Vivian Olsiewski Healey received her PhD in mathematics from Brown University in 2017. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in honors mathematics and minored in theology. Following her PhD, she was an L. E. Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Healey’s research is in analysis and probability, with a focus on Schramm-Loewner Evolution (SLE) and the Loewner equation. Her work centers on problems related to statistical physics, conformal geometry, and scaling limits. Broadly speaking, this refers to problems that start with a random discrete model in two dimensions (e.g. think of tiling the plane with hexagons randomly colored blue or yellow) in which special geometric properties emerge as the lattice size goes to 0 (e.g. as the hexagons shrink). Her work connects to the fields of interacting particle systems, superprocesses, random maps, and random matrix theory.
I enjoy math because it is a place where truth and beauty meet and wonder never grows old. But beyond aesthetics, mathematics is a deeply powerful way to understand our world. Probability theory, in particular, allows us to look at events that cannot be predicted in any individual instance and discern a larger global order — I find this truly magnificent.