a Courant Instructor from 2008 to 2010, has been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics. Now an assistant professor of Physics at Penn State University, Rechtsman's research seeks to understand photonics, the science of light. For more information, see the news release from Penn State University.Read More
When a Man Loves a Supercomputer
In the Spring 2016 issue of the NYU Alumni Magazine (p.13), Emeritus Professor Peter Lax (Ph.D., 1949) recounts the events of May 1970, when a group of students took over Warren Weaver Hall and the institute's prized CDC 6600 supercomputer.
Raghu Varadhan to Receive Honorary Degree
Warm congratulations to Raghu Varadhan on receiving an honorary degree from Duke University! See the announcement from Duke University for more information.Read More
Perlin on VR
Professor Ken Perlin is interviewed about Virtual Reality in Nautilus Magazine.Read More
Leif Ristroph in Gizmodo, December 18, 2015
Professor Leif Ristroph's research on candy dissolution in fluid flows is named one of the coolest science stories of 2015 by Gizmodo.com.Read More
Fall 2015 CIMS Newsletter released
A digital copy of the newsletter is available on the Courant Newsletters page.Read More
Courant in the New York Times, December 6, 2015
In 1970, student protesters stormed into a building at New York University and took control of a computer then considered “the most expensive thing on campus.”Read More
Yevgeniy Dodis on NBC News, November 16, 2015
Professor Yevgeniy Dodis is interviewed on NBC on the use of cryptography for privacy and for security.Read More
Georg Stadler wins the Gordon Bell Prize. Congratulations, Georg!Read More
Congratulations to Andy Majda On Winning The Steele Prize!
Further information is available in the news release from the American Mathematical Society.Read More
Natalya Gomez & David Holland in NYU News, November 10, 2015
Research on the rate of retreat of ice sheets in the Antarctic by Professor David Holland and former Courant Postdoc Natalya Gomez is highlighted in a press release from NYU News. Their paper appears in Nature Communications.Read More
2015 Silver Professors
Fedor Bogomolov and Subhash Khot have been named Silver Professors. Congratulations! For more information on Fedor, Subhash, and the other Silver Professors, please see here.Read More
Daniel Stein & Charles Newman in NYU News, October 29, 2015
Research on statistical patterns in cell protein distribution by Professors Daniel Stein and Charles Newman is featured in NYU News. Their findings appear in Physical Review E.Read More
Oded Regev in Quanta Magazine, September 8, 2015
Professor Oded Regev's research in cryptography is discussed in an article in Quanta Magazine.Read More
Leif Ristroph is awarded the George E. Valley, Jr. Prize!
The Courant Institute is pleased to announce that Leif Ristroph (Mathematics and the Applied Math Lab) has won the George E. Valley, Jr. Prize of the American Physical Society, in recognition for outstanding scientific contributions being made in the early stages of his scientific career. The prize is awarded biennially. More information is available on the American Physical Society website. Our warm congratulations to Leif!Read More
Yann LeCun in the MIT Technology Review, August 6, 2015
Yann LeCun's research on deep learning is featured in an article in the MIT Technology Review.Read More
Subhash Khot has been named a Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science by the Simons Foundation. Congratulations!Read More
Joel Spencer in Quanta Magazine, July 14, 2015
Professor Joel Spencer's research regarding explosive percolation is mentioned in an article in Quanta Magazine.Read More
Leif Ristroph on Science Friday, July 6, 2015
Professor Leif Ristroph's research on object dissolution in fluid flows is highlighted in a piece on Science Friday. Building on earlier studies of eroding clay surfaces, this new work from the Applied Math Lab uses candy objects immersed in water currents to show how flows speed up dissolving. The researchers discovered that the same final ‘sculpture’ is unveiled regardless of the initial shape and imposed flow speed, and these observations led to a mathematical law for the rate of dissolving. Much more than a curiosity, understanding how materials dissolve can help make sense of geological features and can be put to use in chemical and pharmaceutical applications. On a lighter note, the team also recalled the famous childhood question – How many licks does it take to reach the center of a lollipop? – and used their theory to provide an estimate of 1000.Read More
David Holland in the New York Times, July 3, 2015
Professor David Holland and Denise Holland's research on glaciers in Greenland is mentioned in an article in the New York Times.Read More
Sad news of Prof. Robert Dewar
Professor Emeritus Robert Dewar has died at the age of 70. Robert was a faculty member in the Computer Science department from 1975 until his retirement in 2005 and was chair of the department from 1978 to 1980. Robert was a leading figure in programming languages, particularly in the development of Ada; an inspiring and admired teacher; a raconteur, singer, and actor; and a well-loved colleague and friend. Our sympathies to his family and friends.Read More
Sana Odeh in Forbes Magazine, June 29, 2015
Professor Sana Odeh's research on the involvement of women in the Arab world in computer science is discussed in an article in Forbes Magazine.Read More
Richard Bonneau has received the 2015 Iakobachvili Faculty Science Award from the NYU School of Arts and Science. Congratulations!Read More
Spring 2015 CIMS Newsletter released
A digital copy of the newsletter is available on the Courant Newsletters page.Read More
Peter Lax receives Honorary Doctor of Science degree
Peter Lax received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from NYU, a well deserved honor for Peter's contributions to Mathematics and the university. An alumnus and Professor Emeritus at the Courant Institute, Peter is also the recipient of the Abel prize in 2005, and recently went to Washington to receive the Lomonosov Gold Medal, the highest award given by the Russian Academy of Sciences, which he was awarded in 2013.Read More
Lisa Braden-Harder M.S. Computer Science '91 Receives Innovation, Leadership Award
Lisa Braden-Harder, CEO of Appen, a company selling highly specialized data sets that help machines learn to read, listen, and speak in 150 different languages, received the Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award at the 11th annual Connecticut Technology Council's Women of Innovation awards program. According to the press release, Ms. Braden-Harder was recognized for leading her company through an IPO on the Australian stock exchange earlier this year. She started the Butler Hill Group in 1993 before merging it with Australian-based Appen in 2010. The company now reaches more than 50 countries, with offices in San Francisco and Seattle as well as Europe and Asia, and employs 150 people. In addition to earning an MS in computer science from Courant in 1991, she received a BS in computer science from Purdue University in 1982.Read More
Congratulations to all of the participants in the Math Modeling Competition (MCM)!
Click here for further information.Read More
Gérard Ben Arous has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences!Read More
Peter Lax, Mathematician: Illustrated Memoir by Reuben Hersh
Book signing April 23 at 4 pm in the 13th floor faculty loungeRead More
Man of the Hour - Professor emeritus Louis Nirenberg
It has been an eventful year for Professor Nirenberg, a Courant alumnus (MS, PhD '47) as well as a distinguished member of the faculty. The Institute celebrated his 90th birthday (a few months early) at a reception on October 17, 2014. We were pleased to be joined for the occasion by many of Louis' mathematical friends.
