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# Nigel Hitchin

Nigel Hitchin (b. 2 August 1946 in Holbrook, Derbyshire) is a British mathematician working in the fields of differential geometry, algebraic geometry, and mathematical physics.

Academic career

Hitchin attended Ecclesbourne School, Duffield, and earned his BA in mathematics from Jesus College, Oxford in 1968.[1] After moving to Wolfson College, he received his D.Phil. in 1972. In 1997 he was appointed to the Savilian Chair of Geometry at Oxford University, a position previously held by his doctoral supervisor (and later research collaborator) Sir Michael Atiyah.

Amongst his notable discoveries are the Hitchin integrable system, the Hitchin–Thorpe inequality, Hitchin's projectively flat connection over Teichmüller space, Hitchin's self-duality equations, the Atiyah-Hitchin monopole metric, the ADHM construction of instantons (of Atiyah, Drinfeld, Hitchin, and Manin), and the hyperkähler quotient construction (of Hitchin, Karlhede, Lindstrom and Rocek).

In his article on generalized Calabi-Yau manifolds, he introduced the notion of generalized complex manifolds, providing a single structure that incorporates, as examples, Poisson manifolds, symplectic manifolds and complex manifolds. These have found wide applications as the geometries of flux compactifications in string theory and also in topological string theory.

Hitchin was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Oxford's Jesus College in 1998,[1] and the Senior Berwick Prize (1990), the Sylvester Medal (2000) and the Pólya Prize (2002) have been awarded to him in honour of his far-reaching work. A conference was held in honour of his 60th birthday, in conjunction with the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians in Spain.

In the span of his career, Hitchin has supervised nearly thirty research students, including Simon Donaldson (part-supervised with Atiyah).

Notes

1. ^ a b Fellows' News, Jesus College Record (1998/9) (p.12)

References

* Hitchin, Nigel (2003), "Generalized Calabi-Yau manifolds", Quarterly Journal of Mathematics 54 (3): 281–308, doi:10.1093/qmath/hag025, arXiv:math/0209099v1

External links

* His home page at the University of Oxford

* Nigel Hitchin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project

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