Carolina Araujo: Brazil's ambassador for women in math
Carolina Araujo is one of the busiest people at the 2018 International Congress of Math. She is a member of the International Math Union’s Women Committee, which was responsible for organizing the first-ever World Meeting of Women in Math ( (WM)²). She is the only female permanent researcher on the staff of Brazil’s Institute of Applied and Pure Math. So she also helped to organize the 2018 ICM in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is a great challenge to organize these events, but it is also very rewarding,” she told the European in Math group. “We are using the ICM 2018 in Rio to improve public awareness of mathematics in Brazil.”
On Friday, she finally got the time to show off her own math research. The Brazilian mathematician presented her work, “Positivity and Algebraic Integrability of Holomorphic Foliations .”
Araujo specializes in algebraic geometry, including birational geometry, Fano varieties, and foliations. She did her undergraduate studies in Brazil, completing a degree in mathematics in 1998 from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She earned her Ph.D. in 2004 at Princeton University; her dissertation, supervised by János Kollár, was The Variety of Tangents to Rational Curves.
Birational geometry aims to classify and describe the structure of algebraic varieties.
“Roughly speaking, every complex algebraic variety can be built up from varieties from three special classes, which can be thought of as the classes of varieties with positive, negative and zero curvature,” she told the European Women in Math group. “Varieties in the “positive curvature” class are called Fano varieties.”
In recent years, she has taken on the subject of women in math and the barriers that they face as they progress in their careers. In previous editions of the Congress, the focus was simply on science research developed by women. This year there was a greater discussion on motherhood, harassment and even discrimination against women in math.
“A time of great difficulty in the professional career of women is the moment of motherhood, in most countries, where this role in general socially ends up falling on the mother herself. It is a time when women are very impacted in the career and often this impact will have an effect for the rest of a woman’s professional life, “said Araujo, who is also a mother and Simons Associate at ICTP.
Araujo won L’Oreal Award for Women in Science in Brazil in 2008.