We were then thrilled to learn on March 25 that Professor Nirenberg was named a 2015 Abel Prize winner with John F. Nash, Jr. of Princeton. The Norwegian Academy of Sciences & Letters, which confers the prize, cited Professors Nirenberg and Nash “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.” The Institute celebrated with a reception on Monday, March 30. Colleagues, former students and friends offering their congratulations, anecdotes, and fond feelings for Professor Nirenberg included Institute Director Gerard Ben Arous who flew in from Paris, where he has been on sabbatical, Acting Director Mike Shelley, Mr. Martin Fossum of the Norwegian Consul’s office in New York, Bob Kohn, Jalal Shatah, former Nirenberg student Sergiu Klainerman, Peter Lax, Charles Fefferman and NYU President John Sexton.Read More
Holidays and History
The annual Holiday Lecture was given in December by Brittany Shields (GSAS ’08), presenting “The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: A Historical Perspective, 1934-1972”. At the time of the lecture a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Shields has written and presented extensively about the Courant Institute and Mathematics at NYU, including her master’s thesis: “A Sociological and Historical Study of the Early Development of New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences”. She spoke more recently on Richard Courant and NYU’s mathematics enterprise during World War II at the American Mathematical Society Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting on March 8 in Washington, DC.Read More
Peter Lax Biography by Reuben Hersh – Book Signing April 23 at 4 pm
Professor emeritus Peter Lax (PhD ’49) is the subject of a new biography written by Reuben Hersh (PhD ’60) and published by the American Mathematical Society. Peter Lax, Mathematician: An Illustrated Memoir, which appeared in early 2015, covers the Abel Prize winning mathematician’s life from his early life in pre-World War II Hungary to the present. In an engaging volume of text and pictures, Hersh devotes chapters to Lax’s youth in Budapest, his involvement in the atomic bomb project, students and colleagues in the Courant Institute, the momentous late-1960’s, and descriptions of Lax’s mathematical achievements. An ample section of Appendices includes a profile of Lax’s late wife, the mathematician Anneli Cahn Lax, Lax’s own writings on John Von Neumann and Richard Courant, and writings about and by Lax’s late son John. Lax’s C.V., bibliography, a list of academic “offspring” and numerous photographs of family and colleagues complete the picture. Peter Duren (U. Mich) called the book “…well researched and full of interesting facts, yet light-hearted and lively” and Courant’s own Gérard Ben Arous commented “This book brings out both the personal and professional aspects of Peter's work in a captivating manner. It is a great read for people who know Peter as well as for those who do not."
Reuben Hersh has written and co-written numerous popularly-received books on mathematics for general and specialist audiences, including his and Philip Davis’ National Book Award-winning The Mathematical Experience. He is professor of mathematics, emeritus at the University of New Mexico.
Professors Lax and Hersh will be in the Warren Weaver Hall 13th Floor Lounge for a book signing on Thursday, April 23 at 4 pm.Read More
Mathematical Sciences Alumna and Husband Together as Courant Math Faculty
Courant Assistant Professor of Mathematics Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (PhD ’10) and Assistant Professor Antoine Cerfon both received 2014 Early Career Research Program awards from the Department of Energy. They were featured as the June 14, 2014 cover story of Advance Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)’s newsletter “At the Universities”. The story covered the interrelationship between Holmes-Cerfon’s work on molecular self-assembly and Cerfon’s work on temperature control of hot plasmas during sustained nuclear fusion, and how “the two have influenced each other toward energy-related research.” Holmes-Cerfon earned her PhD in Courant’s Center for Atmosphere and Ocean Science, which she followed with post-doctoral work at Harvard. She joined the Courant faculty in 2013 after serving as a Courant Instructor in 2012. Antoine, who earned his PhD in Applied Plasma Physics at MIT, joined the Institute in 2012.Read More
Warm Congratulations to Louis Nirenberg on being awarded the 2015 Abel Prize
Louis Nirenberg and John Nash have been awarded the 2015 Abel Prize "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis." The award -- widely considered the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in Mathematics -- will be presented by King Harald of Norway in Oslo on May 19, 2015.
For more information and the official press release, click here.Read More
Yuri Tschinkel elected AAAS Fellow
Yuri Tschinkel has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Warm congratulations, Yuri! Please see the AAAS news release for more information.Read More
John Rinzel wins the Arthur T. Winfree Prize
Warm congratulations to John Rinzel for winning the 2015 Arthur T. Winfree Prize from the Society for Mathematical Biology!
For more, visit the Society for Mathematical Biology website.Read More
Andrew Majda, Morse Professor of Arts & Sciences at NYU Courant is the recipient of the 2015 ICIAM Lagrange Prize! Warm congratulations to Andy!!
The International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) awards the Lagrange Prize to Andy in recognition of his ground-breaking, original, fundamental and pioneering contributions to applied mathematics and, in particular, to wave front propagation and combustion, scattering theory, fluid dynamics and atmosphere climate science.
Click here for the ICIAM press release.Read More
Welcome to the fall 2014 Courant Scholars!
Andrew K LeeRead More
Melissa Amber Schiff
2014 Silver Professors
David McLaughlin and Patrick Cousot are the 2014 Silver Professors! Warm congratulations to Dave and to Patrick!!
For more information on Dave, Patrick and the other Silver Professors, please click here.Read More
NSF CAREER Awards
David Sontag and Thomas Wies have each received an NSF CAREER award for their projects "Exact Algorithms for Learning Latent Structures" (Sontag) and "Abstracting Programs for Automated Debugging" (Wies).
Congratulations to David and to Thomas!!Read More
Profile of Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun's work on back-propagation neural networks and deep learning are the subject of an in-depth profile in Wired.Read More
Tom Trogdon 2014 recipient of the SIAM Richard C. DiPrima Prize
The 2014 Recipient of the SIAM Richard C. DiPrima Prize is Tom Trogdon! Congratulations Tom!!
For further details, please visit the SIAM website.Read More
Subhash Khot Wins The Nevanlinna Prize! Warm Congratulations to Subhash!!
Please see the news release for further information. Also read "What It Takes to Win the World's Highest Computer Science Honor" in Wired.Read More
Leslie Greengard to give John Von Neumann Lecture at SIAM annual meeting on Tuesday, July 8.
For further information, please click here: http://www.siam.org/meetings/an14/prizes.phpRead More
NYU team wins at International Collegiate Programming Contest!
At the 2014 ACM-ICPC International Collegiate Programming Contest, held in Ekaterinburg, Russia, the NYU team placed 13th overall, and 1st among North American teams, beating out teams from such schools as MIT, Stanford, CMU, and Berkeley. Congratulations to the team Bowen Yu, Fabian Gundlach, and Danilo Neves Ribeiro and their coaches Brett Bernstein, Evan Korth, and Sean McIntyre!
