Research on the mathematics of shape recognized by Sloan Foundation
Alexander Kupers’ research on the mathematics of shape, known as topology, has garnered the University of Toronto Scarborough mathematician a Sloan Fellowship.
One of the surprises in topology, he says, is that simple shapes, such as discs and spheres, can have complicated symmetries.
“The idea is that if you understand the symmetries of some shape, you understand that shape really well,” explains Dr. Kupers. “And you can use those symmetries to help you understand all the problems that the shape is involved in.
“When you study these, especially in high dimensions, you realize that there are a lot of interesting connections to other parts of mathematics and to theoretical physics.
On winning the award, Dr. Kupers says, “It’s an honour to win a prize like that. Many excellent mathematicians have gotten Sloan Fellowships in the past.”
He plans to use funds from the Sloan Fellowship to hire more postdocs and create a more supportive research environment for PhD students on his research team.