Mariana Smit Vega Garcia, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, Geometric Analysis


I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I obtained my bachelor's and master's in Mathematics at the Universidade de Sao Paulo.

After moving to the US for graduate school I obtained my PhD from Purdue University in 2014.

Afterwards, I did a post-doc in Germany (at Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf and the University of Duisburg-Essen), and spent two months as a postdoctoral fellow at the Mittag-Leffler Institute, in Sweden. In 2016 I returned to the US for a post-doc at UW, where I continued working with free boundary problems and expanded my research to geometric measure theory and harmonic analysis. 

In my free time, I love to hike, travel, play with my dogs, watch soccer, read books, go to the symphony and enjoy good food with friends. 

Educational & Professional Experience:

  • PhD Purdue University, 2014.
  • Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (post-doc), Heinrich Heine Universität and Universität Duisburg-Essen, 2014-2016.
  • Institut Mittag-Leffler Postdoctoral fellow, September-October 2014.
  • Acting Assistant Professor, UW, 2016-2018.

Recent Publications

- Variable-coefficient parabolic theory as a high-dimensional limit of elliptic theory
B. Davey & M. Smit Vega Garcia
Calc. Var. 63, 40 (2024).

- Two-phase almost minimizers for a fractional free boundary problem
M. Allen & M. Smit Vega Garcia
To appear in "Nonlinear Differential Equations and Applications NoDEA"
arXiv:2308.06357, 2023

- An Almgren monotonicity formula for discrete harmonic functions
M. Smit Vega Garcia & S. Steinerberger
arXiv:2311.11887, 2023

Mesas of Stirling permutations
N. Gonzalez, P. E. Harris, G. R. Kirby, M. Smit Vega Garcia & B. E. Tenner
arXiv:2306.12158, 2023

- Pinnacle sets of signed permutations
N. Gonzalez, P. E. Harris, G. R. Kirby, M. Smit Vega Garcia & B. E. Tenner
Discrete Mathematics, Volume 346, Issue 7, 2023

- Branch Points for (Almost-)Minimizers of Two-Phase Free Boundary Problems
G. David, M. Engelstein, M. Smit Vega Garcia & T. Toro,
Forum of Mathematics, Sigma, 11, E1, 2023

- An overview of Almost Minimizers of Bernoulli-Type Functionals
M. Smit Vega Garcia
A3N2M: Approximation, Applications, and Analysis of Nonlocal, Nonlinear Models, Proceedings of the 50th John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures, IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications, volume 165, 2023, Springer

- Regularity for almost-minimizers of variable coefficient Bernoulli-type functionals
G. David, M. Engelstein, M. Smit Vega Garcia & T. Toro
Mathematische Zeitschrift, 299(3), 2131-2169, 2021

- On a Bernoulli-type overdetermined free boundary problem
M. Akman, A. Banerjee & M. Smit Vega Garcia
Ann. Fenn. Math., vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 601-618, Aug. 2021

- The fractional unstable obstacle problem
M. Allen & M. Smit Vega Garcia
Nonlinear Analysis, Vol 193, April 2020

- Almost minimizers for the thin obstacle problem with variable coefficients
S. Jeon, A. Petrosyan & M. Smit Vega Garcia

Selected Awards & Honors:

- NSF Analysis Standard Grant. Award number 2054282. Title: "Analysis and Geometry of Free Boundaries." Award from 08/15/2021 – 07/31/2024.

​​​- Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award, 2023. One such award is given per year to a faculty member from either the College of Humanities and Social Sciences or the College of Science and Engineering, in recognition for their exemplary teaching practices, Western Washington University

- Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath, formerly MSRI) - 2023 Summer Research in Mathematics program

- Committee for the Education of Teaching Assistants teaching award, Purdue University. 

- Purdue University Math Department Excellence in Teaching award for 2011-12.

- Graduated with honors, Universidade de Sao Paulo, 2006.