Michael Gage received his B.S. from Antioch College and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 1978. His thesis in differential geometry was supervised by Robert Osserman. He has held visiting positions at Michigan State University, the University of Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania, Case Western Reserve University, l'Institute des Hautes Etudes Scientific (Paris) and the University of California at San Diego. He is currently a full professor at the University of Rochester.
Prof. Gage has worked on a range of problems in differential geometry, including isoperimetric inequality problems such as a proof of Gehring's conjecture on linked spheres and eigenvalue estimates on Riemannian manifolds. Beginning in 1983 he was one of the first to study the "curve shortening" or "flow by mean curvature" problem, which lead eventually, through the work of many researchers, to the theorem that all simple closed curves which are deformed at a rate proportional to their curvature will shrink smoothly to points while becoming asymptotically circular. Since then he and his students have studied versions of the problem in Minkowski geometries, where the unit ball is an arbitrary convex set, and where the theory has applications to crystal growth and material science. Similar dynamical flows are being studied for their relevance to image enhancement.
Prof. Gage's current interests are focused on understanding the properties of the curve shortening flow in general Finsler metrics of which Minkowski geometries are a special case.
Prof. Gage was the recipient of the MAA Seaway section Distinguished Teaching Award for 1996-97 and also received the University of Rochester's prestigious Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching in October 1997.
Beginning in 1996, Prof. Gage and Prof. Arnold Pizer began development at the University of Rochester of a web-based system for checking homework and providing immediate feedback for students using the World Wide Web. Called WeBWorK, and supported by a grant from the NSF, the system is now in use at over 35 universities and colleges. It won the International Congress on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) award for excellence and innovation with the use of technology in collegiate mathematics and was featured at a popular MAA mini-workshop at the annual mathematics meetings in New Orleans(2001) and San Diego(2002).
Prof. Gage has been active in promoting co-curricular mathematics activities for undergraduates. He was the faculty advisor for SUMS (Society for Undergraduate Mathematics Students) from its inception until 2001. He also serves as the department's liason to the MAA (Mathematics Association of America).
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