New mathematical tools to study opinion dynamics

Using a class of network structures known as discourse sheaves, researchers describe a new, flexible framework for studying how opinions change over social networks.

Erica K. Brockmeier

Understanding the pandemic classroom

Penn professors join the “Understand This ...” podcast to talk about the fall 2021 return to the classroom, reflecting on what students and educators have experienced during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while examining lessons from remote learning.

Brandon Baker

Two Churchill Scholars for Penn

Adam Konkol and Abigail Timmel have each been awarded Churchill Scholarships for a year of graduate research study at the University of Cambridge in England. Konkol and Timmel are among only 16 who were selected nationwide.

Louisa Shepard

In the News

Quanta Magazine

The new math of wrinkling

Eleni Katifori of the School of Arts & Sciences is credited for her work simulating wrinkle patterns, which were crucial to an overall theory of geometric wrinkle prediction.


New Scientist

Researchers have worked out the rules for how some things wrinkle

Eleni Katifori of the School of Arts & Sciences and colleagues used simulations of curving plastic pieces to predict the formation of wrinkling patterns.


CBS Philadelphia

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1.2 billion

Dennis Deturck of the School of Arts & Sciences estimates the odds of winning the lottery, contrasting it with increasingly more unlikely occurrences.


Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians prove 2D version of quantum gravity really works

Xin Sun of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about new research at the intersection of physics, philosophy, and math. “This is a masterpiece in mathematical physics,” he said.


Quanta Magazine

How mathematicians use homology to make sense of topology

Robert Ghrist of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about homology, which uses algebra to identify holes in a particular topological shape. “There’s a real impetus to have methods that are robust and that are pulling out qualitative features,” he said.



Why are lines at polling places so long? Math

Stephen Pettigrew of the School of Arts & Sciences explained why the voting process can take longer than expected. “The steps in the system in most states are: You have a check-in step where they verify your voter registration status, and then there’s the step of actually voting. Lines out the door can be a consequence of bottlenecks at any of those steps,” he said.