You are here

Faculty Meeting (Morning)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
PDL C-36
  1. Call to Order
  2. Announcements
    • Faculty Senate – Max Lieblich
    • Colloquium – Jayadev Athreya
    • WXML – Jayadev Athreya
    • WUMiMS potluck – Ioana Dumitriu
  3. Committee Reports
    • Appointments Committee – Tatiana Toro
    • Planning Committee – Paul Smith
    • Internal Chair Selection Committee – Ken Bube
  4. New Business
  5. Executive Session                   
  6. Adjournment



The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics was held in C-36 Padelford Hall at 11:00 AM, September 26, 2017. Ron Irving, Chair, presided at the meeting. Rose Choi was recording secretary.

Chair’s Announcements

Professor Irving introduced five of the six new Acting Assistant Professors (Tuhin Ghosh will be arriving in February):

    • Spencer Becker-Kahn completed his PhD at Cambridge in 2015 under the supervision of Neshan Wickramasekera. He has spent the last two years at MIT as a C.L.E. Moore Instructor. He will continue his research in geometric measure theory, working closely with Tatiana Toro.
    • Lucas Braune completed his PhD at the Instituto Nacional de Matematica Pura e Aplicada in Brazil this year under the supervision of Eduardo Esteves. He will continue his research in algebraic geometry, working closely with Sándor Kovács.
    • Heather Lee completed her PhD at UC Berkeley in 2015 under the supervision of Denis Auroux. She spent a year as a postdoc at Purdue University and a year as a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She will continue her research in geometry, working closely with Jayadev Athreya.
    • Jake Levinson completed his PhD at the University of Michigan this past spring under the supervision of David Speyer.  e will continue his research in algebraic geometry and combinatorics, working closely with Sara Billey and Jarod Alper.
    • Liping Xu completed her PhD at the University of Paris this year under the supervision of Nicolas Fournier and Stéphane Seuret. She will continue her research in probability, working closely with Zhenqing Chen.

Professor Irving also announced the recent promotions of Bianca Viray to Associate Professor and Ethan Devinatz to Professor.

Upcoming dates to note:

    • The next department meeting will be in two weeks (October 10th).
    • Steve Mitchell’s memorial service will be on October 3rd at 4:00 PM in the Walker-Ames room.
    • This year’s Milliman lectures will be from October 30 to November 1, delivered by Martin Hairer of the University of Warwick. There will be a post-lecture reception on October 30th in the Walker-Ames Room.
    • The departmental beer bash is tentatively scheduled for December 8th (last day of Autumn Quarter classes).
    • The annual faculty-staff winter dinner will take place on Friday, January 26th, at the UW Club.
    • Tonight is the Graduate Picnic at Ravenna Park, starting at 5:00 PM.  Faculty are encouraged to attend and meet the incoming students.

Professor Irving reminded the faculty that a set of university rules for scheduling of classes will start this Spring Quarter. The impact will first be felt in Autumn 2018, as classes run from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, with the requirement that during any of the peak hours—from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM—at most 16% of our classes are scheduled. Some faculty will find themselves teaching core upper-level classes at non-peak times, and we will begin to address this when upper-level teaching assignments are made for 2018-2019. It was noted that classes in Padelford are not part of this system, since the department’s two classrooms are not general assignment rooms.

Faculty Senate

Professor Lieblich (Senator from Math, and a member of the Provost search committee) announced that candidates for Provost will be visiting during the first part of October, and encouraged faculty to share their thoughts and opinions with him during this period.  He warned of financial difficulties in the pipeline and urged faculty to be proactive by educating themselves of proposed changes and cut-backs.  He also relayed that the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS) is working on the problem of course duplications, which affect revenue to colleges under the university’s ABB budgeting system.

Colloquium Committee

Professor Athreya announced that talks will be held on Fridays from 4:00 to 5:00 PM in Autumn Quarter, with talks moving to 2:30 PM in winter and 3:30 PM in spring.  The first talk will be on October 6th in Smith 102 by Edray Goins of Purdue University.


Professor Athreya encouraged faculty to participate in the Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab (WXML) by overseeing quarter-long research projects in which student groups engage in open-ended experimentation.  There are seven projects in autumn 2017, with two faculty from Applied Math, five from Math, and 27 students.  AAPs have regularly been involved since the lab’s founding in 2016.

WUMiMS potluck

Professor Dumitriu reminded faculty of the annual potluck dinner for women and under-represented minorities in math, to be held this year at Professor Billey’s home on Friday, October 6th.

Appointments Committee Report

Professor Toro announced that a search will be held for an Assistant Professor position this year.  Divisional Dean Suzanne Hawley will meet with the committee on October 10th, and Chad Allen, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, will visit a week later.

Planning Committee Report

Professor Paul Smith relayed that the committee’s short-term goal is to draw up a priority statement for the Appointments Committee by the November department meeting, highlighting specific areas to focus on for this year’s hires.  The long-term goal is to plan out how to replace faculty likely to retire in the next decade, as approximately 30% of current members are 60 years of age or older.

Internal Chair Selection Committee Report

Professor Pollack spoke in place of Ken Bube who is currently away.  He announced that Ron Irving’s term will be ending this year, so the College will set up an external committee to meet with us in winter to discuss candidates for the Chair position.  An internal committee has already been assembled, consisting of Ken (chair), Bianca Viray, Jenni Taggart, and Steffen Rohde.

New Business

Professor Irving announced that projectors will soon be installed, at long last, in Padelford C-36 and C-401.


The meeting passed into executive session at 11:50am.


Event Type: 
Event Subcalendar: