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Conférence spéciale du CRM

What is the Shape of Inner Space?


(The Chinese University of Hong Kong
and Harvard University)

Lundi 20 juin • Monday, June 20, 2011
19h30 • 7:30 p.m.

Centre de recherches mathématiques
Pavillon André-Aisenstadt, Université de Montréal
2920, Chemin de la Tour, Salle/Room 1355

In this public lecture, Professor Yau will talk about how mathematics and physics can come together to the benefit of both fields, particularly in the case of Calabi-Yau spaces and string theory--our leading attempt to explain the universe to date. He will discuss his personal introduction to geometry, as well as a bit of the history of geometry.
Thus, Professor Yau hopes to give the audience a sense of how mathematicians think and approach the world and convey the realization that mathematics does not have to be a wholly abstract discipline, disconnected from everyday phenomena, but is instead crucial to our understanding of the physical world.


Biographical Notes

Professor Yau's work has impacted both mathematics and physics. Calabi-Yau manifolds are among the 'standard toolkit' for string theorists today. He has made fundamental contributions at the interface between geometry and theoretical physics. His proof of the positive energy theorem in general relativity demonstrated sixty years after its discovery that Einstein's theory is consistent and stable. His proof of the Calabi conjecture allowed physicists using Calabi-Yau compactification to show that string theory is a viable candidate for a unified theory of nature. Shing-Tung Yau is Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. His fundamental contributions to research have been recognized by the Fields Medal, the Crafoord Prize, the National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

Notes biographiques

Les travaux de Shing-Tung Yau ont eu un impact tant en mathématique qu'en physique. Aujourd'hui, les variétés de Calabi-Yau font même partie de l'outillage standard des théoriciens des cordes. Il a fait des contributions fondamentales à l'interface entre la géométrie et la physique théorique. Sa preuve du théorème d'énergie positive en relativité générale a démontré, 60 ans après la découverte de la théorie d'Einstein, sa consistance et sa stabilité. Sa preuve de la conjecture de Calabi a permis aux physiciens qui utilisent la compactification de démontrer que la théorie des cordes est un candidat viable pour une théorie unifiée de la nature. Shing-Tung Yau est professeur de mathématiques à l'Université Harvard. Ses contributions fondamentales en recherche ont été reconnues par la Médaille Fields, le Prix Crafoord, la Médaille Nationale des Sciences et le Prix Wolf. Il est également membre de l'Académie Nationale des Sciences des États-Unis.