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Department of Mathematics

Jumpstart your degree by taking Math classes next summer! Classes to be offered include calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. For more information click endolymphic.


Monday, February 25
No Events or Seminars scheduled today.

Tuesday, February 26
No Events or Seminars scheduled today.

Wednesday, February 27
No Events or Seminars scheduled today.

Thursday, February 28
No Events or Seminars scheduled today.

Friday, March 1
No Events or Seminars scheduled today.

Special Events

Texas Geometry and Topology Conference (TGTC): will take place November 9 - 11, 2018. Please check the website for more information

Rice University Math Circle will not be offered for the Spring 2018 semester. Please check the website for updates about the program.

Department News

We Welcome, Assistant Professor Jo Nelson

Jo Nelson received her PhD in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin - Madison under Mohammed Abouzaid.  She previously held concurrent appointments, in part as an NSF postdoctoral fellow, at the Institute for Advanced Study (2013-2016), the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics (2014), and Columbia University (2013-2018).  Jo studies symplectic and contact topology, a field, which has its origins in the study of classical mechanical systems. Understanding the evolution and distinguishing transformations of these systems necessitated the development of global invariants of symplectic and contact manifolds.  Her research primarily concerns providing foundations and applications for contact invariants stemming from nonequivariant and (circle) equivariant constructions of contact homology. Contact homology is built out of closed orbits of Reeb vector fields and counts of solutions to a nonlinear Cauchy-Riemann equation, which interpolates between closed Reeb orbits. Reeb vector fields are Hamiltonian-like vector fields, whose flow lines are solutions to Hamilton's equations of motion, as they conserve energy. Closed Reeb orbits are of particular interest because they can be used to describe local distance minimizing "loops."

Department Chair: Alan Reid

Alan Reid joined the department on July 1st 2017 as the Edgar Odell Lovett Professor. He became Chair of the Department of Mathematics on July 1st 2018.        
His research interests include geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and hyperbolic manifolds and their connections with number theory.           
Reid obtained his Ph.D. in 1988 at the University of Aberdeen, UK under the direction of Dr. Colin Maclachlan. He was an instructor at the Ohio State University, a postdoctoral fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, which he held at the University of Cambridge whilst also being a Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge. He joined the University of Texas at Austin faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1996. He was promoted to full professor in 2002 and was appointed the Pennzoil Company Regents Professor in 2005.          
Reid is an elected fellow of the American Mathematical Society and is a former Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and recipient of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society Sir Edmund Whittaker Prize. He was invited to give a 45 minute invited address at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio De Janeiro, which is among the highest honors in mathematics.


Anthony Várilly- Alvardo has receieved the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching for the second time. The award honors top Rice professors as determined by the votes of alumni who graduated within the past two, three and five years. Dr. Várilly-Alvarado receieved the same award in 2016.

Stephen Wolff wins the Graduate Teaching Award for Independent Instruction; this prize, selected by a comittee of Rice faculty and graduate students, honors graduate students for outstanding work teaching their own undergraduate courses.