#### Welcome to FSU Mathematics

Our mission is to preserve, expand, and disseminate mathematical knowledge. We are committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring at the graduate and the undergraduate level, and to excellence in research in the mathematical sciences. FSU is one of the only two pre-eminent universities in the State of Florida. The Mathematics Department has 36 research faculty members whose research covers a broad spectrum of mathematics and its applications. Research areas covered include...

#### Paolo Aluffi, Brennan Professor of Mathematics

After an extensive selection process, the first holder of the Marion Bradley Brennan Professorship in Mathematics has been chosen. The committee has combed through a list filled with many deserving candidates and chosen Professor Paolo Aluffi, who has served as a faculty member since 1991. Aluffi was chosen on the merits of his work as both a teacher and a researcher, and comes highly recommended by his colleagues and students.

#### Faculty Research: Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

Among questions of interest to biologists who study animal behavior are these: When should an animal - for example, a fiddler crab - intervene to help a neighbor having a territorial dispute with an intruder? Does eavesdropping - for example, by green swordtail fish - increase or reduce the overall frequency of aggressive behavior in a population? How widespread in nature is mutual assessment of fighting abilities? To be sure, humans do it, but what about hermit crabs or sea anenomes? And if strength is indeed being assessed, when does it pay for a threat to be a bluff?

#### Alumni Profile: Kim Ruane, Professor at Tufts University

Kim Ruane's path to FSU was an unusual one. Her undergraduate degree was from Kennesaw State University in north Georgia and it just so happened that a professor there, Chris Schaufele, had gone to graduate school with DeWitt Sumners, a professor at FSU. These two were responsible for Kim's decision to attend FSU for graduate school.

#### Mariel Vazquez Alumni Profile

Mariel Vazquez, who earned her Ph.D. in math at FSU, has received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for her research. She applies pure math to the biological mysteries of DNA, studying its entanglement as it packs tightly into living cells. Born and raised in Mexico City, Vazquez became fascinated with math and biology in high school. "I found pure mathematics to be absolutely beautiful but I didn't know how I could apply it to biology," Vazquez said. That changed when she became an undergraduate at the National Autono- mous University of Mexico and attended a series of talks about DNA topology - the application of knot theory to the study of DNA.

#### Faculty Profile: Wilbur Stiles, Retired Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Wilbur Stiles graduated from Lehigh University in 1954 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a lieutenant's commission in the United States Air Force. He spent the next year in the USAF learning to fly, and the following three years in the USAF as an instructor pilot teaching AF officers how to fly single engine jet aircrafts. He married Miss Evalyn Long in June 1956; their first son was born in May 1959. He entered Georgia Tech, one month after his son's birth, to work on a second undergraduate degree in Mathematics.