Welcome to FSU Mathematics
Welcome to the Department of Mathematics at Florida State University, home to researchers, educators, students and a supporting staff that strive for excellence in mathematics. The cutting-edge research of our faculty and students covers a broad spectrum of pure and applied mathematics, creating a vibrant scientific atmosphere in the department.
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: Mike Kirby
While journeying through his career, Kirby says that his favorite part was the experience of teaching and mentoring PhD students at Cambridge in England while on sabbatical. There he recognized a difference in PhD students, saying, "what distinguishes a PhD student is that they can learn anything on their own, but it's interesting to see a PhD student go back to undergrad material with new understanding."
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.
FSU Undergraduate Mathematical Society
The Florida State University Math Society was first organized in the spring semester of 2012, after then-junior Jaclyn Adelson and senior Johnny Petit renewed interest in the long- dormant math club. In the fall semester of 2012, the FSU Math Society became a Recognized Student Organization dedicated to uniting the mathematics community of Florida State University.
Faculty Profile: Kyle Gallivan
When Professor Kyle Gallivan finally landed in FSU's math department in 2008, he felt right away that he had ended up in the right place. After more than a decade at Florida State working in computer science, he had a choice to make, a luxury he's grateful for as he looks back. "I took a look and said, 'maybe the math department is the right place,' and I was very, very lucky that the department agreed. I'm very happy that that happened."