Kevrekidis to Assist Colleagues in Greece as Part of Diaspora Fellowship Program

Panos Kevrekidis
Panos Kevrekidis

Panos Kevrekidis, distinguished professor in mathematics and statistics, was recently awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to work with Dimitrios Frantzeskakis, professor of physics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, on “Hamiltonian and open classical and quantum systems.”

As he explains, the goal is to explore a series of cutting-edge directions concerning Hamiltonian, that is, energy conserving, and open, or non-energy-conserving, classical and quantum systems. They will explore applications in nonlinear optics such as so-called parity-time symmetric optical media, as well as in atomic physics, for example, the Nobel prize winning theme of Bose-Einstein condensates. They will also investigate applications in fluid mechanics, for example, the notion of rogue waves and, more generally, extreme wave events.

The fellowship supports Kevrekidis for a two-month visit to the University of Athens, but also involves collaborations with the universities of the Aegean, Ioannina and Thessaloniki.

Kevrekidis says, “It is a true honor to be a member of the inaugural class of fellows of the Greek Diaspora program and a privilege to be serving as an ambassador of UMass Amherst to a historic and well established university such as the University of Athens. I am sincerely looking forward to working closely with colleagues in Greece with the aim to strengthen existing projects and form novel long-lasting connections and collaborations between the two institutions and countries.”

Farshid Hajir, head of mathematics and statistics, says, “Panos is one of the world’s leading experts in non-linear phenomena in science.  The department is very pleased that this fellowship will allow him to share his knowledge and expertise with colleagues in Greece, and brings more international visibility to the outstanding work done by UMass Amherst faculty in the College of Natural Sciences.’’

Kevrekidis is one of 21 Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars from 16 U.S. and Canadian universities who will travel to Greece to work on projects with their peers at Greek universities in a variety of areas from public health to genomics and urban food security. The fellowship program chose 12 Greek universities for projects that meet specific needs identified by those institutions and communities in their applications.

Organizers say the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed “to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the U.S. and Canada.” It is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece and is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Stelios Vasilakis, director of SNF programs and strategic initiatives, says, “The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is thrilled both with the appeal and interest the program has generated among academics of the diaspora, as well as the wide ranging expertise of the first round of fellows. We look forward to these partnerships, which we believe will build long-lasting relationships and be beneficial to all parties involved. We are grateful to the Institute of International Education for their dedication to the program as well as the invaluable input of the esteemed advisory council.”

Allan Goodman, IIE president and CEO, says, “The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support for these fellowships demonstrates the foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery.”

Greek- and Cypriot-born academics living in the United States and Canada can apply for the next round of project awards until Jan. 31 at www.iie.org/Programs/Greek-Diaspora-Fellowship-Program#.WFP8JaOZOEl