For further info, please click here: http://icpc.baylor.edu/scoreboard/Read More
Antoine Cerfon has been selected for the 2014 Department of Energy Early Career Research Award!Read More
Miranda Holmes Cerfon selected for the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award
Miranda Holmes Cerfon has been selected for the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award!Read More
Selin Kalaycioglu is awarded the 2014 Golden Dozen Award!
Congratulations Selin on receiving this year's Golden Dozen Award!!Read More
Lecture series in geometric analysis established in honor of Louis NirenbergCentre de Recherches Mathématiques establishes lecture series in geometric analysis in honor of Louis Nirenberg.Please click on the link for further details: http://www.crm.umontreal.ca/Nirenberg2014/about.phpRead More
IEEE Harlan D. Mills Award
The IEEE Computer Society has awarded the Harlan D. Mills 2014 Award to Patrick Cousot and Radhia Cousot for the invention of abstract interpretation, development of tool support, and its practical application. Congratulations! LinkRead More
North and Tropical Atlantic Ocean Bringing Climate Change to Antarctica, NYU Researchers Find
Please see the NYU webpage for more information.Read More
Dennis Shasha has been named a Fellow of the ACM. Congratulations! Please visit the ACM website for more information.Read More
Luis Caffarelli, Robert Kohn, and Louis Nirenberg Receive 2014 AMS Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Please visit the AMS website for more information.Read More
Leslie Greengard appointed as founding director of the Simons Center for Data Analysis
Leslie Greengard joins the Simons Foundation as the director of the Simons Center for Data Analysis (SCDA), while continuing to serve as a member of the Courant Institute faculty. As Director of the SCDA, Greengard "will build and lead a team of scientists committed to analyzing large-scale, rich data sets and to developing innovative mathematical methods to examine such data." A detailed announcement can be found at the Simons Foundation website.
IEEE CIS Neural Networks Pioneer Award to Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun has been awarded the 2014 IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Neural Networks Pioneer Award, recognizing "significant contributions to early concepts and sustained development in the field of neural networks."Read More
Machine learning for early detection of diabetes
David Sontag is leading a research group including collaborators from NYU/NYU Langone as well as Independence Blue Cross to apply machine learning techniques to IBC's medical and pharmacy claims data to detect patients at risk for undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes. The full article is available from the Wall Street Journal.Read More
Jeffrey Cheeger named a 2013 Simons Fellow
Jeffrey Cheeger has been awarded a 2013 Simons Fellowships by the Simons Foundation, along with 39 other fellows in Mathematics. The announcement is available from the Simons Foundation.Read More
Edith Windsor receives NYU Presidential Medal
Edith Windsor (MS in Math, 1957) "who has bravely waged the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act" will receive the NYU Presidential Medal at this year's commencement ceremony. The full press release is available from NYU News.Read More
Zvi Kedem receives Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
Zvi Kedem has received the Outstanding Contribution to ACM award for his leadership in rebuilding the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) as a modern cognitive map of the computing field for the worldwide computing community. As editor-in-chief, Kedem managed the effort to revise and automate the key component that underlies the ACM Digital Library’s search index infrastructure. The full press release is available from the ACM.Read More
John Rinzel named SIAM Fellow
John Rinzel was named a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Fellow for "contributions to mathematical neuroscience and physiology," along with 32 other new fellows this year. Among Rinzel’s research were co-authored studies, with Pablo Jercog, a former graduate student at NYU’s Department of Physics and Center for Neural Science, identifying mechanisms the brain uses to help process sound localization cues. Their findings, which appeared in the journals PLoS Biology and Nature Neuroscience, focused on how the brain computes the different arrival times of sound into each ear to estimate the location of its source. The full press release is available from NYU News.sRead More
Jack Schwartz dies at 79
Jack Schwartz passed away in his sleep early morning on Monday, March 2nd. Jack was the founding chair of the computer science department and the central player in setting the computer science research agenda at Courant in the decades before and after the department's founding; this included seminal work in compilers, programming languages, parallel computing, robotics, bioinformatics, and multimedia. Indeed, most of the large-scale research efforts of the last forty years in the computer science department owe their initial impulse to his vision, his tireless energy, and his omnivorous scientific curiosity. The obituary from the New York Times can be seen at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/science/04schwartz.html. Details on a special memorial to be held at the Courant Institute can be found here (PDF).Read More
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funds G-STEM
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded funding for the NYU Courant Girls Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Summer Program (G-Stem). With Matthew Leingang as Principal investigator, G-Stem will recruit its first cohort to attend the six week Summer 2013 program, which will provide high school girls who have high aptitude in STEM subjects the opportunity to receive mentoring from STEM professionals, as well as participate in activities such as classes, lectures, and field trips.Read More
The Entrupy system, developed by Lakshmi Subramanian and Ashlesh Sharma, for labelling works of art against counterfeiting, is featured in Forbes magazine as one of "Four Disruptive Technologies to Watch in 2013".Read More
Advances in Deep LearningRead More
Sylvia Serfaty receives Henri Poincaré Prize
Global Distinguished Professor Sylvia Serfaty was awarded a Henri Poincaré Prize at the 2012 International Congress on Mathematical Physics, along with Freeman Dyson, Barry Simon, and Nalini Anantharaman. Serfaty won the prize "for her outstanding work on the theory of Ginzburg-Landau equations, including remarkable progress towards the rigorous proof of the onset of the Abrikosov lattice in the theory of superconductivity. "Read More
Ivan Corwin receives Young Scientist Prize
Courant alumnus Ivan Corwin received an International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Young Scientist Prize along with two other recipients at the 2012 International Congress on Mathematical Physics, for his "outstanding contributions to the probabilistic analysis of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation modelling stochastic growth process."Read More
Teaching Robots to Improvise
Yann LeCun and collaborators at five universities teach self-piloted drones to improvise when encountering unexpected obstacles, as featured in Popular Science.Read More
Computer Scientists Reveal How Aquatic Olympic Gold is Captured
A research team headed by Chris Bregler followed olympic athletes during their training in pools across the U.S. this spring, and developed ground-breaking techniques to capture their movement above and below the water's surface. The full article is available from NYU Today.Read More
