UK Happenings

MIT Professor to Deliver Speech on the Beauty of Mathematics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2018) The University of Kentucky Department of Mathematics will host a public talk with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Gigliola Staffilani for the 2018-19 van Winter Memorial Lecture.

The lecture, "How the Study of Complex Wave Phenomena Inspires Beautiful Mathematics," will take place from 4-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in Room 155 of the Chemistry-Physics Building on the UK campus.

The van Winter Lecture Series began in 2001 in remembrance of Clasine van Winter, a professor from 1968-1999 in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Staffilani's presentation will mark the 18th annual van Winter Lecture.

Staffilani is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an analyst with a concentration on dispersive nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). Her most recent work focuses on nonlinear PDEs, global well-posedness of solutions, water waves, energy transfer, scattering maps and PDEs with randomized data, among other topics.

In this talk, Staffilani will "try to convey how the mathematical study of these physical phenomena have also created and inspired a whole set of new mathematical tools that are elegant, powerful and also incredibly beautiful in their abstract nature." She will also touch on how these modern tools help to answer open problems in a completely new setting, ranging from number theory to probability, to symplectic geometry and beyond.

She received her bachelor's degree equivalent from the University of Bologna in 1989, and a master's degree and doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1991 and 1995. She has served faculty appointments at Stanford University, Princeton University and Brown University before joining the MIT faculty as tenured associate professor in 2002, and later professor in 2006. She was elected as a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Science in 2013 and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.

The lecture is open to the UK community as well as the public. Children and adults interested in science are encouraged to attend. A reception will follow the presentation.

For more information on the lecture, contact the UK Department Mathematics at 859-257-3336.