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 Research: Richard Bertram
People are often confused about what Richard Bertram, a professor in the FSU Mathematics department and the director of the Biomathematics program, does for a living. At mathematics conferences he encounters people who thought he was a biologist, while at biology conferences he is known as “the math guy”.
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.
Faculty Profile: Pene Kirby
Teaching assistants help get the work done on campuses across the country, but who helps the TAs? In FSU's math department, Dr. Pene Kirby is one of those people. As Coordinator of Graduate Teaching Assistants, Dr. Kirby leads the TA Training Program, working closely with incoming students through a series of course s to provide support as students seek to maintain their own studies alongside their newfound instructional role.