Name: Marissa Kawehi Loving, Native Hawaiian

Discipline: Theoretical Mathematics

University/Year: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2019

Current Position: NSF Postdoc at Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Geometric group theory, Low-dimensional topology


Dr. Marissa Kawehi Loving is an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Hale Assistant Professor in the School of Math at Georgia Tech. She graduated with her PhD in mathematics in August 2019 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an Illinois Graduate College Distinguished Fellowship. Marissa grew up in Honomū on the Hāmākua Coast of Hawai’i Island. She completed her B.S. in Computer Science and B.A. in Mathematics at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Marissa is the first Native Hawaiian woman to earn a PhD in mathematics. She is also Black, Puerto Rican, and Japanese. 

Her research interests are in geometry/topology, especially mapping class groups of surfaces (of both finite and infinite type). Marissa is also deeply invested in making the mathematics community a more equitable place. Some of her work includes mentoring undergraduate research (through programs such as Summer@ICERM, MSRI-UP, and the Georgia Tech School of Math’s REU) and co-organizing initiatives like SUBgroups and paraDIGMS.