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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsResearch&ExpertiseInternational Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms

International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms

The new International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms will open at HSE’s Faculty of Mathematics in 2017. This project, overseen by Ludmil Katzarkov (Professor at the University of Miami), won the Fifth Mega-Grants Competition of the Government of the Russian Federation.

HSE Faculty of Mathematics is the only one of its kind in the country. In 2017, it will be operating three laboratories focused on fundamental mathematics, two of which have been developed as part of a global scientific programme with federal support for scientific research.

Katzarkov’s project aims at developing a new cutting edge area of mathematics — Mirror Symmetry and Categorical Kähler Geometry. Mirror Symmetry, as a foundational attribute of models used in elementary particles theory, was discovered by physicists in 1990s. The starting point of this project is Homological Mirror Symmetry. This was conjectured by Kontsevich and originated in physics as a duality between superconformal quantum field theories. Furthermore, Homological Mirror Symmetry was studied by Katzarkov along with mathematicians of the Moscow School of Algebraic Geometry. Therefore, the new laboratory will collaborate with the Laboratory of Algebraic Geometry (Fedor Bogomolov and Alexandr Kuznetzov). Categorical Kähler Geometry is deeply related to the physical theories of Mirror Symmetry, which, in turn, are closely related to those developed by the Laboratory of Representation Theory and Mathematical Physics (under Andrey Okounkov and Boris Feigin).

The need for convergence of ideas from mathematics and physics is driven by the fact that physics of elementary particles stands on the verge of a major breakthrough thanks to new experimental data obtained on the Large Hadron Collider. This data should help experts to identify which quantum field theories best address the issues posed by high energy physics. Furthermore, basic mathematical research is necessary for developing the technical framework of modern physical theories. The major aim of this project consists of creating a new centre for combining mathematics and physics at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics.

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The HSE International Laboratory for Mirror Symmetry and Automorphic Forms, which is among several international laboratories to recently open within the Higher School of Economics, was created in December 2016 as part of the Russian government’s mega-grants program. Below, the lab’s academic supervisor, Ludmil Katzarkov, along with deputy heads Valery Gritsenko and Viktor Przyjalkowski, explain why the laboratory is fully capable of becoming a unique multidisciplinary unit dedicated to the study of mirror symmetry, automorphic forms, and number theory.

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