Alumni Profile: Kim Ruane, Professor at Tufts University

Kim Ruane got her Ph.D. in Mathematics at Florida State University in 1996 under the supervision of Dr. Phil Bowers. Her research specialty is in Geometric Group Theory and the title of her dissertation was: "Boundaries of CAT(0) Groups".

Her path to FSU was an unusual one. Her undergraduate degree was from Kennesaw State University in north Georgia and it just so happened that a professor there, Chris Schaufele (FSU PhD 1964) met De Witt Sumners (then a graduate student at Cambridge, later a professor at FSU) when Schaufele was visiting Cambridge University in 1964 with his FSU advisor Morton Curtis. These two were responsible for Kim's decision to attend FSU for graduate school.

Her time at FSU was spent as a Ph.D. student with an office in "the trailer" - which has a perfect view of the Krispy Kreme Donut sign across the main road. Whenever the hot donut sign lit up, we could dart across the street for a much- needed sugar rush.

She was an active participant in the weekly Topology seminar. She owes a debt of gratitude to the group of faculty and graduate students that sat and listened to her fight through the details of the handwritten notes on Hyperbolic Groups and many other topics so that she could work in Geometric Group Theory. And she has her advisor, Phil Bowers, to thank for making her do this publicly!!!

Her first job was a three year post-doctoral position at Vanderbilt University under the mentorship of Mike Mihalik. She then received offers for a one year postdoctoral position at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland as well as a tenure track job at Tufts University. Fortunately, she was able to negotiate her starting date at Tufts in order to do the year in Zurich before beginning her tenure track job at Tufts. She has been at Tufts since 2000 and is currently a full professor in the Mathematics Department.

She currently serves at the Director of Graduate Studies for a vibrant graduate program. She has two Ph.D. students and two masters that have graduated and currently has three Ph.D. students under her mentorship.