AWM-MAA Etta Falconer Lecture

AWM-MAA Etta Falconer Lecture 2023

Lecturer: Tatiana Toro, University of Washington

Geometry of Measures

In this talk I will describe the question that has motivated my recent work in Geometry Measure Theory. We will explore whether the behavior of a measure on balls in different metrics provides information about the structure of the support of the measure. Along the way we will see how concepts learned in calculus play an important role in this area of mathematics.

Citation: Toro earned a B.Sc. in mathematics from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, and an M.Sc. and PhD in mathematics from Stanford. After a year at the Institute for Advanced Study and faculty positions early in her career at UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago, Toro has spent her career at the University of Washington where she serves as Professor of Mathematics. Toro will continue her tenure there during her five-year term, from August 1, 2022, as Director of MSRI/SLMath. She has also been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting professor at Harvard and at University College, London. Widely recognized for her contributions and service to mathematics, Toro is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Toro is a high-caliber researcher. As noted in her online biography at the AWM Mathematicians of EvenQuads Deck 1, “Toro’s research bridges geometric analysis and the calculus of variations on one side and harmonic analysis and the geometry of measures on the other. In particular, she is a leading expert in using ideas rooted in the calculus of variations to study the regularity of problems which do not have an underlying energy/variational structure (e.g. free boundary problems for harmonic measure).” It is also noteworthy that she has had 24 coauthors and 44 peer-reviewed publications, and her research has been continuously supported by the National Science Foundation since 1994.

Known as a clear and entertaining communicator, Toro has presented numerous invited lectures, conference presentations, and seminar talks. She was an invited speaker at the 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians in India, gave the inaugural AMS Mirzakhani Lecture at the 2020 JMM, presented the 2020 Blackwell-Tapia prize lecture at the 2021 conference, and also gave the NAM Claytor-Woodard Lecture at the 2016 JMM.

Toro has mentored many mathematicians, including 8 PhD students and 6 postdocs. Recently awarded the University of Washington Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award for excellence in mentorship, Toro’s mentees speak highly of her support and of her care in crafting mentor-mentee relationships built on a ‘balance of challenge and trust’. Toro is an active member of the professional mathematics community; she has served on numerous boards and committees for the AMS, AWM, PIMS, IPAM, and BIRS. She is committed to expanding access to mathematics for under-represented groups through her service on national committees for increasing racial/ethnic and gender diversity in mathematics and her leadership of the Latinx in the Mathematical Sciences conferences. Professor Toro has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, excellence in mathematics research, teaching, and outreach, and we are pleased to name her the 2023 Etta Z Falconer Lecturer.