Tian (Ph.D.'17) Wins AWM Dissertation Prize

Xiaochuan Tian (Ph.D '17, Applied Mathematics) was selected as a winner of the AWM Dissertation Prize awarded by the Association for Woman in Mathematics. She will be presented with the prize at the 2018 Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Diego, the largest annual meeting of mathematicians in the world hosted by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Her adivsor, Prof. Qiang Du, said, "Xiaochuan is an example of many outstanding students graduated from our applied mathematics programs. I am very proud that, as the AWM citation says, her 'dissertation has produced novel mathematical results that have had significant practical impact.' "

Dr. Tian said, "I am very honored to be one of the recipients of the second annual AWM Dissertation Prize.  The completion of my dissertation could not have happened without the help and inspiration of many professors, colleagues and collaborators, especially my Ph.D. advisor Prof. Qiang Du, who sets up a role model for me for being a devoted mathematician, a well-rounded person and a caring mentor."


AWM press release:

Xiaochuan Tian obtained her PhD in 2017 from Columbia University under the direction of Qiang Du. She is currently a R. H. Bing Instructor at The University of Texas at Austin. One of her papers, "Analysis and comparison of different approximations to nonlocal diffusion and linear peridynamic equations" (joint with her advisor) that was published in the SIAM Journal of Numerical Analysis in 2013, was awarded the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize for 2016.

Xiaochuan's dissertation "Nonlocal models with a finite range of nonlocal interactions" yielded six highly cited papers in top journals that subsequently resulted in major advances in numerical analysis, computational methods, and applications in the general area of integro-partial differential equations. In another paper (joint with her advisor) that was published in 2014 in SIAM Journal of Numerical Analysis, Xiaochuan obtained criteria for a discrete nonlocal solution to converge to the solution of the local continuum model as the length scale and mesh spacing approach zero; criteria that are now known as asymptotically compatible discretizations. A letter writer states that "her results changed the way engineers in this community do numerical studies." Another letter writer states that this paper "represents a quantum leap in the numerical analysis of methods for nonlocal (e.g., integral) problems in diffusion and mechanics". In summary, Xiaochuan's dissertation has produced novel mathematical results that have had significant practical impact."

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