Professor Recognized for Achievement in Biharmonic Maps

Ye-Lin Ou, PhD (associate professor of mathematics) has been awarded $35,000 from the Simons Foundation to support his continued study of the geometry of biharmonic maps and biharmonic submanifolds, a field in which he has been working actively since he joined Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2006. The high quality of Dr. Ou’s previous work, as well as the likely impact that his collaborative efforts will have on future research, qualified him for this prestigious award.

The Simons Foundation was founded in New York City in 1994 with the intention of supporting discovery-driven scientific research that aims to help understand and explain the natural phenomena of the world. The award that Dr. Ou received, the Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians, is an impressive grant that only about 140 active, accomplished researchers receive each year. Because of this award, Dr. Ou will be able to visit and host his collaborators from Princeton University, Purdue University, Michigan State University, and universities in France, Italy and China.

A fellow professor in mathematics writes in a mathematical review about Dr. Ou’s work, “The paper is very interesting for those interested in biharmonic maps, and it represents a starting point in the study of biharmonic maps between surfaces.” Biharmonic functions are mathematical models of elasticity, and they are expected to exist and play the role of harmonic maps where harmonic maps have failed. Some of Dr. Ou and his collaborators’ contributions in the field include: solving the generalized Chen’s conjecture on biharmonic submanifolds, proving it to be wrong and initiating several new topics of study in the field.

Tingxiu Wang, PhD (head of the mathematics department) states in support of Dr. Ou, “We warmly congratulate Dr. Ou for this prominent grant. This grant is recognition of Dr. Ou’s excellence in research since the eligibility for applicants of the grant includes a record of active research and publications in high-quality journals. The grant will substantially increase collaborations between Dr. Ou and other mathematicians in the world, support the math faculty presenting at mathematical conferences and the math department inviting researchers to present in the department. Our graduate students may benefit from this grant, as well. Our faculty is very encouraged and inspired by his success.”