Department of Mathematics

Advanced Mathematics Program Speakers

July 7th, 2018



Edray Herber Goins grew up in South Los Angeles, California.  The product of the Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD) public school system, Dr. Goins attended the California Institute of Technology, where he majored in mathematics and physics, and earned his doctorate in mathematics from Stanford University.  Dr. Goins is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College Pomona College in Claremont, California.  He works in the field of number theory, as it pertains to the intersection of representation theory and algebraic geometry.   He is the president of the National Association of Mathematicians.

Yes, Even You Can Bend It Like Beckham


In the 2002 film by Gurinder Chadha, character Jesminder  'Jess' Bhamra states "No one can cross a ball or bend it like Beckham" in a reference to the international soccer star's ability to cause the ball to swerve. In 2010, French researchers Guillaume Dupeux, Anne Le Goff, David Quéré and Christophe Clanet published a paper in the New Journal of Physics detailing both experimental and mathematical analyses of a spinning ball in a fluid to show that it must follow a spiral.
In this talk, we give an overview of their discussion by reviewing the Navier-Stokes equation in a Serret-Frenet coordinate system. This talk is dedicated to the memory of Angela Grant and her love of mathematics in sports.

July 13th, 2018 



Mark Alber earned his M.S. (with honors) in applied mathematics at the Moscow Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of J. E. Marsden (UC Berkeley and Caltech). He held several positions at the University of Notre Dame including most recently Vincent J. Duncan Family Chair in Applied Mathematics. He is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Director of the Center for Quantitative Modeling in Biology and Medicine, University of California, Riverside. Dr. Alber was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2011. He is currently a Deputy Editor of the PLoS Computational Biology, Associate Editor of the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology and Member of the Editorial Board of the Biophysical Journal.  His research interests include mathematical and computational biology, multi-scale modeling of blood clot formation, epithelial tissue growth, cancer invasion, bacterial swarming and microtubule dynamics.

Combined Multi-scale Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Study of
Blood Clot Contraction and Deformation


Blood clot contraction plays an important role in prevention of bleeding and in thrombotic disorders. We will unveil and quantify the structural mechanisms of clot contraction at the level of single platelets. In contrast to other cell–matrix systems in which cells migrate along fibers, we will demonstrate that the “hand-over-hand” longitudinal pulling causes shortening and bending of platelet-attached fibers, resulting in formation of fiber kinks [1]. The revealed platelet-driven mechanisms of blood clot contraction demonstrate an important new biological application of cell motility principles. Recently developed multi-scale discrete worm-like chain computational model will be used to demonstrate that non-linear mechanical properties of compressed fibrin network can originate from structural re-arrangements of the entire fibrin network, as well as from alterations of individual fibers including fiber buckling, bending and reorientation. Lastly, a novel multi-phase mathematical model will be described  that simulates active interactions between platelets and fibrin, to study the impact of various physiologically relevant blood shear flow conditions on deformation and embolization of  a partially obstructive clot.


  1. Oleg V. Kim, Rustem I. Litvinov, Mark S. Alber and John W. Weisel [2017], Quantitative Structural Mechanobiology of Platelet-Driven Blood Clot Contraction, Nature Communications 8: 1274.
  2. Shixin Xu, Zhiliang Xu, Oleg Kim, Rustem I. Litvinov, John W. Weisel and Mark Alber [2017], Model Predictions of Deformation, Embolization, and Permeability of  Partially Obstructive Blood Clots under Variable Shear Flow, Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20170441.


July 20th, 2018


Professor Alessandra Pantano ’s research interests are in the fields of representation theory and mathematical education. Since 2010, she has been leading several educational and outreach activities, including three successful Math Circles (enrichment programs) for high school and middle school students in Irvine and the nearby community of Santa Ana. 

She received her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy and her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University.  She completed her postdoctoral studies at Cornell University from 2004 to 2007. 

Dr. Pantano joined the faculty in the UCI Department of Mathematics in 2007 and was hired as a Teaching Professor (LSOE) in 2016. Dr. Pantano is the recipient of several awards for teaching and service from Princeton, Cornell and UCI. 


 Talk Abstract:

In this talk, we will provide a survey of groups (in particular, groups of symmetries) and how they appear in nature and art. Through hands-on activities, students will discover cyclic groups, dihedral groups, frieze groups and wallpaper groups. 



July 27th, 2018


Anthony Muro Villa III is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Teacher Education with a focus in mathematics education. He was born in Corona, CA and later moved to Victorville, where he attended junior high and high school. He earned a BS and an MS in mathematics from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.

 Prior to attending Stanford University, he taught secondary mathematics for eleven years at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, CA. At Stanford, he teaches pre-service teacher candidates for the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). Furthermore, through the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET), he contributes to a research-practice partnership aimed at preparing middle school mathematics teachers to conduct their own professional development focused on supporting groupwork and student discussions. His own research examines small-group interactions and status issues in middle school classrooms and how student authority is legitimized as students work collectively on mathematical tasks.

Link to personal website: https://profiles.stanford.edu/anthony-villa%20iii

 Talk Abstract:

Anthony’s presentation will engage participants in analyzing student mathematical thinking and considering how authority opens or closes pathways for student access to the mathematics. He will give a general overview and background of research in mathematics education and the theories he draws upon for his own research. His presentation will also involve doing mathematics, with a focus on generating multiple interpretations and representations. Attendees will also have opportunities to analyze video clips of student mathematical discourse, considering what is observable and what is interferential. The presentation will conclude with implications for this work and the ways people frame student mathematical thinking in different contexts.

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