Dr. Julia Wilson

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

I grew up in Wisconsin, Virginia, and California. I received a BA in Mathematics from UC Santa Cruz in 1993, and a PhD in Mathematics from UW Milwaukee in 1999. The title of my PhD dissertation was "Nonuniqueness of Boundaries of CAT(0) Groups." I joined the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Fredonia in 2000, received tenure in 2007, and become department chair in 2016. I live with my family in the Village of Fredonia. In recent years I have become increasingly involved in climate change education and action. In 2016 I worked with a coalition of local organizations on the Solar Chautauqua campaign, which resulted in over forty new residential solar installations in our community.

Teaching Interests

In addition to calculus and general education courses, I enjoy teaching Geometry, History of Math, and Math and Music, as well as our Math Honors courses and our Senior Seminar.

Research Interests

My original research area was geometric topology, specifically geometric group theory. If a group acts on a metric space in a way that respects the geometric structure, then the algebraic structure of the group sheds light on the large-scale structure of the space, and vice versa; geometric group theory explores and exploits this symmetry. The CAT(0) property is a generalization of the notion of non-positive curvature to a wide variety of topological spaces. In the realm of strictly negative curvature, we see large-scale rigidity; a hyperbolic group has a unique boundary. However, in the CAT(0) setting, we lose that rigidity.

I have not engaged in active research in geometric topology in many years. These days, I am interested in connections between math and music, especially historical ones, as well as formalism in geometry and active learning pedagogy.