Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, No. 19, December 14, 2012
   
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Joyce McLaughlin Named Inaugural 
Fellow of American Mathematical Society

Joyce McLaughlin
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Joyce McLaughlin Named Inaugural
Fellow of American Mathematical Society

Nonlinear analysis expert Joyce McLaughlin, Ford Foundation Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, has been named an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

“In developing mathematical models that improve biomedical imaging of tissues,
Joyce has made a direct contribution to our society, and she is richly deserving of this recognition by her peers.”—Laurie Leshin

“We congratulate Dr. McLaughlin on being chosen as an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In developing mathematical models that improve biomedical imaging of tissues, Joyce has made a direct contribution to our society, and she is richly deserving of this recognition by her peers,” said Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer. “We are honored to count her among our growing list of society fellows in the School of Science.”

The AMS recognized McLaughlin for her distinguished contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. As part of the honor, McLaughlin will be part of the first group of fellows of the AMS to be officially inducted during a ceremony as part of the Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Diego on Jan. 11, 2013.

McLaughlin’s main research area is in nonlinear analysis as applied to parameter identification in inverse problems.

“These are problems where the data one has is very indirectly related to the physical or biological property that is to be determined, and usually is imaged. So it is essential to utilize the mathematical model of the physical process that creates the data in order to create an image,” McLaughlin said. “These problems are ill-posed; that is, small changes in the data can produce large changes in the image so careful mathematical analysis is needed in order to create an accurate image.”

McLaughlin was first known her for work in inverse spectral theory, in which natural frequencies and/or subsets of mode shapes, such as nodal sets, of a vibrating system are used to identify physical properties. Her work in this area was presented at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Zurich in 1994.

More recently she has become known for her work in biomechanical imaging of tissue. The physical process that produces the data is the dynamic movement of tissue at a low amplitude of displacement (on the order of microns) and the model for that process is used to create images of biomechanical tissue properties. These images are being utilized, together with ultrasound or MRI images, as a new medical diagnostic tool.

McLaughlin is an inaugural fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, a member of the Scientific Board for the American Institute of Mathematics, and a winner of the AWM/SIAM 2004 Kovalevsky Lecture and Prize.

McLaughlin received her bachelor’s degree from Kansas State, her master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her doctoral degree in applied mathematics from the University of California, Riverside.

For additional information on McLaughlin, see: http://www.math.rpi.edu/ms_faculty/profile/mclaughlin_j.html. For more information on the AMS fellowship, see: http://www.ams.org/profession/ams-fellows.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, Number 19, December 14, 2012
©2012 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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