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Enumerative Geometry and String Theory
Sheldon Katz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

Student Mathematical Library
2006; 206 pp; softcover
Volume: 32
ISBN-10: 0-8218-3687-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-3687-3
List Price: US$38
Institutional Members: US$30.40
All Individuals: US$30.40
Order Code: STML/32
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See also:

Modular Forms and String Duality - Noriko Yui, Helena Verrill and Charles F Doran

Advances in String Theory: The First Sowers Workshop in Theoretical Physics - Eric Sharpe and Arthur Greenspoon

Perhaps the most famous example of how ideas from modern physics have revolutionized mathematics is the way string theory has led to an overhaul of enumerative geometry, an area of mathematics that started in the eighteen hundreds. Century-old problems of enumerating geometric configurations have now been solved using new and deep mathematical techniques inspired by physics!

The book begins with an insightful introduction to enumerative geometry. From there, the goal becomes explaining the more advanced elements of enumerative algebraic geometry. Along the way, there are some crash courses on intermediate topics which are essential tools for the student of modern mathematics, such as cohomology and other topics in geometry.

The physics content assumes nothing beyond a first undergraduate course. The focus is on explaining the action principle in physics, the idea of string theory, and how these directly lead to questions in geometry. Once these topics are in place, the connection between physics and enumerative geometry is made with the introduction of topological quantum field theory and quantum cohomology.

This book is published in cooperation with IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute.


Undergraduate and graduate students interested in algebraic geometry or in mathematical physics.


"The most accessible portal into very exciting recent material."

-- CHOICE Magazine

"The book contains a lot of extra material that was not included in the original fifteen lectures. It is a nicely and intuitively written remarkable little booklet covering a huge amount of interesting material describing a beautiful area, where modern mathematics and theoretical physics meet. It can give inspiration to teachers for a lecture series on the topic as well as a chance for self-study by students."

-- EMS Newsletter

"It is a welcome addition to the spectrum of available references on the topic and ideal for someone between undergraduate and beginning graduate education who wants to know more about this exciting field or for more advanced students who would like to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together."

-- Mathematical Reviews

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