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2004-2005

One of Europe's Leading Mathematicians, Umberto Mosco, Joins WPI Faculty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/March 8, 2005
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. -- March 8, 2005 -- World renowned mathematician Umberto Mosco has joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the new Harold J. Gay Professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department. Mosco has been at the forefront of mathematical research in analysis for the past 40 years, focusing his studies on partial differential equations, convex analysis, optimal control, and variational calculus. He joins WPI after nearly 30 years as a full professor at the University of Rome. The Harold J. Gay Chair was established in 1970 to honor the memory of its namesake, a WPI professor of mathematics between 1919 and 1947.

At WPI, Mosco's primary research is attempting to invent a new form of calculus based on fractal curves by forging a link between calculus, discrete mathematics and statistics. In addition to his research, Mosco will be teaching graduate topics courses, beginning with this spring's course on variational methods in partial differential equations.

"Umberto Mosco is bringing a record of mathematical research and accomplishment of the highest order to the United States and WPI," says WPI President Dennis D. Berkey. "Our students will benefit greatly from the new ideas and perspective he brings from Europe, and his addition further strengthens the exciting work being done in our Mathematical Sciences Department."

Some have referred to Mosco's publication list as looking like a history of the field of non-linear analysis. He has published more than 100 papers covering the fields of partial differential equations, convex analysis, control theory, variational problems, homogenization, and most recently the analysis of fractals. In addition, the "Mosco-convergence" he introduced is now a standard concept in variational calculus textbooks.

The many prizes Mosco has received attest to the significance of his work. He has been awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award and the Antonio Feltrinelli Award for Mathematics, Mechanics and Applications from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, in addition to several other awards. Mosco is also honored as a member of the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL, a society founded in the 18th century to develop the Italian scientific community.

His acclaim has led to invitations to lecture around the globe both as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Alger in Algeria, the University of Beijing in China, University of California, Berkeley, Universities of Paris VI, IX and XI, and the University of Rosario in Argentina, and as a speaker at conferences in Chile, China, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Tunisia. In 2004, he was invited by the Royal Swedish Academy to deliver the Marconi Lecture. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and societies, including the Italian Mathematical Union (UMI), European Mathematical Society (EMS), American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Euroscience.

Mosco holds two degrees from the University of Rome, one in mathematics and one in physics. Mosco went on to receive the university teach qualification to full professorship at the University of Lecce in Italy, and then gained full professorship as the first winner in the national competition to the chair of Advanced Analysis at the University of Bologna.