New Savilian Professor of Geometry

Picture of Professor Hitchin Professor Nigel Hitchin, FRS, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, since 1994, has been appointed to the Savilian Professorship of Geometry with effect from October 1997.

Professor Hitchin, who will be a Fellow of New College, replaces Professor Richard L. Taylor, FRS, who resigned after one year in post and Professor Ioan M. James, FRS, who retired in 1995. Educated at Jesus College, Oxford (BA, 1968) and Wolfson College, Oxford (D.Phil., 1972), he began his academic career with research and teaching posts at Princeton (1971–3) and the Courant Institute, New York University (1973–4).

He returned to Oxford in 1974 to continue his research at Wolfson College, later becoming a Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics and CUF Lecturer at St Catherine's College (1979–90). He was appointed to a Chair in Mathematics at Warwick University (1990–4) and then to his current Professorship at Cambridge in 1994.

He has also held a number of visiting positions, including at the State University of New York, Stony Brook (1983–4) and regular periods at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette.

His research interests are in differential and algebraic geometry and its relationship with the equations of mathematical physics. His current projects include the areas of Hyperkähler geometry, special Lagrangian geometry and mirror symmetry, and geometric solutions of Painlevé equations. He is particularly known for his work on instantons, magnetic monopoles, and integrable systems.

In addition to numerous articles in academic journals, he has published Monopoles, Minimal Surfaces and Algebraic Curves (Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1987) and The Geometry and Dynamics of Magnetic Monopoles (Princeton University Press, 1988, with M.F. Atiyah).

Professor Hitchin was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991. He has been awarded the London Mathematical Society Junior Whitehead Prize (1981) and the London Mathematical Society Senior Berwick Prize (1990). From 1994 until 1996, he was President of the London Mathematical Society.

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