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Contact Information

Stratton Hall, 307
Phone: +1-508-831-5074
Fax: +1-508-831-5824

Umberto Mosco

Being part of WPI is an enriching professional experience. Our students are motivated and work hard. I adjust my teaching to their background. By focusing on basics, and keeping the matter simple, students respond with accrued concentration and interest. For many, learning develops into investigation, and eventually, into research via an independent study, a project, a dissertation, and resulting, possibly, with a publication.

My research utilizes applied analysis, focusing on the study of partial differential equations with singularities. Several bodies and surfaces, when observed at the increasingly high resolution made possible by the new experimental devices, reveal an irregular structure, possibly of fractal nature. These irregular structures behave as singularities when they interact with the surrounding medium. We study the singular equations that describe such interactions. Both graduate and undergraduate students are involved in this research, which is a rewarding experience for both students and me.

Research Interests

  • Partial differential equations
  • Optimal control
  • Homogenization
  • Fractals
  • Singular boundary value problems


  • Laurea in Scienze Matematiche, University of Rome, Italy, 1959
  • Laurea in Fisica, University of Rome, Italy, 1961
  • Libera Docenza in Metodi matematici della Fisica, Italy, 1967

Featured Publications

  • Mosco, U., Vivaldi, M.A., “Vanishing viscosity for fractal sets,” Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, Volume 28, No. 3 (2010) 1207-1235.
  • Mosco, U., Vivaldi, M.A., “Fractal reinforcement of elastic membranes”, Archive Rational Mechanics and Analysis”, Volume 194 (2009) 49-74.
  • Lancia, M.R., Mosco, U., Vivaldi, M.A., “Homogenization for conductive thin layers of pre-fractal type”, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Volume 347, No.1, (2008) 354-369.
  • Mosco, U., Vivaldi, M.A., “An example of fractal singular homogenization”, Georgian Mathematical Journal, Volume 14, No. 1, (2007) 169-193.
  • Mosco, U., “Gauged Sobolev inequalities”, Applicable Analysis, Volume 86, No. 3, (2007) 367-402.

Professional Highlights

  • Member of the Accademia Nazionale Delle Scienze Detta Dei XL, Rome, Italy
  • Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung Preistraeger
  • Lester J. Senechal Lecture, Mount Holyoke College, 2010
  • Plenary Lecture, AMS Spring Eastern Section Meeting, Worcester, MA, USA, 2009
  • International Conference in honor of Umberto Mosco, University of Roma “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy, 2009
  • Marconi Lecture, Royal Academy of Science, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004
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