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# R-MC Mathematics Professor is Finalist for International Award

Brian Sutton, Ph.D. |

Randolph-Macon College Assistant Professor of Mathematics Brian Sutton, Ph.D., is a finalist for one of the highest awards in the field, the 14th Leslie Fox Prize in Numerical Analysis, for his research in applied mathematics. On June 29, 2009, Dr. Sutton will join five other finalists at the Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick in the United Kingdom where the winner will be announced. The announcement will be followed by 40-minute lecture presentations by each finalist.

Dr. Sutton’s research, Computing the Complete CS Decomposition, presents an algorithm that computes the CS decomposition of a partitioned unitary matrix. An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, often used for calculation and data processing. The algorithm in Dr. Sutton’s research appears to be the only fully specified one available for computing the CS decomposition, which breaks the matrix into a product of two, each of which is related to the cosine and sine functions. In an abstract to describe the research, Sutton writes, “Although the existence of the CS decomposition (CSD) has been recognized since 1977, prior algorithms compute only a reduced version. This reduced version, which might be called a 2-by-1 CSD, is equivalent to two simultaneous singular value decompositions. The fully specified algorithm computes the complete 2-by-2 CSD, which requires the simultaneous diagonalization of all four blocks of a unitary matrix partitioned into a 2-by-2 block structure.”

The notable Leslie Fox Prize is awarded every other year to promising mathematicians who are under the age of 31. The submissions are judged by a committee of respected peers based on originality and quality of the subject. Special consideration is also given to the suitability of the material for a 40-minute lecture to an audience of numerical analysts. Leslie Fox was a British mathematician noted for his contribution to numerical analysis. He earned a Ph.D. in computational and engineering mathematics at Oxford under the supervision of Sir Richard Southwell. Dr. Fox was named the director of the University of Oxford’s Computing laboratory and later became the first professor of numerical analysis at the University. The Leslie Fox Prize was established upon his retirement in 1983 with the aim of giving encouragement and recognition to young research workers.

Dr. Sutton joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College in 2005. He earned a B.S. in both mathematics and computer science at Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an invited presenter at more than a dozen conferences and lectures. Sutton’s research and other writings have been published in several academic and instructional publications.