Emmy Noether Lectures

1997 Lecturer: Linda Preiss Rothschild

How do Real Manifolds live in Complex Space?

Linda Preiss Rothschild was born in 1945 and grew up in the apartment above her parents’ fur store in Philadelphia, PA. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966 and left Philadelphia for Cambridge, MA to attend graduate school at M.I.T., where she received her Ph.D. in 1970. After finishing her Ph.D. she was an assistant professor at Tufts University and a member of the research staff of the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence at M.I.T. Subsequently she held visiting positions at Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Institute for Advanced Studies, before joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as associate professor in 1976. She was promoted there to full professor in 1979 and has been Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego since 1983.
After her thesis work on Lie groups, Rothschild explored new directions, including writing algorithms for factoring polynomials over the integers. Subsequently, she returned to the study of analysis on Lie groups, which lead to solutions of problems in partial differential equations and harmonic analysis. Her main research interest in the last ten years has been in the analytic and geometric aspects of several complex variables.
Rothschild was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1976. She served as President of the Association for Women in Mathematics during 1983-85 and as Vice-President of the American Mathematical Society during 1985-87. She gave invited AMS hour addresses at Joint Mathematics Meetings in Pittsburgh in August 1981 and in Orlando in January 1996. She served on the editorial committees of the Transactions of the AMS and Contemporary Mathematics. She is also an editorial board member of Communications in Partial Differential Equations and co-founder and managing editor of Mathematical Research Letters. She has served on many professional committees, including several AMS committees, NSF panels, and an organization committee for the Special Year in Several Complex Variables at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
In her Noether Lecture, Rothschild will discuss the problem of holomorphic equivalence of real submanifolds in complex space. This problem has a long history beginning with the work of Poincar\’e early in this century and has led to a number of fundamental discoveries using analytic and geometric tools. She will present recent progress on this problem, including her recent work.
Rothschild has a keen interest in encouraging young women who want to study mathematics. A few years ago she helped establish a scholarship for unusually talented junior high school girls to accelerate their mathematical training by participating in a summer program. She says: “When I was growing up, the best public high school in Philadelphia accepted only boys. When I applied to graduate school, I received a rejection from Princeton on the grounds that the university accepted only men. Times have changed, and I am always delighted to see brilliant, confident young women mathematicians such as those I met at the Julia Robinson Symposium in Berkeley last summer.”
Outside of mathematics, Rothschild has raised two sons. She enjoys long walks with her husband, Salah Baouendi, on the beaches of La Jolla, but they often cannot resist talking about mathematics.