Connections in Modern Mathematics and Physics
Stony Brook, April 2-5, 1998

This special year of the Geometry Festival will be concerned with the theory of connections and its role in recent developments in mathematics and physics. Topics to be covered will include:
  • Developments in gauge theory such as Seiberg-Witten theory and Floer cohomology.
  • Secondary invariants in topology including the perturbative invariants for 3-manifolds and links arising from the Chern-Simons functional.
  • Secondary invariants in geometry - Index Theory including higher eta-invariants, adiabatic limits, holomorphic torsion, etc.
  • Secondary Invariants in algebra and number theory including the refined Riemann-Roch Theorem in Arakelov theory.
  • Metrics with special holonomy.
  • String theory and mirror symmetry.
  • Pseudoholomorphic curves.
The mathematical work of Jim Simons has had an enormous and ever increasing impact on the fields of Mathematics and Physics. His insights and accomplishments were seminal in areas which have developed into some of the most active fields of research today. Furthermore, his seminar with C. N. Yang in the early 70's led (through Yang, Wu, Atiyah, Singer and others) to a widespread understanding of the equivalence between gauge field theory in physics and the theory of connections in differential geometry. This understanding transformed the interactions between the worlds of mathematics and theoretical physics throughout the last third of the century. These interactions led to important progress particularly in mathematics.

Much of Simons' work can be collected under the general rubric of the theory of connections. Over this century, connections in differential geometry have come to play a increasingly central role in both mathematics and physics. Today they lie at the foundations of the most intense research activity in a surprisingly broad spectrum of fields. In fact progress has been so great that these fields with a common root seem almost unrelated. This conference brings together some of the world's leading research mathematicians working in these areas.

Scientific Committee:
Jean-Michel Bismut, Jeff Cheeger, S. S. Chern, Blaine Lawson, John Milnor, I. M. Singer, Dennis Sullivan, C.-N. Yang.
Some partial support will be available for graduate students and faculty without grants. The level of support will be determined after the conference. Those who qualify and wish to apply for partial support should indicate this on their registration forms.
In order to qualify for financial support US citizens must furnish Social Security Number and home address. Legal resident aliens must present their green card and other foreign nationals must show proof of one of the following visa types:
  • B-1 or WB visas with an I-94 form.
  • J-1 visas with an I-94 and IAP 66 form.
  • F-1 visas with an I-94 and I-20 form.
  • TN visas with I-94 form.
We will also need to see your passport with visa stamps.
There will be a banquet on Friday evening, April 3, at the Ballroom of the Studen Union Building. The price will be $35.00 per person. Vegetarian and Kosher meals will be available. Please indicate your choice of meal in the registration form.
On Saturday night, there will be a party at 8:30 PM, at the home of Jim and Marilyn Simons in Setauket.
Local Transportation:
Regular shuttle buses will be run between the University and the three main hotels throughout the conference.
Participants can obtain parking permits at the registration desk in room S-240 of the Mathematics Building. These permits will allow the use of any "faculty-staff" lot. Parking lots are displayed as black rectangles in this campus map.
Please be aware that in order to use the parking garage located next to the Administration Building (represented with a grey rectangle in this map), a fee has to be paid at its entrance.
We expect that on Thursday and Friday, parking near to the Math Department will be difficult after 10:00 AM. On Friday afternoon and during the weekend, it should be much easier.
The South P-lot, located at the southwestern corner of the Campus, has a regular bus service to Central Campus.
Registration Fee:
There is a registration fee of $35 ($20 for graduate students) to cover coffee, doughnuts and bus service.
Should you want to help us advertise this conference at your local institution, you can download and print a low resolution PostScript file (1214349 bytes) of the announcement poster which prints on 8.5x11 inch paper.