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The last few decades have seen tremendous interplay between modern geometry
and postmodern physics. In a search for mathematical models of physics
valid at very hight energies and very small distance scales, theoretical
physicists have been led deep into such modern areas of geometry as
differential topology and algebraic geometry. Guided by their attempts to
construct realistic physical theories, they have postulated features of
the geometry which were unknown to mathematicians.
Dr. Morrison will introduce his audience to this fascinating area of
investigation. Among the questions he will discuss: How many
dimensions do we inhabit? Is the shape of the universe dictated by
the nature of physical law? What can we learn about geometry by studying
physics?
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**David Morrison**
is in residence at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical
Physics for the entire fall quarter, supported in part by the Clay
Mathematics Institute and on sabbatical from his position at Duke
University. A fourth-generation Californian, he left the state after
high school to pursue undergraduate studies at Princeton University
and graduate studies at Harvard University. He returned to Princeton
to teach before joining the Duke faculty in 1986. He has held
visiting positions at Kyoto University, Columbia University, Cornell
University, and the Institute for Advanced Study in addition to his
present position at KITP.
Originally trained as a mathematician, he has spent the last 14 years
working alongside of theoretical physicists in an attempt to
understand the shape of the universe. He has been a National Science
Foundation Fellow, an American Mathematical Society Centennial
Fellow, and is currently a Guggenheim Fellow.

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