Curriculum Vitae
name  Matthias Heymann
date of birth  1977 in Frankfurt/Main (Germany)
2007 - 2010:  Assistant Research Professor, Duke University
2007:  PhD in Mathematics, Courant Institute, New York University
2001 / 02:  internship at Bell Laboratories, Dept. for Statistics and Data Mining, Murray Hill, NJ, USA
2001:  diploma in mathematics, University of Hannover, Germany
1999:  Vordiplom in mathematics and physics, University of Hannover, Germany
1996 / 97:  civil service, LBZB Hannover (school for blind children)
1996:  Abitur, Schillerschule Hannover, Germany
interestsprobability theory, functional analysis, numerical analysis,
applications to biology, physics, chemistry, etc.
research area analytical and numerical aspects of large deviation theory

Prizes / Awards:
2008the math department's nominee for the NYU-wide Dean's Outstanding Thesis Award in the Sciences
2007co-winner of the CIMS Moses A. Greenfield Research Award for outstanding interdisciplinary studies
2005the math department's nominee for the NYU-wide Dean's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award
2004co-winner of the CIMS Harold Grad Memorial Prize for outstanding performance and promise as a graduate student
2001 / 02fellowship from the Department for Statistics, Bell Labs, New Jersey
2000 - 2002Studienstiftung scholarship (scholarship foundation of the German Government, supporting about the top 1% of all students with German citizenship)
19961st prize in the 2nd round of the "Bundeswettbewerb Mathematik (National German Mathematics Competition), qualification for the finals

Papers & Publications:




2010 Existence and Properties of Minimum Action Curves for Degenerate Finsler Metrics, M.Heymann geometry / prob. theory [monograph]
Rare Transition Events in Nonequilibrium Systems with State-Dependent Noise: Application to Stochastic Current Switching in Semiconductor Superlattices, M. Heymann, S.J.Teitsworth, J.C.Mattingly theo. phys. / num. math [paper]
The sources of rare transitions in continuous-time Markov jump processes, M.Heymann, (in preparation) prob. theory   
2008 The geometric minimum action method for computing minimum energy paths, E.Vanden-Eijnden and M.Heymann, Jour. Chem. Phys. 128, 061103, 2008 chem. phys. /
num. math. 
The Geometric Minimum Action Method: A Least Action Principle on the Space of Curves, M.Heymann and E.Vanden-Eijnden, Comm. Pure Appl. Math. 61.8, 1052-1117, 2008 prob. theory /
num. math. 
2007 Pathways of maximum likelihood for rare events in non-equilibrium systems, Application to nucleation in the presence of shear, M.Heymann and E.Vanden-Eijnden, Phys. Rev. Letters 100.14, 140601, 2007 physics /
num. math.
PhD Thesis: The Geometric Minimum Action Method: A Least Action Principle on the Space of Curves, M.Heymann, New York University, 2007 prob. theory /
num. math.
[thesis] [talk]
2002 A Model for the Online Time of Network Users, M.Heymann and M.Hansen, unpublished statistics [paper]
A new set of sound commands for R; Sonification of the HMC algorithm, M.Heymann and M.Hansen, ASA Proceedings 2002, Statistical Computing Section, 1439-1443 statistics [paper]
The R sound package: A new set of commands for using sound under R, M.Heymann, available at programming [manual]
The Stieltjes convolution and a functional calculus for non-negative operators, M.Heymann, unpublished func. anal. [paper]


Diploma thesis: Fractional powers of operators, and their applications, M.Heymann, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, 2001 func. anal. [paper]
For more detailed descriptions of the projects, please see the Abstracts section on my Mathematics site.

2002 Fall:  Precalculus (recitation)
2003 Spring:  Calculus I (recitation)
2003 Fall:  Calculus II (recitation)
2004 SpringLinear Algebra
2004 SummerPrecalculus
2004 FallBusiness Calculus
2005 SpringBusiness Calculus
2005 SummerCalculus I
2005 FallLinear Algebra
2007 SpringScientific Computing (TA)
2007 Fall:  Linear Algebra
2008 Spring:  Probability Theory
2008 Fall:  Ordinary Differential Equations
2009 Spring:  Complex Analysis (graduate level)
2009 Fall:  Functional Analysis (graduate level)
2010 Spring:  Probability Theory
Please download the poster of my exhibition for my students' linear algebra semester project "3D graphics". [pdf]
In 2005 I was nominated for the NYU-wide "Dean's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award".

Computational Skills:
language skill level
last used projects
MatLab92010main language used for simulations in my research; also used for a graphical user interface in a semester project
Java72006user interface for tablet PCs, combining simultaneous input by microphone and stylus pen
R(SPLUS)72002main language for my data analysis project at Bell Labs, and for my sonification project at Bell Labs for which I programmed a new set of sound commands for R that is now available for download on the official R website.
Pearl32004used for parsing my data files at Bell Labs, and for the student login and grade requests on my course websites
C++22006briefly used in my PhD thesis
HTML72009several course websites and my private website; I edit about half of the HTML source code by hand
LaTeX102010see "Papers & Publications"
 Further experience includes many years of experience in Commodore 64 Assembler as a teenager.

   In my diploma thesis and subsequent work in functional analysis I developed a functional calculus for non-negative operators on a Banach space, based on a distributional generalization of the classical Stieltjes transform and a convolution operation on the space of Stieltjes-transformable distributions that I defined.
   I then spent one year in the Department of Statistics and Data Mining at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ. Here I was introduced to the tools and methods commonly used by data analysts, including the programming language R that I used extensively throughout that year in a project in which I modeled and analyzed internet traffic data. As a separate project I developed a package of new commands for dealing with sound under R that is now downloadable on the official R developers website.
   The lectures that I attended as a graduate student at NYU were mostly related to various aspects of probability theory, and in the bioinformatics department at NYU I learned the basics of genetics. With my advisor Prof. Vanden-Eijnden I was working on numerical and analytical aspects of the theory of rare events. In particular, we characterized maximum likelihood transition curves as the minimizers of a geometric action, and based on this description we developed an algorithm for computing this minimum action curve.
   In my current research I develop criteria for the existence of minimizers of such geometric actions. I also prove that transition curves pass critical points as they cross from one basin of attraction to another. For details, see my research statement.

classical piano, electronic music, Argentine Tango, Salsa, music theory (in particular composition techniques of Liszt and Chopin)