News

December 7, 2007

Professors Will Serve as Visiting Fellows of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Studies

Gary Gordon and Elizabeth McMahon will study and lecture in the United Kingdom

Gary Gordon and Elizabeth McMahon, both professors of mathematics, will travel to Cambridge, U.K., in June to serve as Visiting Fellows of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences. They will participate in the Combinatorics and Statistical Mechanics program offered at the institute.

The goal of the program is to bring together expertise in the areas of combinatorics, statistical mechanics, probability, and computer science to attack unsolved problems and develop new areas of interaction.

Gordon and McMahon have been publishing joint work and work co-authored with students in combinatorics for the past 18 years. Statistical mechanics, which is a physics research area, is closely related to the work they have done on polynomials for graphs and other objects.

As a part of the program, they will participate in the Combinatorial and Probabilistic Inequalities Workshop that will take place from June 23-27. The workshop will include lectures from the world’s top researchers including Rob van den Berg from Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands, Dominic Welsh of Oxford University, Jeff Khan from Rutgers University, Alan Sokal of New York University and University College London, and Bela Bollobas from Cambridge University and the University of Memphis.

During the rest of the month, Gordon and McMahon will lecture and do some traveling. Their lectures will be based on their current research and will involve matroid theory, group theory, and some finite geometry.

Their time in Cambridge will have an immediate impact on some of their upper level special topics courses at Lafayette. However, the main benefit will be with their research programs, as individuals, jointly, and with students, especially through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Gordon and McMahon hope to publish research as a result of their experience.

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