Photo of Prof. Dusa McDuff

Dusa McDuff

Joan Lyttle Birman '48 Professor of Mathematics




612 Mathematics Building on Columbia campus



Dusa McDuff is the Helen Lyttle Kimmel '42 Professor of Mathematics at Barnard College. At Barnard, she currently teaches "Calculus I",  "Perspectives in Mathematics" and courses in geometry and topology.

Professor McDuff gained her early teaching experience at the University of York (U.K.), the University of Warwick (U.K.) and MIT. In 1978, she joined the faculty of the Department of Mathematics at SUNY Stony Brook, where she was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor in 1998.

Professor McDuff has honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of York and the University of Strasbourg. She is a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and an honorary fellow of Girton College, Cambridge.

She has received the Satter Prize from the American Mathematical Society and the Outstanding Woman Scientist Award from AWIS (Association for Women in Science).

Professor McDuff's service to the mathematical community has been extensive.  She is particularly interested in issues connected with the position of women in mathematics, and currently serves on the MSRI Board of Trustees.  Together with Dietmar Salamon,  she has written several foundational books on symplectic topology as well as many research articles.

  • B.S., University of Edinburgh
  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Symplectic geometry and topology

  • Member of the American Philosophical Society (2013)
  • Fellow of the American Mathmatical Society (2012)
  • Senior Berwick prize of the London Mathematical Society (2010)
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1999)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1994)


  • Smooth Kuranishi atlases, a report on joint work with Katrin Wehrheim.   mexsmoothlectv2.pdf. 
  • Toric orbits as Lagrangian submanifolds, mextoriclect2.pdf


All my research preprints since about 1996 may be found on  Her CV contains a complete list of publications.

Slides from recent talks are listed below.

Here are some survey articles that are not on the arxiv.   They introduce symplectic topology at various levels of sophistication, starting from the easiest.

  • What is Symplectic Geometry? a gentle introduction for the European Women in Math meeting, Sept 2007, ewmcambrevjn23.pdf (published in Proceedings ed Hobbs and Paycha, World Scientific 2010)
  • Symplectic Structures -- a new approach to Geometry,  noethmay22.pdf published in the Notices of the Amer. Math. Soc (1988)
  • A Glimpse into Symplectic Geometry, in Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives (Providence: AMS, 2000) pdf
  • Lectures on Symplectic Topology, Park City 1997: utahnotaug28.pdf (an introduction to J-holomorphic curves for beginning graduate students), published in IAS/Park City Math Series vol 7 ed Eliashberg and Traynor, Amer. Math. Soc (1998)

SYMPNERRINTRO-2017.PDF (with D. Salamon)  J-holomorphic curves and Quantum homology, AMS Lecture Notes (1994).  Here is the complete text: jholsm.pdf

  • This text has the merit of being fairly short and readable, but the reader should beware of certain errors and omissions detailed here  jholsmintrov2.pdf

Book Errata

Erratum to Third edition of Introduction to Symplectic Topology, Sept. 2017  pdf

J-holomorphic Curves and Symplectic Topology (with D. Salamon) (Colloq. Publications AMS, 2004) pdf   These errata are corrected in the new (2012) edition of this book.

Introduction to Symplectic Topology, 2nd edition, with D. Salamon (Oxford University Press, 1998) pdf  A third edition of this book is under preparation.

  • Response to winning the Satter Prize, published in Notices of the Amer Math Soc 1991: satter.pdf
  • Reminiscences of my father, the geneticist C. H. Waddington: wadjan2008.pdf. published in his centennial volume Biological Theory 2008, MIT)
  • Meeting I. M. Gelfand in Moscow 1969 gelfandd09.pdf. A short essay read at his memorial service and later published in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society 2013.