# Faculty News and Profiles

## Faculty News

**Professor Richard Stockbridge on Sabbatical**Richard Stockbridge will be away for the fall semester on sabbatical at the University of Botswana in Gaberone, Botswana. He will return for the spring semester.

This is not Prof. Stockbridge's first trip to southern Africa. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland from 1976 to 1980. In 2006 he presented a paper at the Southern African Mathematical Sciences Association annual conference. He's looking forward to seeing the mathematics faculty he's met and getting to know new colleagues.

He says that one of the perks is a change in the night sky. "I am really looking forward to seeing the southern stars again. The Milky Way is really bright down here; the Southern Cross constellation is also tremendous."

**Professor Craig Guilbault becomes Graduate Coordinator**Craig Guilbault is the new Graduate Coordinator for the Mathematical Sciences Department. He is excited for the opportunity to work closely with graduate students and their advisers.

## Faculty Profiles

### Associate Professor Vytaras Brazauskas

Professor Brazauskas' areas of expertise are statistics and actuarial science. In 2000, he was awarded a research grant from the *Actuarial Education and Research Fund* to develop more accurate methods for pricing of reinsurance treaties. His research articles have appeared in refereed academic journals. In statistics, he has focussed on robust procedures, nonparametric methods, and statistical inference. This work has appeared as published articles in *Extremes, Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, Statistics and Probability Letters,* and *Communications in Statistics: Theory and Methods.* In actuarial science, he has worked on robust model fitting, risk prediction, and reinsurance. These contributions to the literature have appeared in the leading actuarial journals - the *North American Actuarial Journal, Insurance: Mathematics and Economics*, and *ASTIN Bulletin: Journal of the International Actuarial Association*.

In addition to his research and teaching activities, Dr. Brazauskas serves as a supervisor of the professional actuarial examinations administered by the *Society of Actuaries* and the *Casualty Actuarial Society* at the UW-Milwaukee testing center. Jointly with other statisticians in the department he also offers statistical consulting services for the UWM scientific community.

### Assistant Professor Daniel Gervini

Assistant Professor Daniel Gervini joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences in August 2004. His current area of research is Functional Data Analysis and nonparametric and semiparametric Statistics. From September 2001 to March 2004 he was a postdoc in the Department of Biostatistics of the University of Zurich, collaborating with Professors Theo Gasser and Burkhardt Seifert. From August 1999 to May 2001 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1999 with thesis advisor Professor Victor J. Yohai.

### Assistant Professor Suzanne Hruska

Suzanne Hruska joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UWM in the fall of 2006. She completed a PhD in Mathematics from Cornell University in August 2002, with thesis advisor John Smillie. She then spent one academic year as a VIGRE Postdoctoral Fellow at the State University of New York - Stony Brook, and then three years in the same position at Indiana University. Her area of specialization is (discrete) dynamical systems in two complex variables. Much of her work has involved developing and implementing computer assisted proofs of dynamical phenomena.

### Associate Professor Vince Larson

Vincent Larson specializes in atmospheric science. The atmosphere attracts interest because of its beauty and power. The air motions that form cumulus clouds and lead to their cauliflower shape are among the most turbulent on earth. Dr. Larson's research concerns the numerical simulation of clouds and turbulence. To do this, he has built a 22-node parallel computer cluster.

Dr. Larson is currently supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant supports research into the structure and evolution of altocumulus clouds, which are routinely observed but little studied.

### Assistant Professor Istvan Lauko

Istvan Lauko graduated from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX in 1997. He spent three years as a visiting assistant professor at NC State University, and joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UWM in 2001. His research interests include aspects of mathematical modeling, control theory and image processing. In particular, he is involved in developing image filtering algorithms applicable in magnetic resonance imaging, and he also works on a project related to nonlinear stabilization of control systems. Dr Lauko is a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

### Associate Professor Gabriella Pinter

Gabriella Pinter joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UWM in August 2000 after spending three years at the Center for Research in Scientific Computation at NC State University. She received her PhD in Mathematics at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX in 1997. Her research interests are in nonlinear partial differential equations that describe real life phenomena. She is involved in several projects that include the modeling of hysteresis in nonlinear polymers, the propagation of high frequency electromagnetic pulses through dielectric materials and biological models, e.g., shear wave propagation in soft tissue. Her work on the high frequency electromagnetic wave propagation is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

### Associate Professor Dexuan Xie

Lab Page Prof. Dexuan Xie received his Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Houston in 1995. Before joining UWM, Dr. Xie was a postdoctoral fellow in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at the New York University and a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. His research fields include parallel iterative methods for partial differential equations, large-scale nonlinear optimization, and computational biology. With the grant awards from NSF and UWM, he established the High Performance Scientific Computing Laboratory in the department in 2002. Currently, the Lab has two supercomputers (SGI Origin 2000 with 16 processors and Origin 300 with 4 processors) and three Unix/Linux workstations, and supports two graduate students as research project assistants. Dr. Xies research objective is to develop new mathematical models and theories, new computer algorithms, and new software packages for fast solving challenging scientific computing problems arising from protein simulations and chemical database analyses. He received one Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities in 2001. Part of his thesis work won the First Prize in the Student Paper Competition of the Copper Mountain Multigrid Method Conference in 1995 parallel computer cluster.

### Assistant Professor Jeb Willenbring

Jeb Willenbring's research interests are in the area of representation theory. This branch of mathematics investigates the mathematical properties of symmetry and their applications to the other sciences. The work involves a combination of abstract methodology from all areas of mathematics together with a lot of experimental computer work using symbolic computation packages such as MAPLE and MATHEMATICA.