My Ph.D. student Kevin Wortman passed his thesis defense this morning, and is now (or will be when they hold the graduation ceremony in a week) Dr. Wortman.
Kevin (not to be confused with my other recent co-authors Kevin and Kevin, nor with the Utah mathematician Kevin Wortman) has been working with me since 2005, when we had a paper in SoCG on minimum dilation stars, or, less formally, the problem of selecting an airline hub that minimizes the maximum ratio between the route length between two cities through the hub and the straight-line distance. Since then, we've written more papers about fast approximations to the minimum dilation star problem, and minimum dilation stars for metric spaces (to appear at WADS), both of which became parts of Kevin's thesis. The minimum dilation star has led to the definition of a new triangle center, and an interpretation of dilation as a smoothed distance function is a key component of another paper with Kevin on generalized Voronoi diagrams. Kevin's graph drawing algorithms also formed the basis of the somewhat monstrous graph drawing below, a more legible version of the drawings in this post that I needed for my recent work on squaregraphs.
Kevin has a job offer from California State University, Fullerton (also in Orange County, but with heavier teaching loads and less of the heavy emphasis on research that the University of California has) and will start there in August. Landing a job like that in the current economic climate is not easy (we just received word of a hard hiring freeze on our own campus) but well deserved.
No kidding. Having been in the postdoc market myself, I can fully appreciate Kevin's achievement.
I heard about his finishing through Facebook, but hearing about the offer at CSUF is awesome.