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A Sampling of Research by Applied Math and Statistics Faculty

COMPUTATIONAL APPLIED MATHEMATICS: Distinguished Professor James Glimm, a member of the National Academy of Sciences,  winner of the National Medal of Science, and former President of the American Mathematical Society, developed the front-tracking methodology that is now used for critical shock-wave calculations; e.g., simulating nuclear explosions.     Professor Roman Samulyak applies numerical algorithms for partial differential equations (PDE) to simulate physics processes in particle accelerators and fusion reactors.  Professor Xiaolin Li is using similar computational tools in fluid dynamics to model the effect of new parachute designs for the U.S. Army.

COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY Professors Rob Rizzo and Dima Kosakov are building 3D-structure-based computational models to identify sites on human molecules where proteins from viruses and bacteria attach and cause damage. Once such binding sites are found, they try to design drugs to interfere with the binding. In Rizzo’s work, the aim of the drugs is to attach to the binding region on foreign protein, to neutralize the protein’s method of attack.  In Kozakov’s work, the goal of the drug is to attach to the binding region on the human molecule so that the foreign protein cannot attach.

OPERATIONS RESEARCH: Distinguished Professor Eugene Feinberg is a national leader in applying Markov decision process to optimizing electric energy transmission and forecast energy demand.  His skills have been used locally by Long Island’s power company Public Service Gas & Electric to improve the transmission of electricity and forecast short- and long-term demand.

STATISTICS Professors Song Wu and Wei Zhu recently published an influential paper in Nature about hereditary versus environmental factors in cancer risk.   There has been shown to be a high correlation between the rate of stem-cell division and unavoidable cancer-causing damage to cells in humans.  Wu and Zhu analyzed data that showed this correlation to be unaffected by hereditary factors.