MAT477: Seminar in mathematics

Course information

Code: MAT477S
Instructor: Marco Gualtieri, office hours by appointment.
Class schedule: Th4-6 (BA6180) and R3-4 (BA1240), starting January 5th


Each week, we will have three student presentations of 45 mins each. I expect each student will speak at least twice.

The evaluation will be in three parts (approximate percentages depending on number of lectures given)

  • (20%) Two days before the presentation, the presenter must hand in approximately 4 pages of (ideally, clearly handwritten) lecture notes via email.
  • (30%) The presentation itself will be evaluated based on clarity/pedagogy as well as knowledge/understanding.
  • (25%) Participation (this means attendance and engagement, e.g. asking questions)
  • (25%) Exercises from the lectures will be assigned.


The main reference for this seminar will be Enumerative Geometry and String Theory, a book by Sheldon Katz published by the AMS and available in an electronic edition.

The reason I have selected this text is that it provides, with very little required background, an introduction to the key conceptual insights provided by string theory into enumerative geometry. The ideas described in this book are at the heart of the subject of mirror symmetry. You will be forced to learn about many topics along the way, and much of what is in the book is dealt with in an incomplete way, but that is the whole point of this seminar; it is more about showing you what is out there rather than establishing the foundations of enumerative geometry.

Other references for further study: