David Ben-Zvi

I am a Professor in the Geometry Research Group of the Mathematics Department, University of Texas, Austin.

NB:Much of this page has not been updated since 2016 - in progress! [Fall 2022]

  • My Curriculum Vitae (last updated: September 2022).

    I am interested in the interface between representation theory, algebraic geometry and mathematical physics. More specifically, my research program is concerned with the interactions of geometric representation theory (in particular the geometric Langlands program) with powerful new tools from homotopical algebra (derived algebraic geometry) and organizing structures from physics (topological field theory and supersymmetric gauge theory). The main theme in my recent work is the interaction of representation theory and gauge theory. Representation theory seeks to classify and describe the possible realizations of symmetries, and to exploit symmetry by providing a tool to decompose symmetric structures into elementary constituents. Rep- resentation theory has been an essential tool in quantum physics almost from its inception, providing for example the structure of atomic orbitals. Gauge theories, quantum field theories built directly out of the structure of local symmetry, are the language of much of high energy physics, in partic- ular the standard model. Gauge theory in turn has had a tremendous impact on low dimensional topology and geometry. Recently the relationship between representation theory and gauge theory has been reversed. In a development tracing back to the work of Segal and reaching its modern state after the work of Kapustin-Witten and Lurie, the structure of gauge theory has emerged as a powerful organizing framework for representation theory in the abstract. In this paradigm the different kinds of repre- sentation theories correspond to the different kinds of gauge theories, while the correlation functions, observables and defects in gauge theory provide a radically new and uniform structure through which to understand the most sophisticated concerns of representation theorists. Kapustin and Witten demonstrated that the Geometric Langlands Program appears naturally from the study of electric-magnetic duality in supersymmetric gauge theory. More broadly, one can use electric-magnetic duality as a powerful paradigm for the entire Langlands program, with interesting consequences for number theory.

    I completed my Ph.D. under the supervision of Edward Frenkel; check out our book Vertex Algebras and Algebraic Curves.

    I've had longstanding collaborations with Tom Nevins, David Nadler, Andy Neitzke, Sam Gunningham and David Jordan. I'm currently engaged in a large-scale project with Yiannis Sakellaridis and Akshay Venkatesh. My other collaborators include Indranil Biswas, Matt Szczesny (my academic brother), Reimundo Heluani, John Francis, David Helm, Anatoly Preygel, Adrien Brochier, Pavel Safronov, Chris Beem, Tudor Dimofte, Mat Bullimore, Harrison Chen.

    My current graduate students are

    My former graduate students are

    Links to some of my lectures:

    My slides and video from plenary talk ``Representation Theory as Gauge Theory" at the 2016 Clay Research Conference.

    ASPECTS of Topology - conference in honor of Graeme Segal's 70th birthday

    Categorical Representation Theory: a graduate workshop I lead in Eugene, sponsored by Nick Proudfoot's CAREER grant.

    Slides for lecture at Luminy, July 2012

    GRASP Lectures Available!

    I miss the nuance of the old topos.

    Sunrise on Io by David Ben-Zvi and Paul Burchard. Copyright 1993 by The Geometry Center, University of Minnesota. Used with permission.

    More cool fractal pictures I helped make at the Geometry Center

    Our Himalayan Adventure, David and friends in Himachal and Ladakh 2003

    Click here for some old pictures.

    I am an avid movie fan. Check out some lists of movies I've seen. [NB: hasn't been updated since..2003??]

    Some quotes collected from my U.of Chicago Honors Calculus class.

    A brief personal history

    Image from Outside In:

    [Transparent Peach Eversion]

    [Copyright Summer 1992 by The Geometry Center, Univerity of Minnesota. All rights reserved - see more info]

    Department of Mathematics
    University of Texas, Austin
    Office 10.168

    Up: University of Texas, Austin Mathematics Department