Myhill Lecture Series: October 5, 6 & 7, 2022

Gigliola Staffilani

The Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Mathematics at MIT

The study of wave interactions: where beautiful mathematical ideas come together


Photo by Bryce Vickmark for MIT Math Department 10/3/13 - Gigliola Staffilani.

Gigliola Staffilani — Photo by Bryce Vickmark for MIT Math Department 2013.

The Myhill Lecture Series 2022, "The study of wave interactions: where beautiful mathematical ideas come together" will be delivered by Dr. Gigliola Staffilani, the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Mathematics at MIT. Her research concerns harmonic analysis and partial differential equations, including the Korteweg–de Vries equation and Schrödinger equation. Join us for each lecture in the series, October 5, 6 and 7, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., 250 Mathematics Building, North Campus. 

Lecture Series Abstract

Phenomena involving interactions of waves happen at different scales and in different media: from gravitational waves to the waves on the surface of the ocean, from our milk and coffee in the morning to infinitesimal particles that behave like wave packets in quantum physics. These phenomena are difficult to study in a rigorous mathematical manner, but maybe because of this challenge mathematicians have developed interdisciplinary approaches that are powerful and beautiful. I will describe some of these approaches and show for example how the need to understand certain multilinear and periodic interactions gave also the tools to prove a famous conjecture in number theory, or how classical tools in probability gave the right framework to still have viable theories behind certain deterministic counterexamples.

Speaker Bio

Gigliola Staffilani  is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Mathematics since 2007, and was Associate Department Head from July 2013 to 2015. She received the B.S. equivalent from the University of Bologna in 1989, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1991 and 95. Carlos Kenig was her doctoral advisor. Following a Szegö Assistant Professorship at Stanford, she had faculty appointments at Stanford, Princeton and Brown (tenured at Stanford and Brown), before joining the MIT mathematics faculty in 2002 as tenured associate professor (professor in 2006). Professor Staffilani is an analyst, with a concentration on dispersive nonlinear PDEs. At Stanford, she received the Harold M. Bacon Memorial Teaching Award in 1997, and was given the Frederick E. Terman Award for young faculty in 1998. She was Sloan fellow from 2000-02, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, NJ in 1996 and 2003 and a member of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2010.

At MIT Professor Staffilani served as co-chair of the Graduate Student Committee in Pure Mathematics from 2009-2013, and is the Faculty Diversity Officer since 2015. In 2013 she was elected member of the Massachusetts Academy of Science and a fellow of the AMS, and in 2014 member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017 she received a Guggenheim fellowship and a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. As a member of the Department's edX group (with David Jerison, Jennifer French and Karene Chu), Gigliola received the inaugural MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs by the MIT Office of Digital. They were honored for significant contributions to MITx MOOC coursework offered on during the 2016 calendar year. In 2018, she received the Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, by the MIT Presidential Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons. She was selected for the 2020 Committed to Caring (C2C) award by the Office of Graduate Education. In 2021, Professor Staffilani was elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gigliola serves on the editorial board for the journals Ars Inveniendi Analytica, Communications of the AMS, Duke Journal, IJM, La Matematica, JAMS, Revista Matematica Iberoamericana, Selecta Mathematica, and Stochastics, and, Partial Differential Equations: Analysis and Computations.