(All photographs courtesy of Fatma Terzioglu.)


Fatma Terzioglu, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University, has been selected to receive a Student Paper Prize by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

The SIAM Student Paper Prizes are awarded annually to the student authors of the most outstanding papers submitted to the SIAM Student Paper Competition. The award is "based solely on the merit and content of the student's contribution to the submitted paper."

Terzioglu, who was one of three recipients chosen worldwide, will receive her award and present her winning paper, "Some Inversion Formulas for the Cone Transform," at the 2016 SIAM Annual Meeting, set for July 11-15 in Boston.

"It is a highly competitive contest accepting worldwide nominations in the area of applied mathematics and computing," Terzioglu said. "I am very happy and honored that my first paper is selected among many notable works. This stimulates me to put even greater efforts into doing good mathematics."

In her paper, Terzioglu focuses on common issues in areas of imaging that utilize the so-called cone transform, a type of mathematical operation used by several novel imaging devices that use Compton cameras. Such instruments rely on a gamma ray detector system applicable in areas ranging from medical diagnostics to astronomy to homeland security in order to construct a detailed tomographic map of an observed object.

Compton cameras are known for their use of Compton scattering, which occurs when a high-energy photon collides with a target to determine the origin of the observed gamma rays. Sometimes, the gamma ray source is in the presence of other high-frequency radiation that can be as much as a thousand times stronger, essentially drowning the target signal and making the extraction of crucial information collected by the Compton camera a challenging mathematical quandary.

Terzioglu was able to successfully develop new inversion formulas for the cone transform and to write code for numerical implementation of derived formulas -- a two-step process that enables the reconstruction of both 2D and 3D images from Compton camera data.

"Fatma does what a dream Ph.D. student should do: teaches her advisor new things," said Peter Kuchment, a distinguished professor of mathematics at Texas A&M and Terzioglu's faculty advisor. "This is a very high recognition from the SIAM, and I am really proud that my student received it."

A native of Turkey, Terzioglu attended Bogazici University, where she completed an integrated B.S and M.S. program to earn a bachelor's in mathematics education in 2009 and a master's in mathematics in 2011. After graduating, she relocated to College Station to complete her Ph.D. in mathematics at Texas A&M, where her research interests include Compton camera imaging, Radon transform, microlocal analysis, hybrid imaging and inverse problems in tomography.

Beyond academics, Terzioglu is a founding officer and vice president of the Texas A&M SIAM Graduate Student Chapter. In addition, she is president of the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

"The challenge in mathematics has appealed to me since childhood," Terzioglu said. "I decided to become a mathematician when I was charmed by the depth of thought that goes into the formulation of the mathematical concepts. I find the language of mathematics in the formulation of the laws of nature magical, and doing research in this field is like a treasure hunt.

"I am grateful to my advisor Peter Kuchment and the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M University for providing me all the necessary training and resources to succeed in this field."

Founded in 1951, the SIAM in an international community of more than 14,000 members who serve to foster the development of applied mathematical and computational methodologies essential to solving real-world problems in various application areas. For more information, visit https://www.siam.org/.

To learn more about Terzioglu and her work, go to http://www.math.tamu.edu/~fatma/index.html.

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Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7246 or cjarvis@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Peter Kuchment, (979) 862-3257 or kuchment@math.tamu.edu

Jarvis Chris

  • Fatma Terzioglu

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