December 14, 2009


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By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- While working on a National Science Foundation-sponsored research project, Bucknell University Assistant Professor of Mathematics Nathan Ryan befriended a fellow mathematician from Uruguay who studied in the United States through a Fulbright fellowship.

Ryan, who spent part of his childhood in Argentina, hatched an idea with Gonzalo Tornaría to continue their connection through a research partnership in South America.

This past fall, Ryan, a computational number theorist, traveled to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay for a semester-long Fulbright fellowship to conduct research with Tornaría and to teach at the Universidad de la República.  Ryan's specific area of research was on the central values of L functions, which relate to the frequency and distribution of arithmetic data.

"The point of Fulbright fellowships is cultural exchange," Ryan said. "They want you to form bridges. He (Tornaría) formed the bridge from there, and I completed it from here."

Ryan plans to continue his collaboration with Tornaría, who will visit Bucknell in March, and the two plan to travel back and forth as their research dictates.

About 1,250 U.S. faculty and professionals received Fulbright Scholar or Fulbright Specialist grants to teach and conduct research abroad this year, according to the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. Another 850 foreign scholars received awards to visit campuses for a semester or longer. Ryan joins about 50,000 academics and professionals to receive Fulbright grants since 1947.

Contact: Division of Communications

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