B.A., University of California (Berkeley); M.A., Cambridge University (England); Ph.D., University of Chicago
Whitehead Associate Professor of Critical Thought; Associate Professor of Mathematics
Research on positive scalar curvature and rigidity of manifolds, noncommutative geometry, tools of surgery theory; interested in issues on campus diversity and curricular rigor.
I am engaged in the study of the curvature and rigidity of high-dimensional manifolds, using such tools that appear in algebraic topology, differential geometry, index theory and C*-algebras. The study of such properties has been of classical interest, but recent develops have reanimated the subject in both the compact and noncompact contexts. Currently I am co-authoring an advanced textbook on surgery methods and applications which will describe the many topological theorems proved in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the past years I have taught a wide variety of courses at all levels of the mathematics curriculum, including calculus, linear algebra, abstract algebra, real and complex analysis, and Galois Theory. Most recently I developed an advanced Modern Number Theory course which I would like to repeat in the near future. Many of our advanced students request independent study courses, and I have overseen such efforts in functional analysis, representation theory and logic. In the coming academic year I will be guiding an independent study on elliptic curves and its relation to the modular group, Riemann surfaces and theta functions.
At Wellesley I have served both on the 2015 Commission and the Academic Planning Committee. In these campus bodies I am interested in helping the College maintain high academic standards for all of its students. Currently in the Minority Recruitment Hiring and Retention Committee I am devoting my time to consider creative ways to make our campus more diverse. In my own department I am very much involved in the effort to prepare our students for graduate studies.
I am an amateur fencer and have competed in some regional tournaments. Currently I hold a national E ranking. I play both piano and harpsichord and have performed in numerous ensembles on campus. My love of mathematics extends to a love of language, and I spend some of each day reading Classical works written in Greek and Latin. Also I am a member of Coro Allegro, a Boston-based choir that performs contemporary choral works three times a year.