Department of Mathematics

Kieval Lecture

This lecture series is presented by the HSU Department of Mathematics. Named for HSU Mathematics Professor Emeritus. Dr. Harry S. Kieval, who taught at HSU from 1966 to 1979, the series includes topics on popular and/or broad aspects of mathematics attractive to undergraduates and the public.

The 71st Harry S. Kieval Lecture

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
7:30 P.M.
FH 118

Gigliola Staffilani, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 "How the Study of Complex Wave Phenomena Inspires Beautiful Mathematics"

Waves are all around us:  ocean waves, sound waves,  rainbows…scientists have spent countless hours trying to  understand them, to predict them and to harness from them  the energy that they encapsulate. In this talk I 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. These tools are now used  to answer open problems in completely different settings, from   number theory to  probability to symplectic geometry and more.

Gigliola Staffilani is the MIT Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Mathematics since 2007.  She received her B.S. (equivalent) from the University of Bologna in 1989, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1991 and 1995. Following a Szego Assistant Professorship at Stanford University, she had faculty appointments at Stanford, Princeton and Brown,  before joining the MIT mathematics faculty in 2002. At Stanford, Professor Staffilani 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 a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1995-96 and again in 2003-04. She was a Sloan Fellow from 2000-02 and a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard in 2009-10.  In 2013 she became an AMS Fellow and a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.  In 2014 she was inducted into  the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received a Guggenheim  Fellowship in 2017 and she is currently a Simon Fellow.

Professor Staffilani is an analyst, with a concentration on dispersive nonlinear PDE. With her work she has contributed to the enormous progress that has been made in the last two decades in settling fundamental questions on existence of  solutions for dispersive equations, as well as their long time behavior, singularity formation and interactions. This body of work has focused primarily on deterministic aspects of wave phenomena and it has been studied with sophisticated tools from harmonic analysis, nonlinear Fourier analysis, analytic number theory and geometry.  More recently, though, a growing interest has been shown by the mathematical community in incorporating a nondeterministic point of view in the field of dispersive PDE and Staffilani's recent work has focused in advancing the field in this direction. Finally Staffilani is also interested on the study of the "process" used by mathematical physicists to pass from a complex system of particles interacting among each other to a macroscopic wave function that is able to describe the most important features of the system as a whole. More precisely, she studies the effective evolution equations arising as an appropriate limit of many body quantum dynamics.

This is a link to the HSU library video records of the Kieval Lectures.

(In the box marked "Search for:" , type "Kieval")

Previous lecturers in this series have included:

  • Ken Ono (details) Fall 2017 (Emory University)
  • Francis Su (details) Spring 2017 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Erica Flapan (details) Fall 2016 (Pomona College)
  • Bernd  Sturmfels (details) Spring 2016 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Federico Ardila (details) Fall 2015 (San Francisco State University)
  • Margot Gerritsen (details) Spring 2015 (Stanford University)
  • Benson Farb (details) Fall 2014 (University of Chicago)
  • Tim Chartier (details) Spring 2014 (Davidson College North Carolina)
  • Alan Schoenfeld (details) Fall 2013 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Abigail Thompson (details) Spring 2013 (University of California at Davis)
  • Robert Bryant (details) Fall 2012 (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute)
  • William G. McCallum (details) Spring 2012 (University of Arizona)
  • Kenneth Ribet (details) Fall 2011 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • David Pengelley (details) Spring 2011 (New Mexico State University)
  • Alice Silverberg (details) Fall 2010 (University of California at Irvine)
  • Robert J. Lang (details) Spring 2010
  • Ken Golden, (details)Fall 2009 (University of Utah)
  • Tony DeRose, (details)Spring 2009 (Pixar Studios)
  • Underwood Dudley, (details) Fall 2008 (DePauw University)
  • Don Albers, (details) Spring 2008 (Mathematical Association of America Books)
  • C. Edward Sandifer, (details) Fall 2007 (Western Connecticut State University)
  • Melanie Wood, (details), Spring 2007 (Princeton University)
  • Jerald Marsden, ( ), Fall 2006 (California Institute of Technology)
  • Deborah Ball, (details) , Spring 2006 (University of Michigan)
  • Majorie Senechal, (details), Fall 2005 (Smith College)
  • Joe Gallian, (details), Spring 2005 (University of Minnesota Duluth)
  • Jennifer Quinn, (details), Fall 2004 (Occidental College)
  • John Conway, (details), Spring 2004 (Princeton University)
  • Persi Diaconis (details), Fall 2003, (Stanford University)
  • Hyman Bass (details) ,Spring 2003 (U. of Michigan)
  • Ann E.Watkins  (details),Fall, 2002(CSU Northridge)
  • Ed Burger  (details), Spring, 2002 (Williams  College)
  • Michael E. Moody  (details ) Fall, 2001 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Richard Tapia (details) Spring, 2001 ( Rice University)
  • Noam D. Elkies (details) Fall, 2000 (Harvard University)
  • Victor Katz (details) Spring, 2000 (University of the District of Columbia)
  • Arthur Benjamin (details) Fall, 1999 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Thomas Banchoff (details)Spring, 1999 (Brown University)
  • Frank Giordano (details)  Fall, 1998 (COMAP)
  • Robert L. Devaney (Details) Spring, 1998 (Boston University)
  • Sherman Stein Fall, 1997 (UC Davis)
  • Ron Graham (Details ) Spring, 1997
  • David Hoffman Fall, 1996 (MSRI, Berkeley)
  • Doris Schattschneider Spring, 1996 (Moravian College)
  • Herbert Keller Fall, 1995 (Cal. Inst. of Technology)
  • Keith J. Devlin Spring, 1995 (Saint Mary's College)
  • Deb Hughes Hallett (Harvard) and Jerry Uhl  (U of Ill.) Fall, 1994
  • Gil Strang Spring, 1994(MIT)
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez Fall, 1993 (Cornell)
  • Judith Grabiner Spring, 1993 (Pitzer College).
  • Judith Tanur Fall, 1992 (SUNY, Stony Brook)
  • Margaret Cozzins Spring, 1992 (Northeastern U.)
  • Saunders MacLane Fall, 1991 (Univ. of Chicago)
  • Branko Grunbaum Spring, 1991 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Robert Moses Fall, 1990
  • George Dantzig Spring, 1990 (Stanford Univ.) 
  • Reuben Hersh Fall, 1989 (Univ. of NM)
  • Ralph Boas Spring, 1989 (Northwestern Univ.)
  • Leon Henkin Fall, 1988 (U.C., Berk.)
  • Mary Ellen Rudin Spring, 1988(Univ. of Wisconsin)
  • Constance Reid Fall, 1987
  • Kenneth Arrow Spring, 1987 (Stanford Univ.)
  • Peter Hilton Fall, 1986 (SUNY, Binghamton)
  • Gerard Debreu Spring, 1986 (U.C.,Berk.)
  • Raymond Smullyan Fall, 1985 (Ind. U.)
  • Paul Halmos Spring, 1985 (Univ.of Santa Clara)
  • Richard Hamming Winter, 1985 (Naval Postgrad.)
  • Victor Klee Spring, 1984 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Ivan Niven Fall, 1983 (Univ. of Oregon)
  • Ronald Graham Spring, 1983 (Bell Labs)