Contemporary Mathematics
Volume 594, 2013
A tribute to Patrizia Pucci
Jean Mawhin
1. Introduction
I should not have been the author of this appreciation of Patrizia Pucci’s math-
ematical achievements. Not because I have not been happy and honored to write
it, but because the unique person to do it was James Serrin, a world leading expert
in partial differential equations, and a dear friend and collaborator of Patrizia for
almost thirty years. Each participant to the Conference last May in Perugia re-
members the nice words James pronounced at this occasion, as well as his emotion
and Patrizia’s one. Sadly, James left us August
2012 and could not crown
Patrizia’s birthday celebration by writing this tribute.
One of the editors of this volume, Vincentiu Radulescu, tried to convince me
that, in those unfortunate circumstances, I was the right person to do it. He did
not convince me, but how could I have refused, after having claimed in public to
be a ‘fratello di latte’ of Patrizia, for having drunk like her my first mathematical
milk in Lamberto Cesari’s work. Life gives us many situations where happiness and
sadness meet. Could we appreciate a joy if we had met no pain ?
I dedicate those lines to James’ memory and to Patrizia’s sixtieth birthday,
asking her indulgence, and that of her collaborators, for what is missing or inaccu-
2. The early years and Lamberto Cesari’s influence (1976-1986)
Patrizia Pucci is a Perugian mathematician in the most complete way. Born
there, she graduated and made almost her whole carreer at the University of Peru-
gia. You can hardly find a more informed and a more passionated guide for a tour
of the Etruscan city.
When Patrizia graduated, a group of mathematicians at Perugia had close
scientific and personal contacts with Lamberto Cesari, laurea honoris causa and
frequent visitor of the University. It looks therefore natural that Patrizia started
her mathematical work with contributions to differential inclusions and multivalued
functions, with values convex or not, in close relations with existence problems in
control theory. In collaboration with Carlo Bardaro, she extended some of her
results to differential inclusions in Banach spaces.
c 2013 American Mathematical Society
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