Marie A. Vitulli named 2014 AWM-MAA Falconer Lecturer

Marie A. Vitulli

Marie A. Vitulli

University of Oregon professor emerita of mathematics and CSWS faculty affiliate Marie A. Vitulli will deliver the 2014 AWM-MAA Falconer Lecture at MathFest 2014 during August 6 – 9 in Portland, OR.

May 19, 2014—The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) are pleased to announce that Marie A. Vitulli will deliver the Etta Z. Falconer Lecture at MathFest 2014. Dr. Vitulli is Professor Emerita of Mathematics at the University of Oregon. Vitulli earned her B.A in Mathematics from the University of Rochester, and her M.A and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon completing the Ph.D. degree Vitulli joined the faculty at the University of Oregon and remained there for her entire academic career.

Vitulli has made original and important contributions to commutative algebra and its interactions with algebraic geometry, has published numerous research articles and book chapters and has lectured on her work throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa. After her early work in deformation theory Vitulli turned her attention to the study of seminormality and weak normality for commutative rings and algebraic varieties. In a series of papers with her colleague John V. Leahy, she developed fundamental properties of seminormality and made connections to the theory of weakly normal complex analytic spaces. More recently Vitulli discovered an elegant new element-wise criterion for weak subintegrality. Along with her colleague D.K. Harrison, she developed a unified valuation theory for rings with zero divisors that generalized both Krull and Archimedean valuations.

Over her long career Vitulli has worked tirelessly for the advancement of women in mathematics. While at the University of Oregon, she was involved in the creation and administration of a scholarship program for undergraduate women in mathematics and the physical sciences. Vitulli was a founding member of a senior women’s faculty group that advised the University of Oregon administration on issues of concern to women faculty. She created and maintains the award-winning website Women in Math Web Project. Summaries of studies, conducted with Mary E. Flahive of first jobs for new Ph.D.s in mathematics with an eye towards gender differences, appeared in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society in 1997 and 2010.

Vitulli has been an active member of the AWM for decades through membership on a variety of committees that oversee and run the programs of the Association. Currently she chairs the AWM Advocacy and Policy Portfolio and she serves on the AWM Executive Committee. Vitulli’s lecture at MathFest is entitled “From Algebraic to Weak Subintegral Extensions in Algebra and Geometry.” She will talk about the twin theories of weak normality and seminormality for commutative rings and algebraic varieties, give a brief history of the twin theories with an emphasis on the recent developments in the area over the past fifteen years.

MathFest 2014 will be held August 6 – 9 in Portland, OR. The Falconer lectures were established in memory of Etta Z. Falconer
(1933–2002). Her many years of service in promoting mathematics at Spelman College and efforts to enhance the movement of
minorities and women into scientific careers through many forums in the mathematics and science communities were
extraordinary. Falconer lecturers are women who have made distinguished contributions to the mathematical sciences or
mathematics education.