Professor Tara Holm

Subject: Mathematics

Department: Cornell University, USA


From August 2019 - July 2020

Research Interests

Tara Holm is a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall while on sabbatical from Cornell University. She earned a BA in mathematics from Dartmouth College and a PhD in mathematics from MIT. After an NSF Postdoc at University of California, Berkeley and a year at the University of Connecticut, Holm has spent her career at Cornell. On her previous sabbatical, she was a Simons Fellow and a von Neuman Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, as well as the Oliver Smithies Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.

Holm is an expert in symplectic geometry, the mathematical framework for classical and quantum mechanics. This field has blossomed since the 1980s. Broadly speaking, there are two tools in every symplectic geometer’s toolbox: the momentum map and holomorphic curves. Holm uses these tools to build bridges between symplectic geometry and other fields of mathematics and mathematical physics. She works to identify and quantify the essential features of a symplectic structure and of the symmetries that preserve such a structure. Holm has 19 co-authors and 27 peer-reviewed publications. She has done much to share her expertise with the mathematics community at large.

Holm is also a deeply dedicated educator.  She currently leads the Cornell Math Active Learning Initiative. In recognition of her skill in communicating mathematical ideas, she won the 2016 Senior Faculty Teaching Award; and most recently she won Cornell’s 2019 Morgan Chia-Wen Sze and Bobbi Josephine Hernandez Distinguished Teaching Prize.

Holm’s leadership in mathematics and mathematics education is prominent on the US national stage, as she has chaired the AMS Committee on Education, is a member of the Board of Governors for Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics, served on the Advisory Board for the MAA Instructional Practices Guide, and is now President/CEO of Pro Mathematica Arte, the corporation that oversees the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics and the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education.