2016: Mr Maxim Jeff, University of California, Berkeley, International PhD scholarship for research entitled: “Homological Mirror Symmetry”
Mr Jeffs will use his PhD Scholarship to study a field of mathematics termed ‘mirror symmetry’. Mirror symmetry is a modern field of mathematics – it studies ideas from theoretical physics that provide unexpected connections between algebraic and differential geometry. These ideas originate from string theory, a theory of high-energy physics that attempts to reconcile various inconsistencies in our current theoretical understanding of the universe by providing a quantum theory of gravity. Many different mathematical models of string theory exist, and studying their relationships leads to unexpected connections between these seemingly unrelated mathematical objects. A large part of the reason for the recent intense interest in mirror symmetry is the discovery of mirror phenomena in several well-understood areas of mathematics with no obvious relation to high-energy physics, such as enumerative geometry. Such examples are particularly amenable to study; by understanding them, Mr Jeffs aims aim to clarify the little-understood mathematical nature of mirror symmetry, and thereby also the mathematical foundations of theoretical physics.