COSAM News Articles 2022 May King, Chen and Govil among 38 faculty and staff recognized at Auburn Author Awards Ceremony

King, Chen and Govil among 38 faculty and staff recognized at Auburn Author Awards Ceremony

Published: 05/03/2022

By: Leslie Leak

Three faculty members from the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, were among 38 Auburn University faculty and staff that were recognized at the 2022 Auburn Author Awards ceremony held April 13 in the RBD Library’s Caroline Marshall Draughon Auditorium.

Le Chen, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Narendra Govil, professor emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and David King, professor of geology in the Department of Geosciences, were each honored at the ceremony for having published a book-length scholarly work over the past calendar year.

At the ceremony, Shali Zhang, Dean of Auburn University Libraries, welcomed attendees, and George Flowers, Dean of the Graduate School, and Maria Witte, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, presented each author with an award. Authors were then invited to give brief book talks about their publications, and the ceremony concluded with a reception for authors and guests.

Chen, with Yaozhong Hu and David Nualart, published his book in September 2021 titled Regularity and Strict Positivity of Densities for the Nonlinear Stochastic Heat Equations.

Chen shared information during his book talk that summarized mathematical concepts from the book. In the publication, Chen and the authors establish a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence and regularity of the density of the solution to a semi linear stochastic (fractional) heat equation with measure-valued initial conditions. The tool used in the book is the Malliavin calculus, and the general framework includes the parabolic Anderson model as a special case.

Govil published two books this past calendar year - Mathematics Wizard Srinivasa Ramanujan with Bhu Dev Sharma in March 2021 and Extremal Problems and Inequalities of Markov-Bernstein Type for Algebraic Polynomials with Robert B. Gardner and Gradimir V. Milovanovic in February 2022.

During his book talk, Govil briefly described the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan – a mysterious, gifted Indian mathematician with a 10th grade education and almost no formal training in pure mathematics, yet, through a series of letters to a Cambridge mathematician, G.H. Hardy, shook the entire mathematical world and inspired numerous generations by leaving behind the collection of more than 4,000 novel results in higher mathematics which, even today, continue to excite mathematicians. By age 31, Ramanujan became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and his life story has been the subject of three movies, including the 2015 Pressman film titled The Man Who Knew Infinity.

Govil summarized his second publication by explaining the importance of polynomials and noting that inequalities for polynomials and their derivatives are very important in many areas of mathematics, as well as in other computational and applied sciences. Although primarily for graduate and Ph.D. students, the book is equally useful for any researcher exploring problems which require derivative estimates and for those studying inverse problems in approximation theory. The book is about 450 pages with more than five hundred citations to research articles and books. 

King published the fourth edition of his book titled Alabama Dinosaurs in February 2022.

In his book talk, King introduced the audience to eastern North American dinosaurs and touched on his 1982 discovery of the most complete eastern North American tyrannosaurid dinosaur specimen, later named Appalachiosaurus, in Montgomery County. The fourth edition of King’s publication is intended for use by a wider, general audience to increase the appeal for anyone interested in dinosaurs.

The three COSAM authors reflected on what this special recognition meant to them.

“The Auburn Author Awards is a very special recognition event that is thoughtfully organized by Dean Flowers and his staff,” said King. “It means a lot to Auburn authors that their work can be showcased in this way.  I will always remember this ceremony.”

“I really appreciate the recognition and the award from the Graduate School, the Auburn University Libraries and appreciate Dean Edward Thomas coming to the event to celebrate with us,” said Chen. “During the ceremony, I was touched by the speeches of my colleagues and inspired by Professor Govil's book talk about the genius Ramanujan - I will remember to watch the movie The Man Who Knew Infinity.”

“Being recognized certainly motivates one to continue doing good work,” said Govil. “There will always be hurdles along the way, but never, never give up - even if it may look like it’s not going to work.”

The Auburn Authors Awards program is co-sponsored by Auburn University Libraries and the Graduate School and was resumed in 2011 after a hiatus of several years. A complete list of the 2022 Auburn Author Awards recipients can be found on the Graduate School’s website.


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