Back to Homepage
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Student of Mathematical Sciences begins graduate career, receives award from NSF

Arun Jambulapati is a senior at the University of Memphis, scheduled to graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences and a minor in Economics. Arun intends to continue his studies in graduate school, and the road to his PhD has just been made a bit easier, thanks to a recently awarded three-year Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Arun began his collegiate career five years ago, taking a college algebra course when he was ten years old. He took that course from Dr. Ralph Faudree, at the time our university provost, and Dr. Faudree assisted Arun and his father, V.J. Jambulapati, in getting him admitted into a full-time degree program. He became a regular presence in math and science seminars and colloquia, and could often be seen on Friday afternoons in animated chalkboard discussion with tenured faculty, on topics ranging from abstruse points of deep mathematical theorems to the chemical properties of biological proteins.

After Dr. Faudree’s administrative duties demanded his attention, Arun spent some time studying under Dr. Cecil Rousseau, Professor Emeritus and a recent recipient of the Paul Erdös award. Their discussions covered a wide range of unsolved math problems currently being worked on. In 2011 Arun presented a paper on a proof of a Hardy-Littlewood conjecture, certain he had solved a problem which had eluded mathematicians for nearly a century. It took some research from departmental faculty in order to determine his proof contained an implicit assumption, the proof of which is the crux of modern research on the subject.

Seeking to expand his range of problems to be working on, Arun next began working with Dr. David Dwiggins, undergraduate advisor for the math department, whose current research is on integral equations. In August 2012 Dr. Dwiggins gave a talk at the Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems conference in Waterloo, Canada, and presented some of the work Arun had done on the topic. Although the solution to that particular problem was already known, the attendees were suitably impressed by how he had used the new ideas to come up with a completely new proof of the solution. Upon returning to Memphis, Dr. Dwiggins listed Arun as co-author for a paper submitted (and accepted) as part of the conference proceedings, giving Arun his first official published result.

Arun next spent the summer of 2013 at Georgia Tech as part of an undergraduate research experience program, and he returned with another paper under preparation, this one involving new results on the folding and unfolding of prismoidal shapes. When Dr. Faudree rejoined the math faculty in Fall 2013, Arun spent that semester and the next working with him, this time on algebraic homology theory, in a class designed for students working on their PhD. As a cap to his undergraduate career, Arun took the Putnam Mathematics Competition Exam in December and received a score placing him at around number 250 out of over 4,000 participants.

Arun sent out applications to graduate school during the winter break, and he has already been invited to resume studies at Georgia Tech, with an RAship offer even before his NSF Fellowship announcement. Among other schools, he has been accepted at Stanford and New York University.

In addition to graduate school applications, Arun applied for an academic Fellowship through the National Science Foundation, and on April 1 (no fooling!) Arun informed the math department that the fellowship had been awarded. To assist him in his graduate studies, no matter where he decides to go to school, Arun will receive a $32,000 yearly stipend during each of his first three years of graduate school. That amount should last him if he reaches one of his possible goals, to receive his PhD in mathematics by the time he is eighteen years of age.

Faculty in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Memphis have watched Arun mature over the years, from someone impatient at times with others for failing to grasp things as quickly as he does, to someone with more patience and understanding, gaining the ability to effectively and efficiently explain concepts to his fellow students. It is to be hoped that, after Arun obtains his graduate degree, we will not only have a brilliant new researcher in our midst but also what should turn out to be a really good teacher, possibly with some new ideas on how to improve math and science education in our country.

Please feel free to contact me if I may provide any further information.

Respectfully Submitted,

D. P. Dwiggins
Dept Math Sci
Univ Memphis

For more information on Arun’s early collegiate career, please see the online University of Memphis Magazine article from Spring 2012. Here is the link: Magazine article

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | (901) 678-2000 | © 2012  University of Memphis | Important Notice |
Visit the University of Memphis on Facebook   Facebook   YouTube   YouTube   Twitter   Twitter