John Ross

Notable Achievements

Southwestern University had a strong showing at the 2019 Texas Section Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), held March 28–30 at Tarleton State University, in Stephenville, TX.

  • Katie Dyo ’20 presented “Women’s Golf: An NCAA Comparison Using Mathematical Modeling,” preliminary results from her signature work with Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton. Dyo is a mathematics major and data-science minor, and she is a member of the SU Women’s Golf Team.
  • Claire Harding ’19 and Madison Godleski ’19 presented “Rocket Projections,” supervised by Associate Professor of Physics Mark Bottorff. Harding is a physics major, and Godleski is a physics major with a mathematics minor.
  • Daniela Beckelhymer ’20, Charlie Ellison ’20, Hannah Freeman ’20, and Gerardo Gonzalez also attended the meeting.
  • President and Professor of Mathematics Edward Burger gave the invited address, “Making up Your Own Mind through Practices of (Mathematical) Effective Thinking.”
  • Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr co-led and participated in the Mathematics Learning by Inquiry organizational meetings, held in conjunction with the Texas MAA meeting.
  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross attended the professional-development program of Texas New Experiences in Teaching (NExT), held in conjunction with the Texas MAA meeting. Ross also supported the student attendees.
  • Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards and Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Osborne participated in the Texas MAA meeting.

Student lodging, registration, and meals were provided by the Fleming Student Travel Fund and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Southwestern students accounted for five of the 57 presentations, along with 20 other colleges and universities.

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Expertise

Differential Geometry, Riemannian Geometry, Geometric Analysis. Minimal surfaces, Mean Curvature Flow. The mathematics of bubbles and similar surfaces.

John Ross received his PhD in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 2015 and his BA in Mathematics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2009.

  • John Ross received his PhD in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 2015 and his BA in Mathematics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2009.

  • Dr. Ross’ research focuses on theory and applications of minimal surfaces and mean curvature flow. Taken together, these subjects describe how surfaces (or higher-dimensional manifolds) can evolve in time to achieve stable structures under certain constraints. The most accessible example is the creating of bubbles via soap film - a two-dimensional elastic surface that aims to minimize surface area subject to some additional structural constraint (eg. constant volume enclosure in the case of a free-floating bubble, or fixed boundary in the case of a bubble wand). The geometry of the surface with minimal surface area - or the evolution a soap film undergoes as it evolves to shrink surface area - is of broad interest to mathematicians, materials scientists, and physicists. Dr. Ross studies the differential equations that govern this process, and the connection between these equations and the underlying geometry of the surfaces.