World-Renowned Mathematician Umberto Mosco Elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society

The first WPI faculty member to receive this honor, Mosco is recognized for his groundbreaking research in analysis and partial differential equations
December 01, 2016

World-renowned mathematician Umberto Mosco, the Harold J. Gay Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

The first WPI faculty member to receive this honor, Mosco is one of 65 new fellows elected for 2017 by AMS, the 128-year-old society that has more than 30,000 members around the world. He was honored for "contributions to analysis and partial differential equations, in particular for introducing a theory of variational convergence."

Umberto Mosco
Mosco joined WPI in 2005 after a

distinguished career in his native Italy.

“This is both an extraordinary and well-deserved recognition of Professor Mosco’s manifold contributions to pure and applied mathematics,” said Bruce Bursten, WPI Provost. “We are very proud that Umberto has been acknowledged by the AMS for the breadth and depth of his research, and congratulate him on this prestigious honor.”

Mosco joined the WPI faculty in 2005 after 34 years as a faculty member at the University of Rome (including 31 years as a full professor), where he developed an international reputation with his groundbreaking research. Some have called his publication list a virtual history of the field of nonlinear analysis. He has published more than 100 papers covering the fields of partial differential equations, convex analysis, control theory, variational problems, and homogenization.

He is known worldwide for developing the ‘Mosco Convergence,’ which is widely recognized by researchers and students in the areas of analysis, calculus of variations, and partial differential equations and stochastic processes, and which is now a standard concept in variational calculus textbooks. In his recent work he has aimed to invent a new form of calculus based on fractal curves by forging a link between calculus, discrete mathematics, and analysis.


Developing A New Type of Calculus

Umberto Mosco, Harold J. Gay Professor of Mathematical Sciences at WPI, is a world-renowned mathematician and a pioneer in nonlinear analysis. In tackling the challenges of measuring microscopic objects with highly complex surfaces, he is developing what amounts to a new type of calculus.

Mosco’s scholarship has earned him a long list of international honors, including the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Italy. In 2003 he was 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. WPI honores Mosco in 2015 with the Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship.

His acclaim has led to invitations to lecture around the globe both as a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of Alger in Algeria, the University of Beijing in China, the University of California, Berkeley, the Universities of Paris VI, IX and XI, and the University of Rosario in Argentina, and as a speaker at countless conferences. In 2004 he was invited by the Royal Swedish Academy to deliver the Marconi Lecture.

Mosco holds two doctorates from the University of Rome, one in mathematics and one in physics. He went on to receive the university teaching 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. He joined the University of Rome faculty in 1972.

In addition to the AMS, he is a member of numerous professional organizations and societies, including the Italian Mathematical Union (UMI), the European Mathematical Society (EMS), and Euroscience.

The AMS fellowships recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. The new fellows will be recognized in January at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta, the largest mathematics meeting in the world.