## April 18, Sevak Mkrtchyan, Carnegie-Mellon

Colloquium 458 Campbell Hall, 2:30pm. The dimer model on the hexagonal lattice.The dimer model is the study of random perfect matchings on graphs, and has a long history in statistical mechanics. On the hexagonal lattice it is equivalent to tilings of the plane by lozenges and to 3D stepped surfaces called skew plane partitions - 3 dimensional analogues of Young diagrams with a partition removed from the corner. This particular instance of the model has been intensely studied in the past 15 years by Kenyon, Okounkov, Reshetikhin and many coauthors. I will discuss the scaling limit of the model under a certain family of measures called "volume"-measures, the limit-shape phenomenon in this model (a form of the law of large numbers), the effects of varying the boundary conditions on the limit shape, the nature of local fluctuations in various regions of the limit shape and connections with random matrix theory.

## News 2014

- Fast-track student
**Jarrod Hicks**scored among the top 15% of participants on the 2013 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, considered to be one of the most prestigious mathematics examination in the world. Congratulations! UAB's Putnam team is coached by Profs. Jung and Simanyi. The competition is held once a year in December. **Mitch Wyatt, John Samples, and Gaurav Verma**were chosen as the department's Outstanding PhD Student, Outstanding Master's Student, and Outstanding Undergraduate Student, respectively. Congratulations to all.- On April 8 an Interdisciplinary Innovation Forum on Mathematical Biology will take place in the UAB National Alumni Society House from 1pm to 3pm.
- Fast-track student
**Alexandra Fry**has been selected to participate at the highly competitive 2014 Program for Women and Mathematics on Random Matrix Theory held at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. - Graduate student
**Nichole Pompey**won first place at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington, DC, for her presentation on "A Randomized Algorithm for Tensor Decomposition". - Ph.D. student
**Kyle Besing**won a first place at the 2014 Graduate Student Research Days. - Dr.
**John Mayer**was appointed co-director of the UABTeach initiative which was recently awarded a $1.45 million dollar grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The UABTeach initiative will revolutionize the preparation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers at UAB and will dramatically impact the science education of Alabama's future K-12 students. For further information see the announcements here and here and, of course, the UABTeach site.

- Profs. Starr, Stolz, and Jung won an NSF grant supporting the
**CBMS Conference: Quantum Spin Systems**which will take place in June 2014.