For Math Professor, It All Adds Up

The UCF Mathematics Department welcomed Eduardo Teixeira, Ph.D, as a new professor this fall. Teixeira is a highly-esteemed and recognized mathematician, specializing in partial differential equations, free boundary problems and harmonic analysis.

Before accepting a position at UCF, Teixeira was a professor at the Universidade Federal do Ceara in his home country of Brazil for nine years, where he founded and directed what became one of the major research groups in nonlinear partial differential equations in Latin America.

“I felt I could contribute to the development of the mathematical Brazilian community; an endeavor that would ultimately have important academic and social impacts,” Teixeira said.

It was his mathematical work as well as his social outreach commitment in Brazil that caught the attention of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), who, partnered with the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, awarded him the 2017 Ramanujan Prize. This award recognizes researchers who have conducted outstanding research in a developing country within any branch of mathematics.

“The Ramanujan Prize should be thought of as the ‘Nobel in mathematics’ for those mathematicians with connections to the developing world,” said Ken Ono, Ph.D., and longtime research mathematician.

Ono is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University as well as the future Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.

“The winners are all world-class leaders in research,” Ono said. “I have known that Eduardo was a leading candidate for the ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize for some time. I am so pleased that he won. UCF is in very good company.”

Teixeira received the award for his research within the field of partial differential equations. Partial differential equations describe natural phenomena through mathematical models of physical laws.

“We find them in physics, biology, chemistry, even financial mathematics and social behavior,” Teixeira said. “I myself focus at the interface between applied and pure mathematics. I work with regularity theories, trying to understand the smoothness of the solutions.”

Teixeira obtained his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Texas, Austin, where he worked under the supervision of Professor Luis Caffarelli, Ph.D. In the sequel, he worked jointly at Rutgers University as Hill Assistant Professor. In 2008, however, despite a blossoming career in the United States, Teixeira knew he wanted to return to Brazil despite his colleagues’ warnings. While there, he worked to make mathematics more appealing to the general public. Ultimately, his decision to return to Brazil also allowed him to make an impact in the realm of mathematics education. The ICTP Ramanujan Prize recognizes his dedication to making a social impact in his profession.

“This ICTP Prize crowns this important part of my career,” he said. “It’s somehow telling me ‘it was all worth it.’”

In addition to the Ramanujan Prize, Teixeira is also an elected Fellow of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Mathematical Congress of the Americas Prize.

He now brings this knowledge and devotion to the field of mathematics to UCF, inspiring students to think creatively and view math as not just a tool, but a human endowment all should value.

Read more about Teixeria here.

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