Home Page of the RIT (Research Interaction Team) on
Superstring Theory and Related Mathematics

Meeting Time (Spring 2007, effective Feb. 14): Room MTH 2300, Wednesdays at 10:00 AM

Meeting Time (Fall 2006): Room MTH 1311, Mondays at 4:15 PM


Research Focus

The topics discussed will be interdisciplinary, and involve significant interaction between mathematics and physics. In fact, this is probably the field in which there is greatest interaction between mathematicians and physicists. Relevant topics include supersymmetry, conformal, complex, and algebraic geometry, mirror symmetry, topology, and index theory. For the general philosophy of RITs, see here.

Plan of Meetings

Fall, 2006

As agreed at the organizational meeting on September 11, we will begin with five introductory lectures on topics that are of interest to many of the participants. These will be at a very general level, aimed at non-experts. After that, we may have groups report on some of these areas in greater depth.

DateSpeaker Topic
Sept. 18Jim Gates, PHYSIntroduction to supersymmetry
Sept. 25Jonathan Rosenberg, MATHThe mathematical structure of string dualities
Oct. 2No meeting because of Yom Kippur
Oct. 9Dan Chapman, PHYS, Stefan Mendez-Diez, AMSC, and Isaac Chappell, PHYSIntroduction to conformal field theory
Oct. 16Willie Merrell, PHYS The Virasoro algebra and its connection with conformal field theory
Oct. 23Ashwin Pande, MATHIntroduction to noncommutative geometry
Oct. 30Greg Landweber, University of OregonThe mathematics of off-shell supersymmetry
Nov. 6Jim Gates, PHYSTopological solitons
Nov. 13Calder Daenzer, University of PennsylvaniaWhat are gerbes and why are they useful in physics?
Nov. 20Dan Chapman and Stefan Mendez-DiezThe Wess-Zumino-Witten-Novikov model
Nov. 27Dan Chapman and Stefan Mendez-DiezThe Wess-Zumino-Witten-Novikov model (cont'd)
Dec. 4Shane McCarthy, PHYSWhat are Calabi-Yau manifolds and what are they good for?
Dec. 11 end of semester discussion

Spring, 2007

The topic for Spring 2007 will be an introduction to mirror symmetry, following parts of Mirror Symmetry, by Vafa, Zaslow et al. We will begin with Ch. 12 and Ch. 16, then move on to Ch. 20, filling in missing backround as needed.

DateSpeaker Topic
Jan. 29 organizational meeting
Feb. 5Willie MerrellNoether charges and currents
Feb. 14
Note switch to Wed.
snowed out
Feb. 21Jonathan RosenbergIntroduction to mirror symmetry for Calabi-Yaus
Feb. 28Willie MerrellNoether charges and currents, cont'd
Mar. 7Ashwin PandeA and B Twists
Mar. 14Ashwin PandeA and B Twists, cont'd

A Few Links

Suggested Background

For those who want to participate, here is some suggested background.