Jason D. Lotay

Jason D. Lotay
Professor of Pure Mathematics
University of Oxford
Fellow at Balliol College






Latest info

Simons Visiting Professorship   I will be a Simons Visiting Professor for the program on Special Geometric Structures and Analysis at SLMath (formerly MSRI), Berkeley, California, for Fall 2024.

MPAG, QJ Math and Geom Dedicata   I have recently joined the Editorial Boards of Geometriae Dedicata, the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, Analysis and Geometry. Please do send your strong papers in my research area to the journal and encourage those you know to do the same.

Simons Collaboration   I am a PI of the Simons Collaboration on Special Holonomy in Geometry, Analysis and Physics. I co-organized a recent meeting of the Collaboration on Special Holonomy and Geometric Structures on Complex Manifolds in IMPA Brazil on 11--15 March 2024. I co-organized a meeting of the Collaboration last year on Algebraic Geometry, Gauge Theory and the Swampland Conjectures in Oxford on 9--13 January 2023. I co-organised virtual meetings of the Collaboration on Connections between String Theory and Special Holonomy on 10--14 January 2022 and on Numerical and Geometric Methods for Ricci-flat Metrics and Flows on 24--28 May 2021. I co-organised meetings on Progress and Open Problems on 14--18 September 2020 (a virtual meeting), Moduli of Special Holonomy Metrics and their Periods on 1--5 June 2019 (a virtual meeting), Geometric Flows and Special Holonomy on 4--8 June 2018 at Imperial College, and Construction of Exceptional Holonomy Spaces: Past, Present and Future on 5--9 June 2017, also at Imperial College.

LMS   I have been elected to the LMS Council as a Member-at-Large. I am also the Chair of SLAM (Society Lectures and Meetings Committee).

Chancellor's Professorship/MSRI I was the Chancellor's Professor at UC Berkeley, California, for 2022-23 during my participation in the Analytic and Geometric Aspects of Gauge Theory research program at the Mathematical Sciences Research Insitute, August-December 2022.

EPSRC   I am a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for Mathematical Sciences since Jan 2022. I am also a member of the EPSRC EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Strategic Advisory Group.

Research summary

What I do   I work on differential geometry, particularly geometry related with special holonomy and calibrated submanifolds, geometric flows including Lagrangian mean curvature flow and the G2-Laplacian flow, as well as gauge theory (instantons and monopoles). For further details, and if you are interested in pursuing PhD studies with me, see my research page.

Why anyone cares   The geometries I study are important from the viewpoint of Einstein metrics and gauge theory, and are related to minimal submanifolds and algebraic geometry. In this setting, there are striking interactions expected between the ambient manifold geometry and topology, the calibrated submanifold geometry and instantons. Moreover, the objects I investigate are of potential importance in high-energy theoretical physics.

Current group   Postdoc: PhD Students: George Cooper, Alfred Holmes, John Hughes, Thibault Langlais, Carlos Ochoa Flores, Qiu Shi Wang.

Academic activities

Brussels-London Geometry Seminar   I co-organise this regular meeting which links geometers in London (and elsewhere in the UK) to the ULB in Brussels. The latest meeting was on Higgs Bundles in March 2023 and had Laura Schaposnik, Laura Fredrickson and Nigel Hitchin as speakers. Details about the seminar are available at the seminar webpage.

BOWL  I co-organised an online differential geometry seminar between Brussels (ULB), Oxford, Warwick and London (Imperial, Queen Mary and UCL). The seminar will typically be on Tuesdays at 14:00 UK time.

Book  I have co-edited a book on Lectures and Survey on G2-Manifolds and Related Topics with Spiro Karigiannis and Conan Leung, published by Springer as part of the Fields Institute Communications series. This contains introductory lectures and survey articles largely based on talks given at a Minischool and Workshop which we co-organized at the Fields Institute in August 2017. We hope this will be useful to both graduate students and established researchers working in this area.

Geometric Analysis Reading Seminar   I co-organised an informal seminar for geometers and analysts, where we discuss and learn about various topics in Geometric Analysis. Information is available on the seminar website. We ran a reading group on ''G2 geometry: counting associatives''.

Public engagement

Snapshot  My Snapshot of Modern Mathematics from Oberwolfach on Lagrangian mean curvature flow has been published. This is a short introduction to this exciting research area, written in an easily understandable and accessible manner.

Pint of Science I gave a talk on "The Shape of the Universe" at Pint of Science: Our relatively curvy universe on 20 May 2019 at Farr's School of Dancing, Dalston, London.

El País My article (in Spanish) entitled "Por qué estudio la séptima dimensión" has been published in the Café y Teoremas section of El País in November 2018.

Public policy  I took part in a scheme run by the Royal Society which pairs scientists with MPs and civil servants, including a week spent by the scientists in Westminster which was fantastic. There is a case study of my experience on the Royal Society website and you can hear me discussing some of my experience on the scheme and my other interactions with parliament in a UCL Public Policy podcast. You can also read a policy briefing, Maths Matters, which I devised in 2013 to try to explain the value of maths research to policy makers.

Physics World   My feature article entitled "The geometry of our world" has appeared in the April 2017 edition of Physics World, which you can access by going to physicsworld.com. You can also download the article by visiting my publications page.

Adventures in the 7th Dimension   I spoke in the popular Lunch Hour Lectures for the general public at UCL on 2 March 2017, and the talk is now available to view on the YouTube channel. I was also one of the invited speakers at this year's British Science Festival in Swansea talking about the 7th dimension on 6 September 2016. I was interviewed about my talk on Science Cafe on BBC Radio Wales. I gave a related talk as part of the LMS Popular Lectures in London on 28 June 2017 and in Birmingham on 20 September 2017, and at the Fields Institute (Toronto) on 21 August 2017.

Unwrapping our Modern World  I ran this workshop with artist Lilah Fowler as part of a Maths Arts and Crafts Day for teachers on 25 June 2016 at UCL. In this interactive event, we gave a fresh perspective on the modern world by "unwrapping" through ideas from art and mathematics. We explored a wide range of topics from the mundane like cardboard boxes and maps, to the internet, bitcoin, the shape of the universe and DNA. This built on a previous workshop for the general public.

Take your brain to another dimension   I was delighted to take part in the inaugural MAPS PhesDival at UCL, celebrating research in Maths and Physical Sciences, on 15 June 2016. I took the opportunity to explain my research with a few jokes and some dance moves!

About me

Short history   I am a Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow at Balliol College (as of January 2019). I was previously at UCL, where I was a Professor of Mathematics. I was an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow and, before joining UCL, a member of the Geometry group at Imperial College, London. I spent the academic year 07-08 at MSRI, Berkeley, working with Robert Bryant. My DPhil supervisor at Oxford was Dominic Joyce. For further details see my about page.

Organisation   I organise the events called Fridays@4 in Oxford for PhD students and postdocs. I am a co-organiser of the Brussels-London Geometry Seminar and the London Geometric Analysis Reading Seminar. I have co-organised many international workshops and conferences, including at AIM (San Jose, California), BIRS (Banff), CMO-BIRS (Oaxaca), ICMS (Edinburgh), UCL, Imperial and King's (London) and Oxford.

Keep informed   Follow me on Twitter @jdlotay and find out more about geometry at Oxford on the group webpage.