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Annotated List of All RTG Postdoctoral Fellows

Annotated List of All RTG Postdoctoral Fellows

Because of the important role our non-RTG post-docs, we found it virtually impossible to separate them from our discussion. Our non-RTG post-docs include several RTG-eligible post-docs who none-the-less are supported by their “own” fellowships, including the Clay Fellowship and NSF post-docs. In several cases, we feel our RTG offer was none-the-less crucial in recruiting these young faculty here. In some cases, that post-doc first came to Michigan on the RTG, and in others it at least enabled us to show our interest and bring them out for a recruiting visit. Other non-RTG post-docs include foreign nationals who are not eligible. However, these post-docs have degrees from American institutions, and intend to stay permanently in the US (with one exception).

Our group at Michigan is somewhat unusual in that, thanks to RTG funding, we have been able to interview all post-doc candidates. In addition to research potential, we consider the candidate’s potential as a teacher, expositor and leader. We also carefully consider fit: will the candidate find a good mentor and collaborators here? Even candidates who are not hired have benefitted from the opportunity to give a two-hour presentation of their work at one of the country’s best known centers of algebraic geometry, and our group has benefitted from their contribution to the seminar.

Below, we list all post-docs who have made a substantial contribution to our algebraic geometry RTG program. Asterisked names indicate any post-doc who held an RTG post­doctoral position for at least one year. A longer list of all post-docs, including demographic information, who have had some scientific interaction with the group also follows. 
All Michigan post-docs are formally assigned a mentor, usually the faculty member with the closest research interests. Mentors are indicated, as is citizenship for non-US nationals.

  • Howard Thompson*, whose 2002 Berkeley thesis was on log geometry, was hired as a Michigan post-doc to work under the direction of Karen Smith before our RTG began. Our RTG allowed us to extend his appointment another year. He has recently accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at the University of Michigan, Flint.

  • Nathan Reading* was also awarded an RTG fellowship to extend his appointment at Michigan a fourth year. A 2002 Minnesota PhD, Nathan worked closely with his formally assigned mentor Sergey Fomin here, as well as fellow post-doc David Speyer. Nathan is currently an assistant professor at North Carolina State University.

  • Julianna Tymoczko is a 2003 graduate of Princeton working on Hessenberg Varieties who was an NSF post-doctoral fellow here at Michigan (under Fulton) in the first year of our RTG grant. Currently an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, she continues to collaborate with RTG graduate fellow Dave Anderson.

  • Chuck Cadman* was a 2004 Columbia graduate working on quantum cohomology of stacks (under Fulton). We’d hired before the RTG but we later added him as an RTG fellow, giving him more time for research. After a second post-doc at the University of British Columbia, he has recently been hired by the National Security Agency.

  • David Speyer graduated Berkeley in 2005, and spend the first two years of his pres­tigious five year Clay Fellowship here at Michigan. His formal mentor here was Sergey Fomin. In addition to being one of the key organizers in an RTG-funded semester-long seminar on tropical geometry designed to expose non-experts and students to the field, David mentored countless graduate students and collaborated with fellow post-docs Nathan Reading, Kyle Petersen, Pavlo Pylyavskyy, and graduate students Dave Anderson, Sam Payne, and Alan Stapledon. We are excited to have recently rehired him as a tenured associate professor here at Michigan!

  • Renzo Cavalieri is an Italian citizen and 2005 graduate of the University of Utah, where he wrote a dissertation on Gromov-Witten theory. Although not RTG eligible, we were so impressed with Renzo on his interview visit, that we worked hard to gather money from various sources to allow us to essentially buy Renzo a post-doctoral position similar to an RTG position. Renzo’s mentor here was Bill Fulton, though he also inter­acted quite a bit with Yongbin Ruan, once Yongbin arrived. We were not disappointed! While at Michigan, Renzo taught a host of interested research-oriented courses both for graduate and undergraduate students, pioneered a very successful workshop format which we have now adopted for our Spring Lecture Series, collaborated with and men­tored numerous stduents and post-docs, and even supervised four undergraduate REU projects. In fact, Renzo is still supervising a Michigan REU project supported by our RTG, with the student visiting Renzo this summer in Berkeley, CA. Renzo also stimu­lated tremendous activity outside Michigan: applying for and organizing a conference at Banff on Moduli of Curves, serving as main lecturer for a mini-course on Moduli spaces in Costa Rica, and also giving a series of four lectures on Orbifold Gromov-Witten Theory at Sissa (Trieste). Renzo is now an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University.

