Virginia Naibo

Professor | Associate Department Head
Kansas State University


Virginia Naibo grew up in Rosario, Argentina. She discovered her love for mathematics in high school and was inspired and encouraged by her parents and teachers to pursue her passions. She earned her undergraduate degree, or Licenciatura, in mathematics from Universidad Nacional de Rosario and her doctorate in mathematics from Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina. She held a three-year postdoctoral position at the University of Kansas and was a tenure-track assistant professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for a year before joining the faculty of the mathematics department at Kansas State University, where she is professor and associate department head.Naibo’s research in Fourier Analysis has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and her work has been published in internationally recognized journals. She has delivered numerous invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad. Her ties to the mathematical community in Argentina have continued throughout the years; she was a distinguished plenary speaker at the 2018 annual meeting of the Argentine Mathematical Union and a main speaker at the 2018 KaSaFe Analysis Meeting at the Institute of Applied Mathematics of Litoral in Argentina. Featured in the educational project “Science in Kansas — 150 years and counting” sponsored by the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative, Naibo's teaching accomplishments have been recognized through nominations for teaching awards at the college and university levels.

Naibo’s research interests are in the area of Fourier analysis; in a broad sense, this branch of mathematics allows the study of signals, such as sounds and images, by breaking them down into fundamental pieces that are less complex and, therefore, easier to examine. Her more recent work concerns the study of different aspects of linear and bilinear pseudodifferential operators and singular integrals, Leibniz-type rules, commutator estimates and function spaces, among other topics. Applications of her work to analysis and partial differential equations include pointwise multiplication properties of function spaces, well-posedness results for Euler, Navier-Stokes and Korteweg-de Vries equations as well as for the Ideal Magneto Hydrodynamic equations, smoothing properties of Schrödinger semigroups, and scattering properties of solutions to systems of partial differential equations associated to local and nonlocal operators.

Sharing her knowledge through education is an extremely rewarding experience for Naibo. She has taught a diverse set of classes that range from undergraduate courses in calculus, mathematics for elementary school teachers, applied matrix theory, partial differential equations and introduction to digital image processing to graduate-level courses in measure theory, Fourier analysis, PDEs and topics specific to her research. Naibo believes that active learning plays a central role in developing conceptual abilities and analytical skills, so she makes sure that students are engaged during class by using questions throughout the lecture to guide thinking and evaluate comprehension. She transmits her enthusiasm and passion for mathematics to her students and strives to make them understand and appreciate the course materials as well as the reasons why it is important to learn mathematics. With the goal of developing higher-level critical-thinking skills and create lifelong learners, she conveys to students a way of thinking rather than just only a body of knowledge. She is an advocate for the use of technology in instruction, creating and developing courses in topics on digital image processing and applied matrix theory that include computer lab components.

Naibo has contributed to the integration of research and education at the postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate levels. She was the doctoral advisor of three graduate students and the mentor of a postdoctoral fellow, who are all successfully placed in academic positions. She has supervised several undergraduate research projects in topics such as the development of Fourier analysis techniques in digital image processing as well as in interdisciplinary collaborations in chemistry and mathematics. Most of these students have continued to pursue doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines. Naibo has extensively trained undergraduate students for mathematics competitions, including the Putnam Competition, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling and the Kansas Collegiate Mathematics Competition. She has broadly participated in the curriculum development at her department through the creation of novel courses and a graduate certificate in applied mathematics. Naibo actively contributes to the broad dissemination of mathematics through the organization of seminars, conferences and symposia and is currently one of the organizers of the Prairie Analysis Seminar, an NSF-funded annual international conference. Her outreach activities include the organization of workshops for K-12 students, such as the Sonia Kovalevsky Day and The First MathPhysChem Symposium for Middle School Students in Kansas, as well as collaborations with the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering through the Girls Researching our World Program.Naibo was the director of the K-State Center for the Integration of Undergraduate, Graduate and Postdoctoral Research from 2010 to 2013.  She served as chair of the Kansas Section of the Mathematical Association of America from 2012 to 2013. She is currently a member of the Human Resources Advisory Committee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley.

I am grateful for the excellent education that I received in Argentina and to the people who have inspired me throughout my professional career. By showcasing the accomplishments of Latinas, Latinos and Hispanics in the mathematical sciences, Hispanic Heritage Month brings role models to the attention of current and future generations and emboldens them to pursue careers in STEM disciplines. This important endeavor contributes to a culturally enriched and diversified mathematical community.