Skip to Content

Department of Mathematics

Professor Changhui Tan awarded NSF CAREER Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Tan!

Dr. Changhui Tan awarded an NSF CAREER grant for the project, ``Nonlocal partial differential equations in collective dynamics and fluid flow” from the Division of Mathematical Sciences.  Considered one of the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards, this grant supports early-career faculty in both their research and educational missions.

This is only the second such award in our program’s history, the first award was to Paula Vasquez in 2018.

Abstract of Award: The collective behaviors of large groups of similar animals, e.g., birds, insects, or fishes, are ubiquitous in nature. In recent times, the mathematical study of collective dynamics has become an active and fast-growing field of research. Many mathematical models of collective behavior rely on partial differential equations with nonlocal interactions to describe the resulting emergent behavior. It turns out that these models are intimately connected to other models traditionally used in fluid dynamics. The goal of this project is to study several models of nonlocal partial differential equations to model collective behavior or fluid flows, and to develop novel and robust analytical techniques to understand the collective behaviors driven by nonlocal structures. The training and professional development of graduate students and young researchers is an integral part of the project.

This project studies three families of partial differential equations with shared nonlocal structures that can affect the solutions of the equations: existence, uniqueness, regularity, and long-time asymptotic behaviors. The first problem is on the compressible Euler system with nonlinear velocity alignment, which describes the remarkable flocking phenomenon in animal swarms. Global phenomena and asymptotic behaviors of the system will be investigated, with a focus on the nonlinearity in the velocity alignment. The second problem is on the pressure-less Euler system, aiming at the long-standing question of the uniqueness of weak solutions. The plan is to approximate the system by the relatively well-studied Euler-alignment system in collective dynamics. The third problem is on the Euler-Monge-Ampère system which is closely related to the incompressible Euler equations in fluid dynamics. The embedded nonlocal geometric structure of the system will be explored, with interesting applications in optimal transport and mean-field games.

View Dr. Tan's Website here and the NSF grant information here.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.