Category Archives: Graduate news


ARCS Foundation awards

The Robert and Doris Pulley Award in Mathematics from the ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, a national non-profit organization that boosts U.S. competitiveness by raising funds to support promising U.S. citizens in doctoral programs in the sciences, engineering, and medicine) has been awarded to the following students. Advisers in parenthesis.
  • 2019: David Webb (Kjos-Hanssen)
  • 2017: John C. Robertson (Willett)
  • 2016: Jamal Hassan Haidar (Harron)
  • 2012: Geoffrey Patterson (Chyba)
  • 2011: William DeMeo (Freese)
  • 2008: Austin Anderson (Smith)

Marriott’s doctoral defense

John Marriott, a student of Prof. Monique Chyba, will defend his doctoral dissertation on September 5.


This work addresses the contrast problem in nuclear magnetic resonance as a Mayer problem in
optimal control. This is a problem motivated by improving the visible contrast in magnetic resonance
imaging, in which the magnetization of the nuclei of the substances imaged are first prepared by
being set to a particular con figuration by an external magnetic field, the control. In particular we
examine the contrast problem by saturation, wherein the magnetization of the first substance is
set to zero. This system is modeled by a pair of Bloch equations representing the evolution of the
magnetization vectors of the nuclei of two di fferent substances, both influenced by the same control