Object Recognition in a Distributed Neural Network
As reported in the New York Times, A team of scientists at Google, including Marc'Aurelio Ranzato (Ph.D. NYU Computer Science, 2009), implemented a distributed neural network with 1 billion connection over a network with 16,000 processors (1000 machines). Applying "deep learning" to a dataset of 10,000,000 unlabelled images, the network achieved an accuracy of 15.8% in identifying 20,000 different categories, an improvement of 70% over the state of the art. The article also quotes Yann LeCun on the application of deep learning techniques to speech recognition.Read More
Motion Capture applied to Orchestra Conduction
Chris Bregler's Motion Capture Lab has been working with Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, in applying motion capture technique to the gestures and motions of an orchestral conductor. The full story is available from the New York Times. Link.Read More
Maintaining Balance Easier for Top-Heavy Hoverers
Researchers in Applied Math Lab used pyramid-shaped paper "bugs" to determine that in flight, top-heavy structures are more likely to maintain balance than the standard structure that bears a lower center of gravity. The results of the NSF and DOE-funded study may contribute to an alternative approach to aircraft design. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Growing Job Opportunities in Computer Science
Evan Korth and Computer Science major Tal Safran are interviewed by CNN about the growing job opportunities offered to Computer Science majors. The full video is available online from CNN Money.Read More
Obstacles Help Organisms Move More Quickly
Mike Shelley, Jun Zhang, and researchers from the Applied Math Lab find that obstacles in an organism's path could help it move quicker rather than slower. The NSF and DOE-supported study bases its findings off of both live microscopic worms (the nematode C. elegans) and a computer model. This comparative study between experiment and simulation enahances the understanding of biological locomotion strategies of such organisms in complex geometries. Moreover, the simulated dynamics reproduces life-like behaviours that had been interpreted as coming from sensing and response of the worm to its local environment. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Pierre Germain receives Sloan Research Fellowship
Pierre Germain has received a Sloan Research Fellowship along with 125 other young scholars. The Fellowship recognizes early-career scientists who demonstrate "unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field". Germain studies nonlinear dispersive equations, which describe a wealth of physical phenomena, from quantum mechanics to general relativity to fluid mechanics. Germain's recent work has focused on waves at the surface of the ocean. His research provides tools to understand their behaviour over long periods of time, which aids in our understanding of tsunamis, among other phenomena. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Barbara Wohlmuth receives Leibniz Prize
Barbara Wohlmuth (CIMS Postdoc, 1997-98) received a 2012 Leibniz Prize "for her research achievements in numerical analysis, which enable direct applications in scientific and engineering computing." A ceremony will be held for this year's eleven winners in February 2012 in Berlin. The full press release is available from the German Research Foundation.Read More
Barry F. Smith receives Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
Barry F. Smith (Ph.D. in Mathematics, '90) has received a 2011 DOE Ernest Orlando Lawrence award, along with eight other winners. The award honors Smith and co-winner Lois Curfman McInnes "for scientific leadership in advancing the innovative and transformative numerical software package PETSc, which provides robust, efficient, scalable, and extensible tools that are the backbone of numerous high-performance DOE simulation computer codes." The full press release is available from the Department of Energy.Read More
NYUAD International Hackathon
The first International Hackathon for the Social Good in the Arab World was held October 28-30 at NYU Abu Dhabi. The event brought together 50 student participants, from colleges in the Middle East and the US, and more than 20 experts acting as speakers, mentors, and judges, for three-days of intensive programming. NYU-NY undergraduates Max Stoller and Tengchao Zhou, teaming with Monir Abu Hilal from PSUT (Jordan) won second prize for their application "OpenMena," a web-based resource designed to provide government data in an accessible format for computer programmers.Read More
The full press release is available from NYUAD.Read More
Raghu Varadhan awarded National Medal of Science
The White House announced in a Sept. 27, 2011 Press Release that S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan was named a recipient of the National Medal of Science, "for his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the twentieth century and become a cornerstone of both pure and applied probability. The mathematical insights he developed have been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering." President Obama presented the award to recipients on October 21st, 2011. A full Press Release is available from NYU Today. Congratulations, Raghu!Read More
Advances in Technology Blur the Boundaries between the Animated and the Real
In the New York Times, Chris Bregler discusses the performance-based animation technologies which are used to make convincing chimpanzees in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."Read More
Risk Economics Lab Established with $1 Million Leadership Pledge
The Risk Economics Lab for Decision Metrics has been established at Courant with a $1 million leadership pledge from the David K. A. Mordecai and Samantha Kappagoda Charitable Trust. The RiskEcon Lab, housed within the newly created Center for Computational Economics and Algorithmic Data Analytics, will apply a range of computational methods to researching geopolitical and socioeconomic issues, such as aging and health trends, immigration, and consumer behavior. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Mikhael Gromov elected to The Royal Society, UK
Mikhael Gromov has been elected a Foreign Member of The Royal Society, UK, along with 44 Fellows and 7 other Foreign Members. As stated in their citation: "Gromov ranks among the most deeply original mathematicians of our time, with contributions ranging from group theory, Riemannian and symplectic geometry, and the topology of partial differential relations, to his recent interest in the mathematics of biomolecular systems. His remarkable insight and unorthodox viewpoints have redefined whole areas of mathematics, most notably the subject of geometric group theory." The full article is available from NYU Today.Read More
CMT announces a partnership with the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
THE CENTER FOR MATHEMATICAL TALENT at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU is pleased to announce a partnership with the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES to offer an After School STEM Mentoring program in mathematics for July and August 2011.
- Summer Fellows will attend 10 hours of training in lessons and activities in mathematics from which they can choose what they would like to teach.
- Summer Fellows will be offered $1000 per course instructed plus a small travel stipend Space is limited. Each "course" will consist of a 3-week module that meet twice a week for two hours each (four hours each week; 12 hours total).
