Geometry and Physics: 2013-2016


Pure mathematics and fundamental physics, historic partners for centuries, grew apart during the first half of the 20th century. This changed with the emergence of gauge theory in particle physics and, still more strikingly, the string-theoretic approach to quantum gravity. In the 21st century thus far, many of the great insights into geometry have come from physical models formulated in geometric terms.


During 2013-2015, the PIMS CRG in Geometry and Physics will bring hundreds of the world's best researchers in geometry and physics to Western Canada to continue to develop this rich interface.



Principal Investigator

Chuck Doran (UAlberta)

CRG faculty:

Kai Behrend (UBC)
Vincent Bouchard (UAlberta)
Jim Bryan (UBC)
Thomas Creutzig (UAlberta)
Emanuel Diaconescu (UAlberta)
David Favero (UAlberta)
Robin Graham (UWashington)
Andreas Karch (UWashington)

CRG Scientific Committee:

Ron Donagi (UPenn)
Jim Gates (UMaryland)
Sheldon Katz (UIUC)
Yongbin Ruan (UMichigan)


Planned Scientific Activities

November 2013

May 2014

June 2014

  • String-Math Summer School at PIMS UBC.
  • International conference on "Calabi-Yau Manifolds and Moduli" at UAlberta.
  • The String-Math Conference, to be held at UAlberta's new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science. Previously held at UPenn, the Hausdorff Center, and the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, the conference represents a significant "coming of age" for UAlberta geometry and physics group.

Ongoing Events:

Geometry and physics seminar at UAlberta and UBC. This cross-province merger will take advantage of the newly operational NSERC-RTI funded PIMS-UA Collaborative Research Environment (CoRE) at the PIMS-UAlberta office and the new Westgrid facilities at the PIMS-UBC site. Graduate courses at UBC and U Alberta will involve students and faculty at both universities, some courses being designated as PIMS "Hot Topics."


This interface between geometry - algebraic, arithmetic and differential - and string theory is fruitful, timely and of great relevance for the CRG groups at UAlberta, UBC and UWashington. This period of concentration will help each site develop the talents of their students and postdocs, aid in both retention and recruitment of faculty in this area and strengthen the interactions among these groups of researchers.