4th Annual Celebration of Women in Mathematics


Dusa McDuff

Professor Dusa McDuff, Helen Lyttle Kimmel '42 Chair in Mathematics at Bernard College, Columbia University, was the featured guest speaker for the department's 4th annual Women in Mathematics Day on October 19, 2010.

Organized by Professor Donatella Danielli, the day's activities included a luncheon and the Jean E. Rubin Memorial Lecture,* given by Prof. McDuff and entitled "Symplectic Embeddings and Continued Fractions."

After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK, Dusa McDuff spent six months during 1969-70 in Moscow, where she studied with the Russian mathematician Israil Gelfand. After several more years spent in Britain (as a postdoc in Cambridge and as a University Lecturer in York and Warwick), she came to the U.S. in 1978 to take up a position at Stony Brook University, remaining there until recently going to Barnard as Helen Kimmel Professor of Mathematics. For the past 25 years, Professor McDuff's research has been in the area of symplectic geometry. She has written more than 90 research papers and coauthored two books. She has given numerous talks, including a plenary address at ICM Berlin in 1998. She has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1994 and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1999.


*Jean E. Rubin was Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University from 1967 until her death in 2002. She received a B.S. from Queen's College in New York City in 1948, an M.A. from Columbia in 1949, and a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1955. She taught at Oregon and Michigan State before coming to Purdue. Professor Rubin was the author of more than 40 papers and five books in set theory and questions related to the axiom of choice.