Alex Iosevich, professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, has been named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

The AMS awards fellowships to recognize "members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics."

"This honor is a recognition of all the things done for me by many others, including my mentors, co-authors, and colleagues," said Iosevich.

One of those mentors is the chair of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Rochester, Allan Greenleaf, who calls the fellowship "a well-deserved honor" for Iosevich. "That he is one of only 50 members named as an AMS Fellow this year indicates his stature in the national mathematical community."

The triangle problem: What's the maximum number
of identical triangles that can be created by
connecting every three points in a grouping of dots?
(Graphic by Sarah Kirchoff/University of Rochester.)

Iosevich describes his work as "understanding the connections between different areas of mathematics." Specifically, he looks for ways to solve problems in one area of mathematics with knowledge found in other areas, taking inspiration from the "giants in the field who were driven by problems, not labels."

One problem Iosevich is pursuing involves determining the maximum number of identical triangles that can be formed when connecting every three points in a grouping of dots. Specifically, he is trying to show that the number of triangles repeated in any configuration of dots cannot be greater than the number of such triangles that are created from an orderly lattice of dots. He calls the problem "simple-sounding, yet elegant."

While the triangle problem comes from the field of geometric combinatorics, Iosevich uses methods from harmonic analysis and geometric measure theory to work on a solution.

Iosevich earned his Ph.D. in pure mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles. He joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 2010, after five years as associate professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The American Mathematical Society, with headquarters in Providence, RI, was founded in 1888 to further the interests of mathematical research and scholarship.