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Thursday, April 04, 2019

Q&A: Professor Gigliola Staffilani on women in mathematics | Around Campus - MIT News

More than a decade after creating the Celebration of Women in Mathematics at MIT, Staffilani talks about the present and future of women in the field, writes Laura Carter, School of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Department of Mathematics Professor Gigliola Staffilani is a pioneering role model, mentor, and advocate for women in mathematics.
Photo: Laura Carter
In 2008, Gigliola Staffilani, the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor in the Department of Mathematics, and former MIT assistant professor Katrin Wehrheim spearheaded the Celebration of Women in Mathematics at MIT, a two-day event focused on MIT’s role as a leading educator of women mathematicians. Shortly after, Staffilani and Wehrheim founded MIT’s Women in Mathematics, a group of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty dedicated to the professional and personal success of women mathematicians. They also initiated the Weeks Lectures, aptly named after Dorothy Weeks, the first woman to receive a doctorate from the Department of Mathematics in 1930.

Prior to joining MIT in 2002, Staffilani taught on the faculties of Stanford University and Brown University after receiving her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1995. Specializing in dispersive nonlinear partial differential equations, her work in theoretical mathematics investigates tools to analyze complex equations coming from physics for which explicit solutions are not available. Staffilani is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and a Guggenheim fellow. More than 10 years after the 2008 celebration, Staffilani answers questions about the future of women in her field.

Source: MIT News