MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #119

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin


Fall 2012 Presentation #119 (November 2, 2012)

Ursula Whitcher, assistant professor - UW-Eau Claire

"Mirror, Mirror: String Theory and Pairs of Polyhedra"


String theory predicts that the universe we live in has six extra dimensions. These extra dimensions are curled up on each other in a specific shape called a Calabi-Yau manifold. In fact, string theory makes an even more surprising prediction: there are pairs of Calabi-Yau manifolds that yield the same observable, physical universe. What does it mean for a six-dimensional space to have a specific shape? How can we describe the pairs of spaces? The answer lies in much simpler shapes: polygons and polyhedra drawn by "connecting the dots".


Ursula Whitcher is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Washington and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvey Mudd College before returning to an institution with her initials. (


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