Researchers in Computer Vision Adopt Innovative Data Collection Method
Chris Bregler, Rob Fergus, Postdoc Graham Taylor, and PhD student Ian Spiro use an innovative data collection method -- a collaborative music video project by a Dutch progressive-electro band -- in order to develop computer vision technology. The full article is available from NYU Today.Read More
New Book Outlines Method for DNA Computation
In the new book Stored Clocked Programs Inside DNA: A Simplifying Framework for Nanocomputing, Dennis Shasha and recent Courant Alumna Jessie Chang "have outlined a method for storing programs inside DNA that simplifies nanocomputing." The full article is available from NYU Today.Read More
Gerard Ben Arous elected Fellow of the IMS
Gerard Ben Arous has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Fellowships are awarded to IMS members in honor of their "outstanding research and professional contributions." His election will be celebrated at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony on August 1.Read More
Marsha Berger elected Fellow of the AAAS
Marsha Berger has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in a class of 212 new members and 16 foreign Honorary Members. As stated in the NYU press release, "AAAS has elected as fellows and foreign honorary members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation." She will be inducted at a special ceremony on October 1.The full release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Gerard Ben Arous Appointed Director of the Courant Institute
NYU President John Sexton and Provost Dave McLaughlin announced the appointment of Gerard Ben Arous as the new Director of the Courant Institute on April 26, 2011. A specialist of probability theory and its applications, Gerard arrived to NYU's Courant Institute in 2002. John Sexton said, "The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences has a history of scholarship, discovery, and recognitions that is justly admired throughout higher education. In selecting a director, we sought someone who would be prepared not just to maintain Courant's stature but to advance it. I am very pleased that within our own ranks we have found just such a person." In addition to being named Director of the Courant Institute, Gerard has been appointed Vice Provost for Science and Engineering Development. His Directorship becomes effective September 1, 2011. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Courant Institute receives ONR Grant to Develop Crow-Sized Autonomous Plane
Yann LeCun and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, MIT, and Wageningen University have received a $4.5 million 5-year grant to develop a "bird-sized, self-flying plane that can navigate through both forests and urban environments." The full article is available from NYU TodayRead More
Jinyang Li and Rob Fergus awarded Sloan Research Fellowships
Jinyang Li and Rob Fergus have been awarded fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Sloan Foundation Fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Three Courant Institute faculty named Silver Professors
Richard Cole, Chuck Newman, and Olof Widlund have been named Silver Professors. Funded by an endowment to the University from alumnus Julius Silver, Silver Chairs are awarded in recognition of outstanding scholarly contributions. The three Courant Institute faculty members will be awarded the distinction along with other FAS faculty at a ceremony in the Fall.Read More
Eric Vanden-Eijnden wins 2011 SIAM J.D. Crawford Prize
Eric Vanden-Eijnden has received the 2011 SIAM J. D. Crawford Prize for his "transformative work in stochastic dynamical systems, [which] stimulat[es] new ideas in applied and computational mathematics while also impacting applications." Eric will be awarded the prize at a SIAM ceremony in May.Read More
Chris Bregler's Motion Capture Featured
In an episode of "Innovation Nation," the Science/Discovery channel features Chris Bregler's "Motion Capture."Read More
Assaf Naor receives the 2011 Bôcher Memorial Prize
The Bôcher Prize, awarded by the American Mathematical Society, recognizes "the most notable paper in analysis published during the preceding six years." The AMS awarded the prize to Naor "for introducing new invariants of metric spaces and for applying his new understanding of the distortion between various metric structures to theoretical computer science." The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Bud Mishra elected as a 2010 AAAS Fellow
Bud Mishra has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS selected Mishra for his "distinguished contributions to the field of computational and systems approaches to the fields of robotics, hardware verification, and computational biology." The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
2010 ACM Gordon Bell Prize
The 2010 ACM Gordon Bell prize for outstanding achievement in high-performance computing has been awarded to a team from Georgia Tech, NYU and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The NYU members of the team are Shravan Veerapaneni and Denis Zorin. The team was led by George Biros who was a postdoc at NYU in 2000-2003. They created a blood-flow simulation of 260 million deformable red blood cells flowing in plasma, topping the previous largest blood-flow simulation (of 14,000 cells) by four orders of magnitude. It ran at 700 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second) on the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge.The code is based on the kernel-independent version of the fast multipole method developed at NYU by Lexing Ying (PhD, Computer Science, 2004), George Biros and Denis Zorin. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Yann LeCun develops vision systems for mobile robots
As reported in The Economist, Yann LeCun has developed vision systems for mobile robots based on convolutional neural networks, which learn from examples how to interpret what they see. He is also collaborating with researchers at Yale on the ``NeuFlow'' chip, which may soon be guiding self-driving cars. The NeuFlow chip can process a stream of megapixel images in real time. The full article is available from the International Business Times.Read More
Hackathon attracts 200 students and 14 Startups for 24 hours of demos and coding
More than 200 students from 33 universities gathered Saturday, October 9, 2010 to attend HackNY's fall Hackathon at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The Hackathon, which concluded NYU's Startup Week, hosted fourteen companies, including Meetup, Aviary and Drop.io. The companies demoed their APIs before students, who then developed their own products and demos. The full article is available from Tech Crunch. Evan Korth and the other co-founders of HackNY are on the Business Insider's list of 100 coolest NY Tech People.Read More
Diaspora, The Open Facebook Alternative, releases its source code
Diaspora, an Open Facebook alternative founded by NYU students, released its source code on Sept. 15th, as reported by the New York Times.Read More
Louis Nirenberg receives Chern Medal for lifetime outstanding achievements in mathematics
Louis Nirenberg has been selected by the International Congress of Mathematicians as the first recipient of the Chern Medal "for his role in the formulation of the modern theory of non-linear elliptic partial differential equations and for mentoring numerous students and post-docs in this area.” The Chern Medal, named after Shiing-Shen Chern, recognizes individuals “whose lifelong outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics warrant the highest level of recognition.” The Institute will host a special reception in honor of Louis in Fall 2010. The ICM annoucement, as well as laudations and a work profile, are available from the ICM.Read More
NYU-Poly Receives Major Grant to Educate Future Cyber Security Engineers
The National Science Foundation has given a $2.85 million grant to NYU-Poly to launch "an innovative graduate education program to educate scientists and engineers to address the increasingly complex issues surrounding information security and privacy." The program will enlist faculty from across NYU departments, including the Courant Institute, and includes funding for graduate students. The full release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Courant receives Sloan Foundation grant to create Center for Mathematical Talent
The Courant Institute "has received a $708,468 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a Center for Mathematical Talent that will discover and support high-school and middle-school students with exceptional potential in the New York City area." The full article is available from NYU Today.Read More
Book explores technologies that push computer science beyond traditional boundaries
"Natural Computing" by Professor Dennis Shasha and his coauthor Cathy Lazere explores technology on the edge of the possible (robots in space, high speed financial trading, safety engineering, computing with viruses) and shows that a surprising fusion is occurring between biology and computation. The Wall Street Journal reviews the book in "The Lessons of Living Things."Read More
Using machine learning to make investment decisions
Spencer Greenberg, Courant PhD student and co-founder of Rebellion Research, speaks with the Wall Street Journal in "Letting the Machines Decide" about using machine learning to make investment decisions.Read More
A Video Interview with JetBlue CIO Joe Eng
In "Business Renewal through IT" Joe Eng (M.S. in CS '90) discusses the transformation of JetBlue's IT function. The video is available at booz & co.Read More
Movement Lab reconstructs Mariano Rivera's pitching motion
Using computer vision technology, NYU’s Movement Laboratory "has reconstructed Yankee closer Mariano Rivera’s pitching motion to offer an animated three-dimensional look at how he appears before hitters." The video is part of a New York Times magazine online feature, “Mariano Rivera, King of Closers.” The full release is available from NYU Today.Read More
John Rinzel & colleagues identify key mechanism in brain's computation of sound
Research by John Rinzel (Ph.D., Math Courant '73; Professor, NYU Center for Neural Science and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) and other NYU researchers have identified "a mechanism the brain uses to help processes sound localization." The full article is available from physorg.com.Read More
Graduate Student selected for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Internship
