Joe Chen

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Department/Office Information

214 McGregory Hall

BS, Yale College, 2006; MS, Cornell University, 2010; PhD, Cornell University, 2013.

Postdoctoral fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Mathematics, University of Connecticut, 2013-16.

Long-term visiting research positions (and invited minicourses):

Past grants

(The papers below have been either published or accepted for publication. See my ARXIV PAGE for the most up-to-date list of my papers.)


Laplacian growth & sandpiles on the Sierpinski gasket: limit shape universality and exact solutions.
(with Jonah Kudler-Flam '17.) To appear in Ann. Inst. Henri Poincaré Comb. Phys. Interact. (2019+). ARXIV:1807.08748

Internal DLA on Sierpinski gasket graphs.
(with Wilfried Huss, Ecaterina Sava-Huss, and Alexander Teplyaev.) To appear in ``Analysis and geometry on graphs and manifolds,'' LMS Lecture Notes, Cambridge University Press (2019+). ARXIV:1702.04017

Fractal AC circuits and propagating waves on fractals.
(with Eric Akkermans, Gerald Dunne, Luke G. Rogers, and Alexander Teplyaev.) To appear in the Cornell conference proceedings ``Analysis, Probability & Mathematical Physics on Fractals,'' World Scientific Publishing (2019+). ARXIV:1507.05682


From non-symmetric particle systems to non-linear PDEs on fractals.
(with Michael Hinz and Alexander Teplyaev.) To appear in the proceedings for Stochastic PDEs and Related Fields: an international conference in honor of Michael Röckner's 60th birthday. (2018). ARXIV:1702.03376

Regularized Laplacian determinants of self-similar fractals.
(with Alexander Teplyaev and Konstantinos Tsougkas.) Lett. Math. Phys. 108 (2018) 1563-1579. ARXIV:1610.10062


The moving particle lemma for the exclusion process on a weighted graph.
Electron. Commun. Probab. 22 (2017), paper no. 47. ARXIV:1606.01577

Power dissipation in fractal AC circuits.
(with Luke G. Rogers, Loren Anderson, Ulysses Andrews, Antoni Brzoska, Aubrey Coffey, Hannah Davis, Lee Fisher, Madeline Hansalik, Stephew Loew, and Alexander Teplyaev.). J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 50 (2017) 325205. ARXIV:1605.03890

Wave equation on one-dimensional fractals with spectral decimation and the complex dynamics of polynomials.
(with Ulysses Andrews, Grigory Bonik, Richard W. Martin, and Alexander Teplyaev.) 
J. Fourier Anal. Appl. 23 (2017) 994--1027. ARXIV:1505.05855

Stabilization by noise of a $\mathbb{C}^2$-valued coupled system.
(with Lance Ford, Derek Kielty, Rajeshwari Majumdar, Heather McCain, Dylan O'Connell, and Fan Ny Shum.) Stoch. Dyn. 17 (2017) 1750046. ARXIV:1510.09221

2016 and prior

Singularly continuous spectrum of a self-similar Laplacian on the half-line.
(with Alexander Teplyaev.) J. Math. Phys. 57 (2016) 052104. ARXIV:1509.08875

Spectral dimension and Bohr's formula for Schrodinger operators on unbounded fractal spaces.
(with Stanislav Molchanov and Alexander Teplyaev.) J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 48 (2015) 395203. ARXIV:1505.03923

Entropic repulsion of Gaussian free field on high-dimensional Sierpinski carpet graphs.
(with Baris E. Ugurcan.) Stoch. Proc. Appl. 125 (2015) 4632--4673. ARXIV:1307.5825

Periodic billiard orbits of self-similar Sierpinski carpets.
(with Robert G. Niemeyer.) J. Math. Anal. Appl. 416 (2014) 969--994. ARXIV:1303.4032

Quantum theory of cavity-assisted sideband cooling of mechanical motion.
(with Florian Marquardt, Aashish A. Clerk, and Steven M. Girvin.)
Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 093902 (2007).

Interacting particle systems, sandpiles, (stochastic) partial differential equations, and fractals

My research focuses on the analysis of probability models---in particular, interacting particle systems and Laplacian growth models---on state spaces which are bounded in distance determined by electrical resistance. By studying explicit models and taking the right space-time scaling limits, I can rigorously derive (stochasticpartial differential equations or prove limit shape theorems on these spaces. These mathematical results capture various laws of nature, such as heat flow, wave propagation, charged particles in an electromagnetic field, and fluid dynamics. 

Models which I have studied include: Exclusion processesinternal diffusion-limited aggregationrotor-router aggregationabelian sandpiles, and Gaussian free fields. These models are often inspired from, and studied in, probability theory and statistical physics.

While the models I study may seem disparate, my approach is ultimately grounded in the study of analysis on graphsMarkov processes, and potential theory.

Some of my best mathematical results to date

  • Proved a new, optimal functional inequality for the exclusion process on any finite connected weighted graph, using the monotonicity of the Dirichlet energy under electric network reduction (a.k.a. Schur complementation). This paves the way for proving scaling limits of particle systems with microscopic interactions on non-translationally-invariant state spaces, such as trees, fractals, and random graphs.
  • Established limit shape universality of discrete Laplacian growth models on the Sierpinski gasket, including the complete exact solution of the abelian sandpile growth problem.
  • Discovered a simple random walk model on the integer half-line which exhibits purely singularly continuous spectrum (that is, neither has point mass nor has density with respect to Lebesgue measure)---the simplest such model currently known.
  • Generalized Niels Bohr's asymptotic semiclassical formula for Schrodinger operators to abstract metric measure spaces.

More details can be found on my research page.

Below is a list of undergraduate research projects which I have (co-)supervised. While I make no guarantees, many of the projects have resulted in arXiv preprints and then published in good journals.

  • 2018~19 (Colgate): Spectral decimation of the magnetic Laplacian on the Sierpinski gasket (High Honors bachelor's thesis, expanded version ARXIV:1909.05662 submitted for publication)
  • Fall 2017~Spring 2018 (Colgate): Complex-valued graph Laplacians, random spanning forests, and sandpiles on fractal graphs.
  • Spring 2017 (Colgate): Limit shapes of Laplacian growth & sandpile models on fractal graphs.  ARXIV:1807.08748 (To appear in Ann. Inst. Henri Poincaré Comb. Phys. Interact.) 
  • Summer 2015 (UConn math REU): Stabilization by noise of a nonlinear coupled system with quadratic nonlinearity. ARXIV:1510.09221 (Published in Stoch. Dyn.)
  • Summer 2015 (UConn math REU): Power dissipation in fractal AC circuits. ARXIV:1605.03890 (Published in J. Phys. A: Math. Theor.)

Fall 2019

Spring 2018

  • MATH 163: Calculus III
  • MATH 377: Real Analysis I

Fall 2017

  • MATH 163: Calculus III
  • MATH 214: Linear Algebra

For more details please visit my teaching page.