Cattani awarded Fulbright to Argentina

By Patrick J. Callahan

Eduardo Cattani, professor of Mathematics and Statistics, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research and lecture at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina during the 2005-06 academic year.

Cattani will collaborate with Argentine mathematicians on a research project titled “Toric residues, hypergeometric functions and mirror symmetry,” and teach a graduate-level course on “Complex Manifolds.” This course will develop some of the mathematics needed to understand the basic work on “mirror symmetry,” which is the name given to a remarkable duality postulated by theoretical physicists in the early ’90s and which has been extensively studied by algebraic and differential geometers, in addition to theoretical physicists.

Cattani says the Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales of the University of Buenos Aires has very strong groups in mathematics and in theoretical physics and it is hoped that this research project and the accompanying course will foster the interactions between these groups.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to spend a semester in Argentina teaching and learning from a superb group of Argentine scientists,” Cattani says. “While in Argentina, I also hope to visit the Balseiro Institute in Bariloche where Javier Fernandez, who earned his doctorate here in 2001, is an assistant professor of mathematics.”

Cattani is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 140 countries for the 2005-06 academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.