Cohomological Physicist

Time:2022-12-15 Thu 22:00-23:00

Venue:Zoom: 787 662 9899(PW: BIMSA)

Organizer:Jie Wu, Guo-Wei Wei, Stephen Shing-Toung Yau, Haibao Duan, Yong Lin, Jianzhong Pan, Fei Han, Kelin Xia, Chao Zhou

Speaker:James Stasheff University of Pennsylvania


This is a mini-autobiography with emphasis on those who have most influenced my mathematical career and whence came the accidental flashes of insight that drew me.

Speaker Intro

Stasheff did his undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1956. Stasheff then began his graduate studies at Princeton University; his notes for a 1957 course by John Milnor on characteristic classes first appeared in mimeographed form and later in 1974 in revised form book with Stasheff as a co-author. After his second year at Princeton, he moved to Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship. Two years later in 1961, with a pregnant wife, needing an Oxford degree to get reimbursed for his return trip to the US, and yet still feeling attached to Princeton, he split his thesis into two parts (one topological, the other algebraic) and earned two doctorates, a D.Phil. from Oxford under the supervision of Ioan James and a Ph.D. later the same year from Princeton under the supervision of John Coleman Moore. From 1961 to 1962, Stasheff was a C.L.E. Moore instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Then in 1962 joined the faculty of University of Notre Dame as an assistant professor; he was promoted to full professor there in 1968. He visited Princeton University from 1968 to 1969 and then stayed there the next year as a Sloan Fellow. Then in 1970 he moved to Temple University, where he held a position until 1978. In 1976, he joined the UNC faculty. He has also visited the Institute for Advanced Study, Lehigh University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Stasheff was an editor of the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society from 1978 to 1981, and managing editor from 1979 to 1981. He has been married since 1959 and has two children.

DATEDecember 15, 2022
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