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Peter OttoPeter Otto

    Mathematics Professor Wins National Science Foundation Award

    Peter Otto, assistant professor of mathematics, recently won a National Science Foundation Research Opportunity Award, which allows faculty at predominantly undergraduate institutions to pursue research as visiting scientists with NSF-supported investigators at other institutions.

    With his award of $23,870, Otto will collaborate with Professor Richard S. Ellis at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to complete a paper titled “Asymptotic Behavior of the Finite-Size Magnetization as a Function of the Speed of Approach to Criticality” and a sequel publication on a related topic. The papers are the results of their continued investigations of the phase transitions of physical systems.

    “The classic example of a phase transition is when water turns into gas as temperature rises,” Otto says. “While it is known how the system behaves on both sides of the transition, exactly what happens right at the point of transition is not well understood. Professor Ellis and I are examining what happens close to the transition point for a class of theoretical mathematical models in statistical mechanics.”

    The goal of the Research Opportunity Award is to enhance the research productivity and professional development of science faculty at undergraduate institutions through research activities that enable them to explore the emerging frontiers of science.