Deanna Csomo McCool | July 3, 2017
There’s the geometry that most of us studied in high school—the type that taught us to understand shapes and angles and measure distance. And then there’s complex geometry (that’s its actual name), which uses vastly more algebra. In between these fields is Kahler geometry, which provides a source of examples of spaces with special curved properties that can be used by mathematicians and physicists alike, according to Gabor Szekelyhidi, professor of mathematics.
It’s this type of geometry—the study of curves and surfaces using calculus—that brought undergraduate and graduate students, as well as experts in the field, to Notre Dame’s Hayes–Healy Hall in June 2017 for its 7th consecutive Center for Mathematics Thematic Program. Each year spotlights a different topic, but the structure, completed in three weeks, is similar. The first week featured an undergraduate summer school, and was followed the second week by a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow workshop. A conference of international experts convened during the third week to describe new developments within the field. Szekelyhidi, whose research interests are focused on this type of geometry, served as host.
Physicists are particularly interested in Kahler geometry because its examples are important in describing the universe, according to Szekelyhidi.