AMS boasts 3 New IACS Award Winners

Thursday, September 1, 2016
IACS Staff
IACS New Recruit
Eric Raut

IACS Jr. Researcher
Zeyang Ye

IACS Jr. Researcher
Aditi Ghai


New Recruit Eric Raut and Jr. Researchers Zeyang Ye and Aditi Ghai all hail from Applied Mathematics & Statistics

Eric Raut

Eric Raut attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Wisconsin where he double majored in software and computer engineering. In his graduate school application for the Computational Applied Math track in AMS, his research advisor stated that in his opinion, Eric was equal in his ability as an undergrad to the PhD students the advisor worked with in atmospheric science at MIT and noted that Eric was already doing graduate-level research at Milwaukee. While an undergrad this new recruit also submitted a research paper to the journal Geoscientific Model Development as the first author and received favorable reviews from the reviewers. His scores on his GRE placed him in the 90th percentile or better in all sections.

How did he arrive at Stony Brook? “I started with a love for computers when I was young. I decided that the science stuff was really cool. Then when I was searching for applied computational math programs, SBU popped up as one of the top schools.”

Although new to graduate school and yet undecided in his specific field, Eric hopes to research all the possible disciplines with a particular eye toward computational fluid dynamics and computational physics. “I would like to do some interesting research that has the potential to advance the field.  I’m also a TA for AMS 361 Applied Calculus IV: Differential Equations, and I’m excited about the opportunity and hope to be able to teach a class at some point. Presenting my research at a conference would also definitely be a good experience.” As an undergrad Eric presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the atmospheric science Community Earth System Model Workshop.

Regarding his post-graduate school plans, Eric is very open-minded: He would welcome becoming a professor, working in industry with a research type role or getting a job in government. They are all possibilities. He just hopes to maintain an easy going and healthy work/life balance both at SBU and beyond. 

Favorite word or phrase:  Awesomesauce
Favorite sound: Music
Hobby: Running, biking, basketball, programming, reading




Zeyang Ye

Zeyang Ye is originally from Guangdong in China and did some of his undergraduate study in Wuhan University. Midway through his undergrad years, however, he transferred to SBU where he double majored in math and applied math. As a PhD graduate student here, he works with Professor Yuefan Deng: “I am thrilled by the prestigious IACS Jr. Researcher award won by my student Zeyang Ye. With this award, Zeyang dares to take the great challenges of a research problem with great values to computational science: parallelization of Markov chain Monte Carlo methods.”

Zeyang sought to come to SBU for several reasons: He wanted to experience undergraduate education in the US and, according to Zeyang, “SBU is very famous in China because of Nobel Prize winner C.N. Yang who spent a lot of years at SBU. Also research in pure math and applied math are very good at SBU.”

His research focuses on trying to find a way through computation for a host of various problems to be solved as efficiently as possible. For example, he said, “While hunting for one global treasure in a given region, I hope to design scalable methods to make the hunt 10 times faster if I have 10 times more hunters, etc. This type of computation can be applied to all kind of problems, for example in biology, engineering, applied math, and chemistry.”  He writes parallel code and also redesigns parallel algorithms for the Markov chain Monte Carlo methods.

Zeyang has presented his work at ICDM IEEE Conference 2015 on Data Mining, and he was awarded a $1700 travel grant from the National Science Foundation to attend SC15 where he presented his work on “Parallel Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods” during the workshop on “Chinese HPC Research Toward New Platforms and Real Applications.” He also has one paper published in the ICDM workshop proceedings, and he has submitted two more journal papers, all as the first author.

He hasn’t decided what he wants to do after graduation, but he is sure he wants to continue his research: “I am most proud that we have the ability to optimize a problem. I can quickly apply my method to a variety of problems and solve them.”

Favorite word or phrase: Diligence
Favorite sound: Ocean waves
Hobby: Playing Chinese chess




Aditi Ghai

Aditi Ghai grew up in the foothills of the Himalayas in the union territory of Chandigarh, but she did her most of her study in Delhi. “Growing up I was interested in all types of science: I took biology, physics, and chemistry courses and I realized that math is the tool that can help everything, which made me seek out work in applied math so I could contribute to all these fields. When I was at IIT Delhi, my master’s advisor was from SUNY Buffalo. He encouraged me to attend a SUNY school for my PhD, and SBU had a great applied math department. It’s a beautiful campus, quiet, peaceful - and I love the faculty here.” 

Regarding the research Aditi and her team are pursuing: “We are trying to make computations more efficient and faster as part of the new technology. Our work is related to real-life problems that could be applied to the automotive, IT, or cloud computing industries for example.” She says she was always inclined to do something that could be applied -- that could really help industry move forward. She finds it rewarding to see how the results of her research can make a change in industry.

Her work at SBU is under the supervision of Associate Professor Xiangmin Jiao. “It is a great honor for Aditi to have won this award among so many highly qualified candidates, and I am also proud of being part of IACS in providing a great collaborative environment for nurturing these students in the computational and interdisciplinary research. 

 “Aditi’s research focus is on efficient algorithms and software implementation for solving large-scale linear systems. Her work is tightly integrated with those of the other students in my group. Together, we are developing novel and effective techniques in numerical solutions of partial differential equations for engineering problems. Aditi’s work will allow us to solve these problems more efficiently and more robustly and enable us to tackle some difficult problems involving rank-deficient and ill-conditioned linear systems. I am fortunate to have talented and motivated students like Aditi to work on these problems.

For Aditi’s future she would like to get a job in academia. “I love teaching and I want to continue doing research.” Of all the accomplishments of which she is most proud while a graduate student at SBU, teaching is at the top. She has been the instructor of record four times for the undergraduate course AMS 210 Applied Linear Algebra.

What is her advice to other graduate students? “I think they should follow their interests. Take it easy, and just work towards their goals.”

Favorite word or phrase: It’s never too late
Favorite sound: Birds chirping, growing up I had birds as pets
Hobby: I like to draw, to doodle