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UNT Insider | August 2010 Issue | Logic and dynamics NSF grant to boost mathematics research

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Logic and dynamics NSF grant to boost mathematics research

From a UNT News Service press release


A Research Training Group in logic and dynamics at UNT will seek to advance research on fundamental questions in mathematics and to grow the number of people pursuing careers in this field.

UNT was one of only four universities selected from a pool of 34 to launch a National Science Foundation Research Training Group this funding cycle. Others were the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Michigan.

Building upon UNT's existing strengths in mathematics, the program will work to increase the number of undergraduate and advanced degrees in mathematics as well as the number of women and minority mathematics students. Through the program, UNT will provide undergraduate and graduate scholarships, paid research projects, annual conferences, research seminars and teaching workshops, says Su Gao, professor of mathematics, who is coordinating the project.

The group — which is being funded with a five-year, $1.5 million NSF grant — is poised to make a significant impact on the training of the U.S. workforce in mathematical sciences in North Texas, Gao says.

By expanding opportunities for undergraduates and providing more funds for highly trained postdoctoral scholars, the program will enhance mathematics research at all levels. A collaborative environment also will strengthen faculty research productivity.

UNT's mathematics department offers a unique blend of logic, which is the study of reasoning, and dynamics, which is the study of change in complex systems, all of which Gao says contributed to the university receiving the award. Combining logic and dynamics is considered innovative among mathematicians and has helped UNT make groundbreaking advances in these fields, Gao says.

"Creating a fun atmosphere for our students and faculty is very important," he says. "We look forward to introducing more students to the fun in mathematical research."

In addition to Gao, UNT mathematics professors Stephen Jackson, Dan Mauldin and Mariusz Urbanski will work on the Research Training Group.

Sarah Bahari with UNT News Service can be reached at sarah.bahari@unt.edu.

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August 2010

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