Jihun Yu, Computer Science doctoral student, was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an internship with Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic -- Hollywood's leading Visual Effects Company behind movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Iron Man, and Avatar. Yu has been conducting groundbreaking research in graphics simulation of physical systems, and, in particular, how to make fluids and flames appear more realistic. More details are available from Oscars.org and from NYU Today.Read More
HackNY Guides Grads to Startups
In "Steering Grads to Start-ups," The Wall Street Journal writes about HackNY's programs and internships which aim to "steer more graduates in computer science, math and related fields to New York City technology start-ups instead of the well-worn path to Wall Street." HackNY is organized jointly by NYU's & Columbia's ACM chapters, ADI at Columbia, and NYU's Tech@NYU.Read More
Self-Learning software to identify objects and actions
Yann LeCun and Rob Fergus's "Deep Learning" program, sponsored by DARPA, seeks to "develop code that can teach itself to spot objects in a picture, actions in a video, or voices in a crowd" on the first try and without supervision. The full story is available from Wired.Read More
Mapping the network of CO diffusion pathways in Myoglobin
An international team of researchers led by Eric Vanden-Eijnden used novel computational methods in combination with molecular dynamics simulations to identify the pathways of diffusion of a carbon monoxide molecule inside myoglobin, a protein involved in oxygen transport and storage in various animal species including humans. These results shed light on the important mechanism of ligand-protein binding and indicate how dynamical aspects of protein function are related to its structure. The full article was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and can be found atRead More
Large-scale conformational sampling of proteins using temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics
Prof. Cameron F Abrams (Drexel University) and Eric Vanden-Eijnden used a new molecular dynamics simulation method to investigate the conformational variability of large proteins, a problem of interest e.g. in drug design. The method was applied to two complex proteins, a subunit of GroEL, a protein that catalyzes folding of substrate proteins, and the HIV-1 envelope gp120, a protein responsible for the fusion of the virus with a target cell. In this second example, the method generates plausible all-atom models of the unliganded conformation of HIV-1 gp120, which was uncharacterized so far and may prove useful in the development of inhibitors and immunogens. The full article was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science and can be found at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/22/0914540107.abstract.Read More
The Courant Institute hosts Startup Weekend NYC
Local developers, marketers, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs will gather in Warren Weaver Hall this June 11-13 to pitch ideas, form teams and launch new business ventures. Full details are available at nyc.startupweekend.org.Read More
Passing of Paul Garabedian
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Paul Garabedian.
Paul was one of the outstanding mathematicians of his time. As a pure mathematician, he made fundamental contributions to the theory of partial differential equations and to the theory of functions of a complex variable. As an applied mathematician his astonishing calculation of shockless airfoils has had a major impact on modern aircraft design, and his studies of plasma stability are central to the problem of designing fusion reactors... [more]Read More
Facebook Alternative Developed by 4 Undergrads
The New York Times reports on Diaspora, the decentralized Facebook alternative being developed by Computer Science Students Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and Raphael Sofaer.Read More
Andrew Majda & Jalal Shatah Elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Andrew Majda and Jalal Shatah have been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in a class of 211 fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members. Academy Chair Louis W. Cabot said, “The men and women we elect today are true pathbreakers who have made unique contributions to their fields, and to the world.”
Andy & Jalal will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9th. Congratulations, Andy & Jalal!Read More
Olof Widlund elected SIAM Fellow
Olof Widlund has been named a 2010 SIAM Fellow, "for contributions to the theory of domain decomposition methods." SIAM Fellowships recognize distinguished members who are "leading thinkers and ambassadors of applied mathematics and computational science." Congratulations to Olof!Read More
Technology and Entrepreneurship explored at Inaugural NYC Hackathon
The inaugural, 24-hour "Hackathon" will take place in Warren Weaver Hall this April 2-3. The 24-hour event hosted by hackNY will bring more than 100 students from 20 different New York-area universities to work with datasets and technologies from the hottest NYC startups—including Foursquare, 10gen, Aviary, Chartbeat, and Hot Potato—at NYU's Courant Institute. Startups will introduce and demo their technologies; students will then have 24 hours to develop their own products and demos. The full press release is available from NYU Today.Read More
Sourav Chatterjee receives Rollo Davidson Prize
Sourav Chatterjee has received the 2010 Rollo Davidson Prize, along with co-winner Gady Kozma of the Weizmann Institute. This major international prize is awarded annually by the University of Cambridge to recognize young probabilists. Chatterjee was chosen “for [his] work on Stein's method, spin glasses and concentration of measure.”Read More
Subhash Khot wins NSF's Waterman Award
We are delighted to announce that Subhash Khot has received the extremely prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award. This award is given annually by NSF to an outstanding young researcher in any field of science and engineering supported by NSF. Subhash joins a very distinguished recipient list; few mathematicians or computer scientists have won this award in the past.
Jeannette Wing, Assistant Director for Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at NSF, has written: "We in CISE are thrilled to have Subhash named the Waterman winner. Subhash is a brilliant theoretical computer scientist and is most well known for his Unique Games Conjecture. He has made many unexpected and original contributions to computational complexity and his work draws connections between optimization, computer science, mathematics."
Congratulations to Subhash!
Google Lime Scholarship Awarded to Doctoral Student, Nektarios Paisios
Nektarios Paisios, Computer Science doctoral student, has received a 2010-2011 Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. In addition to the scholarship, recipients of the award, which is based on academics, innovation, and leadership, are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid networking retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. More information is available from Lime Connect.Read More
Graduate Students Krishnan and Lopez receive Awards from Microsoft
Dilip Krishnan and Adriana Lopez, graduate students in Computer Science, have received a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship, respectively. The awards are given to outstanding students in the areas of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics. More information on the awards is available from Microsoft.Read More
Graduate Students Narzisi and Wichs receive IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards
Giuseppe Narzisi and Daniel Wichs, Computer Science doctoral students, have received IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards. The Fellowship Awards Program "is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. " More information on the Awards can be found from IBM.Read More
Mark Tygert Receives 2010 Sloan Foundation Fellowship
Mark Tygert has been chosen as a 2010 Sloan Research Fellow, joining 22 current Courant Faculty members who have previously received Sloan Fellowships. The Fellowships “support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers,” and Tygert’s research “explores a range of computations, including randomized algorithms and statistics, in order to improve electrical engineering, data mining, machine learning, and weather prediction. Research in this field seeks to enhance the design of microchips, antennas, and stealth aircraft and also to boost the functionality of search engines.” More information is available from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and NYU Public Affairs.Read More
Graduate student Ameet Talwalkar receives NYAS Best Student Paper Award
The New York Academy of Sciences presented Ameet Talwalkar with the Best Student Paper Award at its Annual Machine Learning Symposium, for his paper "Ensemble Nystrom Method". The full symposium details can be found from the National Academy of Sciences.Read More
Marco Avellaneda named Risk Magazine's 2010 Quant of the Year
Marco Avellaneda has been chosen as Risk Magazine's 2010 Quant of the Year. He was cited for "his groundbreaking work on the effect of short-selling restrictions on price dynamics. His paper, 'A dynamic model for hard to borrow stocks,' co-authored with Mike Lipkin of Katama Trading, was published in Risk [in June 2009], and has quickly become a classic of market microstructure literature."Read More
Leslie Greengard named National Security Fellow
Leslie Greengard is one of 11 university faculty selected to conduct next-generation research projects by the Defense Department as part of its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program. The awards are for "promising university faculty performing unclassified, basic research that holds the promise to enhance long-term U.S. strategic interests." The Full News Release is available from the Department of Defense.Read More
C.S. Chang and collaborators receive INCITE award from the U.S. Department of Energy
As a part of its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded 50 million hours of supercomputing time to C. S. Chang and co-investigators Scott Parker (U. of Colorado), Scott Klasky (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Linda Sugiyama (MIT) for their project “High-Fidelity Tokamak Edge Simulation for Efficient Confinement of Fusion Plasma." More information can be found from the DOE.