  • Karl Schwede*, who works on singularities in birational geometry and characteristic p techniques, came to Michigan as an RTG fellow after graduating from the University of Washington in 2006. He been a leader in the post-doc seminar, and has organized several reading groups, in addition to collaborating with his formal mentor Karen Smith and her graduate student Kevin Tucker, as well as fellow post-doc Wenliang Zhang. He has one more year on an NSF fellowship at Michigan.

  • Radu Laza is a Romanian citizen and 2006 PhD from Columbia University with an interest in singularities and degenerations. His faculty mentor is Mircea Mustat¸ a. He was an active participant in many reading groups and seminars, collaborating with fellow post-doc Charles Cadman. He has accepted a tenure track position at SUNY Stony Brook beginning this fall.

  • Hannah Markwig (Kaiserslautern 2006) is a German specialist in tropical algebraic geometry, and our only postdoc not trained here in the US. After a year at Michigan under the supervision of Fomin, in which she began several collaborations, including one with fellow postdoc Renzo Cavalieri and graduate student Paul Johnson on tropical Gromov-Witten theory, she returned to Germany and is now at G¨ottingen.

  • Loren Spice is a 2004 PhD from Chicago working on p-adic representation theory under the mentorship of Stephen Debacker. While not in “core” algebraic geometry, he was an active participant in many RTG functions, including several seminars and REU activities, and taught several graduate courses attended by RTG graduate fellows. He has just completed a NSF post-doctoral fellowship and will begin a tenure track job at Texas Christian University in the fall.

  • Carl Miller* graduated from Berkeley in 2007 and works in arithmetic algebraic geometry, mentored by Brian Conrad and Mircea Mustat¸ a. Since coming to Michigan, he has been gradually changing areas, working with some computer scientists here on

  • quantum computing. He has one more year as an RTG fellow, and intends to seek a second post-doc, perhaps here in Michigan’s computer science department, to continue his transition into this new direction.

  • Ben Howard* was recruited here with an RTG fellowship after finishing his degree at Maryland in 2006, on moduli of points on a genus zero curve. He spent his first year at the AIM year in Applied Algebraic Geometry and has since been awarded an NSF post-doctoral fellowship, with supervisor Igor Dolgachev. A veritable fountain of ideas, Ben is constantly engaging our students and post-docs in discussions, from which we expect to soon see a host of joint papers. He is supervising a corps of enthusiastic REU students this summer, including one African-American undergraduate from Harvard who we are hoping may be convinced by his experience to continue in graduate school at Michigan.

  • Tatiana Howard* is a 2007 graduate of Maryland who works in p-adic representation theory with Stephen Debacker. She will also supervise a group of RTG-funded REU students this summer.

  • Tatyana Chmutova* is a 2006 Harvard PhD working on the representation theory of Cherednik algebras. She worked closely here with Toby Stafford, and introduced innovations in the undergraduate classroom here through our Inquiry Based Learning program. Tatyana has one more year on her post-doc here; we are grateful for the department’s support in arranging her maternity leave and allowing her to extend her position for a fourth year, as we feel it is crucial for the success of—and for our success in recruiting— our female post-docs.

  • Ivan Petrakiev* is a 2006 Harvard PhD who worked on Hilbert functions of zero dimensional schemes. His faculty mentor was Rob Lazarsfeld. He now works for financial industry.

  • Amanda Knecht* is a 2007 PhD from Rice University, working on rational connectivity for arithmetic del Pezzo surfaces, under the supervision of Rob Lazarsfeld. She is very active in our seminars and is supervising a computer algebra project for three applied math grad students. A gifted teacher, she has been working in our Inquiry Based Learning Program.

  • Matt Simpson* is our newest edition, a 2008 PhD from Rice on the birational geometry of moduli spaces. His faculty mentor is Mircea Mustat¸ a. He intends to take a position in the National Security Agency.