Department Of Mathematics, Kansas State University

News Details

May 2017 : Yan Soibelman named university distinguished professor
Kansas State University is honoring Yan Soibelman as 2017 university distinguished professor, a lifetime title that is the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty members. Distinguished professors are appointed following a university-wide nomination and evaluation process conducted by the provost. Yan will receive a personalized plaque and medallion at the university's fall 2017 commencement ceremonies. Professor Soibelman is the director of the university's M-Center for Mirror Symmetry and Tropical Geometry. He researches algebra, deformation theory, algebraic geometry, topology, symplectic geometry, representation theory, non-commutative geometry, differential equations, mathematical physics and string theory.

Mirror symmetry is a very active subject in mathematics which originated from string theory in the early 90s. It connects seemingly unrelated fields of geometry, namely complex geometry and symplectic geometry. Also, it can be approached in many different ways, from numerical analysis to Hodge theory, and even category theory. "In 2000-2004 Soibelman together with Kontsevich reformulated the most geometric form of Mirror Symmetry - the Strominger-Yau-Zaslow conjecture - in terms of limiting integral affine structures. That gave birth to a whole new branch of mathematics called Tropical geometry, which is, roughly, a way to understand complex geometric objects via their piece-wise linear shadows," Ilia Zharkov said. "Subsequently, starting in 2008, Soibelman, also with Kontsevich, developed the Donaldson-Thomas invariant theory, where certain geometric structures change as one "crosses walls" in the parameters space," Zharkov added. "These beautiful wall-crossing phenomena seem to be ubiquitous in mathematics, in particular, in areas surrounding Mirror symmetry, and they continue to attract into the subject many young and talented minds around the globe."

Soibelman joined Kansas State University in 1994, and has received 27 grants and awards. His work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Clay Mathematics Institute and the International Congress of Mathematicians. His work has appeared in 70 publications, monographs and proceeding volumes. Further, Soibelman has been a referee and editor for 21 publications and organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and the European Research Council. He has given more than 175 conference presentations and lectures across the world. He has been an invited speaker at more than 50 regional and national conferences in Russia and the United States. He was a Clay Mathematics Institute fellow and a member of the American Mathematical Society, and he is a member of the Kiev Mathematical Society in Ukraine. He holds a distinguished visiting research chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Throughout his career, Soibelman has been a visiting scholar or professor at Cambridge University in the U.K.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard University; the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; the Institute of Advanced Research in Bures-sur-Yvette, France; Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kyoto, Japan; and the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany, among other institutions. Soibelman received his doctorate in 1985 and his master's degree in 1978, both in mathematics from Rostov University, now Southern Federal University in Russia.