Stratosphere influences weather near Earth's surface
Through a series of forecast experiments using a general circulation model, Ed Gerber et. al. find that the stratosphere does influence the troposphere. As stated in the Geophysical Research Letters highlight and in Science Daily, "The results indicate that improved resolution in stratospheric simulations would probably lead to better weather forecasts."Read More
Mark Tygert receives NAS Award for Initiatives in Research
The National Academy of Sciences has awarded its 2010 Award for Initiatives in Research to Mark Tygert, “for his development of fast algorithms in mathematical physics, operator compression, and linear algebra, using deep, innovative ideas based on randomization and harmonic analysis.”Read More
Courant Welcomes K.R. Sreenivasan
The Courant Institute welcomes Katepalli R. Sreenivasan (Sreeni), Senior Vice Provost for NYU, to the Institute as a Professor of Physics and Mathematics. Before coming to NYU, Sreeni was the Director of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy). He was also previously a Distinguished University Professor and the Director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. Sreeni is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Read More
Passing of Sam Roweis
We are devastated by the passing of Professor Sam Roweis on January 12, 2010. Our condolences go out to his family, as well as to his many friends in the broader community, especially at the University of Toronto and Google Research, where he worked before joining the Courant Institute in September 2009. He was a brilliant scientist with tremendous warmth and enthusiasm and a dear friend to many of us. His full memorial biography may be viewed here.Read More
National Arts Club hosts a Roundtable with Edward Belbruno
Edward Belbruno (Ph.D. '79 Math) discusses his work and paintings at the National Arts Club presentation "Moon, Microwaves, and the Art of Edward Belbruno." The talk, followed by a reception, is being held on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 8:00PM. Full details can be found here.Read More
National Arts Club hosts a Roundtable with Edward Belbruno
Edward Belbruno (Ph.D. '79 Math) discusses his work and paintings at the National Arts Club presentation "Moon, Microwaves, and the Art of Edward Belbruno." The talk, followed by a reception, is being held on Wednesday, January 12, 2010 at 8:00PM. Full details can be found here.Read More
Brian J. McCartin receives the Chauvenet Prize
Brian J. McCartin (Ph.D. Math '82) received the Chauvenet Prize, "the highest award for mathematical expository writing that’s been described as the Pulitzer of the math world," for “e: The Master of All." The full story is available from Mlive.Read More
Touchco to develop a new kind of Multitouch
Ken Perlin, Computer Science student Ilya Rosenberg, and Media Research Lab collaborators "hope to bring a new kind of multitouch to everything from new e-readers to musical instruments, with their new company, Touchco." The full blog is available from the New York Times.Read More
Joint research endeavor studies educational gaming
The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a joint research endeavor between NYU, Microsoft Research, and seven other universities and colleges, expects its initial conclusions about "what makes an effective educational gaming experience" to be published in 2010. Co-directors Ken Perlin and Jan Plass explain long-term goals in the full article:Read More
Courant Mathematics Alumni in Mexico
There are six Courant alumni faculty in the Departamento de Matematicas y Mecanica, Instituto de Investigaciones en Matematicas Aplicadas y Sistemas, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, including Gilberto Flores, Jorge Ize, Arturo Vargas, Pablo Padilla, Clara Garza and Ramon Plaza. Many of them were involved in the VIII Americas Conference on Differential Equations in Veracruz, Mexico, October 19-23, 09, 2009. For more information and the group photo, please visit http://www.fenomec.unam.mx/acde8/index.htmRead More
Sylvain Cappell elected as AMS Vice President
In November 2009 the American Mathematical Society announced that Sylvain Cappell will serve as its Vice President for a term of three years. The election results can be viewed at the AMS website.
New book presents first six Abel laureates
"The Abel Prize: 2003-2007" features the first 6 Abel prize winners, including Courant Professors Peter Lax and S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, with autobiographies, interviews, and research descriptions. The book was published December 1st, 2009 by Springer.Read More
How Swimmers Contribute to Mixing the Oceans
A new ocean swimming model by Courant Professor Steve Childress and Jean-Luc Thiffeault of the University of Wisconsin test the idea that "by some estimates, ocean mixing caused by swimming creatures is comparable to the mixing by the wind and tides." The full article is available from the Technology Review.Read More
Bud Mishra named 2009 IEEE Fellow
Bud Mishra has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow, IEEE's "highest grade of membership". This honor "recognizes unusual distinction in the profession" and, according to the IEEE citation, Mishra was chosen for "contribution to the mathematical modeling of robotic grasping".Read More
Mark Spitznagel writes about Ludwig von Mises in "The Man Who Predicted the Depression"
Mark Spitznagel (M.S. in Math Finance ’05), founder and chief investment officer of Universa Investments LP, writes “The Man Who Predicted the Depression." The article is about Ludwig von Mises’s ideas from his 1912 “Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel” (“The Theory of Money and Credit”) on business cycles and the banking system, and how credit expansion creates conditions for a crash. The full article can be read at The Wall Street Journal.Read More
NYU Professor Amir Pnueli, 68, Distinguished Computer Scientist, passes away.
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our distinguished colleague and friend, Professor Amir Pnueli, on November 2, 2009. For more information, please read the Computer Science Department's tribute to Amir.Read More
Bruce Bukiet Calculates Chance Yankees Will Win
Courant Alumnus Bruce Bukiet, (Phd Math '86), Professor of Mathematics at NJIT, who has applied mathematical modeling techniques to elucidate the dynamics of run scoring in baseball, has computed the probability of the Yankees winning the World Series at 70 percent. The full article is here.Read More
New camera developed to take "flash-less" pictures in the dark
Rob Fergus and student Dilip Krishnan are developing a "dark camera," which emits light over a broader range of frequencies, to take sharp images without the standard intrusive flash. The full article can be found at the New Scientist.Read More
Art Leichtberg Introduces New Gmail Feature
Ari Leichtberg (MS in CS '05), software engineer at Google, introduces a new feature inRead More
Gmail called “Got the wrong Bob?” The feature is designed to help prevent sending an email to the wrong recipient.
