Carnegie Mellon University

Image of Ian Tice

August 04, 2017

Mathematician Earns NSF CAREER Award

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Mellon College of Science
  • 412-268-9982

Ian Tice, an assistant professor of mathematical sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, was awarded a five-year National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award. He is working to develop mathematical tools and techniques for studying partial differential equations associated with moving interfaces in several models of viscous fluid flow, such as blood flowing through arteries, ripples on the surface of a cup of coffee and solar plasma meeting the vacuum of space.

"Moving interfaces in fluids can be complex, but understanding them can have important implications across a wide variety of scientific and industrial fields," Tice said.

One component of Tice's work aims to understand how moving interfaces can destabilize the surrounding fluid. These instabilities help explain the origin of the beautiful swirling patterns observed in Jupiter's red spot as well as the finger-like tendrils in supernova remnants such as the Crab Nebula. On Earth the same instabilities play a role in weather prediction and fusion reactor design.

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) awards recognize and support junior faculty for their outstanding research and teaching.

"It's a great honor to receive the CAREER award. I'm particularly excited about the resources it provides for me to support undergraduate research in mathematics here at CMU," Tice said.

Under the grant, Tice also will develop an undergraduate collaborative reading and research program focused on fluid flow, assist with course development and mentor graduate student researchers.