MATC Mathematics Club
Madison Area Technical College
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. ( http://people.uwec.edu/whitchua/)
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