Computer-based models to chart the growth of pancreatic cancer
A team of researchers led by Bud Mishra is currently working to create computer-based models charting the growth of pancreatic cancer. The full article can be found at Washington Square News.Read More
Memorial Service for Harry Hochstadt
Harry Hochstadt (Math Ph.D. '56) passed away May 4th, 2009, at the age of 83. He received his Ph.D. under Wilhelm Magnus, and later became head of the math department at Polytechnic Institute. There will be a memorial service in his honor on Sunday, October 25 at 2:30 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (131 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201).Read More
New computer methods reveal secrets of ancient math problem
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem by a clever technique for multiplying large numbers. The numbers involved are so enormous that if their digits were written out by hand they would stretch to the moon and back. The team of three includes David Harvey (Courant Institute). Please follow link for full article.Read More
Courant Awarded $10M for Climate Research
The National Science Foundation awarded CIMS a $10 million grant "to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice sheet and its potential influence on rising sea levels." David Holland, the principal researcher of the project, will lead the NYU team in their first trip to the continent in January 2011.Read More
Bijoy George co-organizes Brazilian-Indian Connection Festival
Bijoy George (C.S. ‘78) is co-organizer for the Brazilian-Indian Connection Festival, held September 13-19. The Festival, which featured several Brazilian dancers and musicians, raised funds for the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project.Read More
Human Movement Signatures Analyzed by Video
As reported in NYU Today, Chris Bregler and colleagues received a $1.47 Million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to further work on enhancing motion capture tools.Read More
Felipe Pereira, Director of Center for Fundamentals of Subsurface Flows
Felipe Pereira (M.S. Math '88) is the new Director of the Center for Fundamentals of Subsurface Flows at the University of Wyoming. In a recent interview featuring Pereira as a "mover," Nature writes that Pereira has "made his mark in the word of applied mathematics by modelling the flow of oil in underground reservoirs."Read More
Mark Carges, new Ebay CTO
In a June 2009 issue of BusinessWeek, eBay's new Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges (M.S. C.S. '87) discusses how "the auction site has plans to make technology a priority again."Read More
New Insights into Snake Movement
Science Nation reports new findings on snake movement from studies conducted by Courant Professor Mike Shelley, former post-doctoral researcher David Hu and undergraduate researchers Jasmine Nirody and Terri Scott.Read More
Ed Belbruno and the NASA GRAIL Mission
Ed Belbruno (Math Ph.D. '79) presented the weak stability boundary theory and the alternative approach to space travel he developed in the 1980s at the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History on Monday, July 20th at 7:30pm. NASA’s GRAIL mission is one of the few missions to utilize the chaos associated with the subtle gravitational forces between planets in order to reach lunar orbit. More details can be read at NASA, and OrbitalHub interviews Belbruno on his work related to the mission.Read More
Eric Vanden-Eijnden Awarded Dahlquist Prize
SIAM has awarded its 2009 Dahlquist Prize to Eric Vanden-Eijnden. Vanden-Eijnden was chosen for the prize "for his research contributions to the development and analysis of numerical methods in stochastic dynamics, with applications to the study of multi-scale problems, rare events and free energy calculations." The Prize is awarded every two years to a young scientist "for original contributions to fields associated with Germund Dahlquist." More information can be found at the SIAM website.Read More
Bertrand Arlain publishes "Le Bertrand Assorted Reflections"
Bertrand Arlain's (M.S. in C.S. '73) recently published Le Bertrand Assorted Reflections. More information is available at http://www.strategicsales.biz/.Read More
Undergraduate student Bingjie Li receives Mathematical Association of America Award
Bingjie Li received an award from the Mathematical Association of America for receiving the highest score in the Metro NY area on the 2008 Putnam Exam. Her achievement was recognized at the MAA Sectional Meeting on May 3rd, 2009.Read More
Percy Deift Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences announced its election of Percy Deift on the morning of April 28th, together with 71 other new members, and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries. Prof. Deift joins an active N.A.S. membership of 2,150 members and 404 foreign associates, all "dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare." More details can be found at the National Academy of Science's webpage.Read More
Pierre Drogoul, Quant Gold Book Honoree
Pierre Drogoul (M.S., Math Finance, '09) is a 2008 honoree in the Quant Gold Book. See his full interview at the Advanced Trading website.Read More
Welcome Courant Institute Alumni!Read More
Scientists Celebrate IPY and Report Polar Research Findings
In April 2009, David Holland presented his research findings at a special conference celebrating the International Polar Year (IPY) Fieldwork, "a two-year deployment of scientists from more than 60 nations into the polar regions." Video of the presenation, as well as a Press Release regarding the conference, are available from the NSF (links above).Read More
Ben Jai Unveils a Google Server
Ben Jai (M.S. C.S. '93, Ph.d. C.S., '99), Senior Server Designer for Google, unveils one of the company's once-secret server architectures "before the hungry eyes of a technically sophisticated audience," as reported at CNET.Read More
Mikhael Gromov receives the Abel Prize
For his revolutionary contributions to geometry,” Courant Professor Mikhael Gromov has received the Abel Prize. According to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, “Mikhail Gromov has led some of the most important developments, producing profoundly original general ideas which have resulted in new perspectives on geometry and other areas of mathematics. Gromov’s name is forever attached to deep results and important concepts with Riemannian geometry, symplectic geometry, string theory and group theory.” More information can be found at http://www.abelprisen.no/en/prisvinnere/2009/. King Harald of Norway presented the award to Gromov in Oslo on May 19, 2009. An article regarding the Institute's three recipients of the Abel Prize appeared in the New York Times on May 31st.
Matthew Leingang receives EAF Grant
Matthew Leingang has been awarded a grant from the Educational Advancement Foundation (http://www.educationaladvancementfoundation.org/) to develop Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) materials for undergraduate instructors. Inquiry-Based Learning moves away from uni-directional techniques, such as lecturing, towards styles which actively engage students in their learning.Read More
Eero Simoncelli named IEEE Fellow in 2009
Eero Simoncelli has been named a Fellow of the IEEE, for "contributions to statistical models of visual images." The grade of Fellow "recognizes unusual distinction in the profession."Read More
Assaf Naor receives the 2008 Salem Prize
Assaf Naor has been awarded the 2008 Salem Prize for his "contribution to the structural theory of metric spaces and its applications to computer science." The prize is awarded each year to a young mathematician.Read More
Dan Stein elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science
Dan Stein has been elected Fellow of the AAAS for his leadership in the theoretical condensed matter physics. According to the AAAS, "Stein's scholarship has contributed to topics as diverse as protein biophysics, biological evolution, amorphous semiconductors and superfluids, liquid crystals, neutron stars, and the interface between particle physics and cosmology." He and other new Fellows will be recognized at the Association's annual meeting in Chicago on February 14, 2009. More information is available at: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2008/1218fellows.shtmlRead More