Office: MCS 248

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 3-4

Email: sr(at)math.bu.edu

MA549 Geometry and Symmetry

Click here for the course syllabus.

Click here for class handouts, homework sets and lecture notes.

My research interests are in
differential geometry in finite and infinite dimensions,
particularly with applications to/from
mathematical physics.
Almost all this work
uses Laplacian-type operators
sooner or later.
My current work focuses on characteristic classes for infinite dimensional
bundles, with collaborations with Andres Larrain-Hubach, Yoshi Maeda, Sylvie
Paycha, Simon Scott, and Fabian Torres-Ardila.
Older work
includes the functional/zeta
determinant of Laplacians, which is a key element of quantum field
theory (or non-theory), and (with K. D. Elworthy and
Xue-Mei Li)
applications of Brownian motion to differential geometry. This has
given a series of results of the type:
topological condition A on a compact manifold implies that metrics of
type B
cannot exist on the manifold. In particular, these theorems extend
the classical Bochner and Myers type theorems.
Heat
operators associated to Laplacians figure heavily in this work; after
all, Brownian motion is supposed to model heat flow as an example of
infinite dimensional Riemannian geometry. More recently, in a series of papers
with Andres Larrain-Hubach, Yoshiaki Maeda, Sylvie Paycha, Simon Scott
and Fabian Torres-Ardila, we've studied
primary and secondary characteristic classes on infinite dimensional manifolds
such as loop spaces; here the Laplacians enter in the curvature
of connections on these manifolds

Other work: Yoshiaki Maeda, Philippe Tondeur and I have worked on the
geometry of the gauge orbits in the space of connections, and on the
geometry of the orbits of the diffeomorphism group
in the space of
metrics on a manifold.
Mihail Fromosu and I have studied Mathai-Quillen forms,
which have formal applications in QFT and rigorous applications in
differential geometry. There
are
also preprints on
quantum cohomology (with Mihaela Vajiac), and on Lax pairs and Feynman
diagrams (with Gabriel Baditoiu).
Here is a list of available preprints/reprints.

- Minimal submanifolds of metrics
- Homotopy and homology vanishing theorems and the stability of stochastic flows
- L2 and bounded harmonic forms on universal covers
- Nonlocal invariants in index theory -- a survey
- Mathai-Quillen forms and Lefschetz theory
- Curvature on determinant bundles and first Chern forms
- Gauge Theory Techniques in Quantum Cohomology
- Chern-Weil constructions on PDO bundles
- Characteristic classes and traces on loop spaces
- Chern-Simons theory in infinite dimensions (now incorporated into the last article below)
- Feynman diagrams and Lax pair equations
- Riemannian geometry on loop spaces -- old version ( Mathematica files of computations in this paper)
- Characteristic classes and zeroth order pseudodifferential operators
- Riemannian geometry on loop spaces ( the Mathematica file ComputationsChernSimonsS2xS3.pdf of computations in this paper)
- Chern-Weil theory for certain infinite-dimensional Lie groups

My book, "The Laplacian on a Riemannian Manifold," now in its second (corrected) printing, is also available. This book is aimed at graduate students who have had a basic course in manifolds through integration of forms. The goal is to get students to appreciate current areas of research in global geometry. The book covers Hodge theory, basics of differential geometry, heat flow on functions and forms, the heat equation/supersymmetric proof of the Chern-Gauss-Bonnet theorem, an overview of the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem, the zeta function for Laplacians and analytic torsion. There are lots of exercises. You can preview the introduction. The price is $128.00 for hardcover (ISBN 0 521 46300 9) and $51.00 for paperback (ISBN 0 521 46831 0). You can order copies (no upper limit) from the publisher, Cambridge University Press. Alternatively, you can view the book here. Feel free to print it out, but consider making a donation to a good cause in lieu of buying the text. I would like to thank Cambridge University Press for allowing me to make the text available online, in contrast to the attitude of other math text publishers.

For an antiquated streaming video of a lecture at MSRI in 1998, click here and select the "start 56kps video" option in the top left corner. Good luck.

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Creation Date:* March 29,1996 *

Last Serious Update: * November 8,
2005 *