Pure Mathematics

Faculty with this focus

Operator Algebras

C∗-algebras (pronounced "C-star") are an important area of research in functional analysis, a branch of mathematics.

Valentin Deaconu

My area of research is Operator Algebras, which is part of functional analysis. Functional analysis is the study of spaces of functions and other Banach spaces, and is related to differential equations, linear algebra, topology and abstract algebra.  More precisely, I study groupoid C*-algebras and K-theory. Groupoids are similar to groups, except that they have many units, and one can not compose just any two elements.  Additional structure is necessary, like a topology and a family of measures, in order to define a groupoid C*-algebra, which sometimes looks like a set of (infinite) matrices with complex entries. K-theory is a generalized cohomology theory, which is used in algebraic topology in order to distinguish surfaces and other topological spaces. The methods in my research are also inspired from dynamical systems, and the applications are in quantum statistical mechanics.

Alex Kumjian

My field of research is a branch of Analysis called Operator Algebras. It is an intriguing mixture of Analysis and infinite-dimensional linear algebra. It is a relatively new field that has its origins in the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. I am particularly interested in operator algebras which arise from dynamical systems.


Topology developed as a field of study out of geometry and set theory, through analysis of such concepts as space, dimension, and transformation.

Chris Herald

My primary research interests are in topology and differential geometry. One current area of interest is bifurcation theory, the study of how the set of solutions to an equation varies as a parameter in the equation is varied. The relationship between symmetries of an equation and its bifurcations is very interesting. Bifurcation theory uses tools from analysis, linear algebra, and topology. The theory sheds light on questions in pure mathematics, such as the study of 3- and 4- dimensional manifolds (generalizations of surfaces) as well as applied problems.

Stanislav Jabuka

My research interests are in low-dimensional topology and geometry and range from classical knot theory to the topology of 3-manifolds and smooth 4-manifolds. The tools I use in my research are various gauge theories including Donaldson and Seiberg-Witten theory but most prominently discovered Heegaard Floer theory. I am interested in question pertaining to knot concordance, specifically torsion in the smooth knot concordance group. With regards to smooth 4-manifolds, I am interested in better understanding the Heegaard Floer invariants of Lefschetz fibrations.

Tynan Kelly

My research interests are in low-dimensional topology and knot theory. My work uses both algebraic and geometric techniques to study knots and their invariants, ranging from Kirby calculus and handlebodies to classical knot invariants (such as the Alexander and Jones polynomials and Casson-Gordon invariants) to more modern techniques such as the Heegaard-Floer and Khovanov homology theories. I am particularly interested in knot concordance and the role that knots play in the topology of 3- and 4-manifolds.

Ed Keppelmann

I study the fixed point theory of continuous maps on compact spaces, such as a torus and generalizations called Nilmanifolds and Solvmanifolds. Examples of these include the famous Klein Bottle or the collection of n by n upper triangular matrices with 1s on the diagonal. Certain properties of the fixed points of a map on one of these spaces are homotopy invariant, i.e., they don't change when the map is deformed. These properties are studied using techniques from group theory, combinatorics, and lots and lots of Linear Algebra.

Number Theory

Jing-Jing Huang

My primary research interests lie in the interaction of analytic number theory, diophantine geometry and harmonic analysis. That is to say, I am interested in using analytic methods (complex analysis, fourier analysis, etc) to solve number theoretic problems (finding integral/rational solutions to diophantine equations, the distribution of prime numbers, etc). My current research project is to study the distribution of rational points near a curved manifold, which (if solved in a satisfactory manner) will have major applications to problems in metric diophantine approximation.


Chris Rogers

My research interests are in homotopy theory, homological algebra, and higher categorical algebra. Most of the problems that I work on are quite geometric in nature and have their origins in certain areas of mathematical physics (e.g., formal deformation quantization and topological field theory).

Jonathan Beardsley

My research interests are in category theory, algebraic topology, and homotopy theory. I am specifically interested in using homotopical or "derived" algebra, in the form of operads, spectra, and infinity categories, to understand and classify structures that naturally arise in geometry and topology. Some geometric structures that I have specifically studied in previous work or am currently interested in include: cohomological invariants of topological spaces, the stable homotopy groups of spheres, the relationships between cobordism rings as the structure group is varied, A-infinity categories, and singular knots and links.