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RTG: Algebra, Geometry and Topology at the University of Utah NSF

This NSF Research Training Grant award, RTG: Algebra, Geometry, and Topology at the University of Utah is designed to train a new generation of researchers in mathematics. It funds activities for undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars as well as several activities in collaboration with the University of Utah chapter of the AWM (the Association for Women in Mathematics)

See the abstract here: NSF award #1840190.

This grant builds upon the previous grant, RTG: Algebraic Geometry and Topology at the University of Utah, NSF award #1246989.

Fellowship funds from this grant can only be used to support U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

Programs and Activities

Summer Pre-REU program

The summer pre-REU program is an annual program designed for undergraduate students who have finished Calculus II. It exposes these students to advanced mathematics, in the topics of this RTG grant, and will help prepare them to be involved in research mathematics as an undergraduate. Participants are paid a stipend of $2000.

pre-REU 2021:

Hidden Structure and Computation (Summer 2021) to be run by Sean Howe.


Summer 2019
Stefan Patrikis ran this activity.
Summer 2020
Sean Howe ran this activity. See the program website.

REU projects

This RTG grant also has financial support for undergraduates involved in research (REU activities). These funds are administered through the departmental REU programs. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Research Training Seminar

Early graduate students (as well as advanced undergraduates), are encouraged to participate in annual RTG training seminars. These annual seminars will have students work through research material in a collaborative setting, leading towards producing research in or a new exposition of a research topic.

Current topic: (run by Christopher Hacon) This seminar is mainly targeted at beginning graduate students with an interest in algebraic geometry. We will follow Lazarsfeld's book Positivity in Algebraic Geometry I and II and aim to identify related open problems and conjectures in complex projective geometry. The ideal prerequisites for this course is familiarity with Hartshorne or a similar introductory text in algebraic geometry.

2019-2020 academic year
Srikanth Iyengar ran this activity.
2020-2021 academic year
Christopher Hacon will run this activity.

AWM-RTG conferences

This conference is currently delayed until July 28-30, 2021. The University of Utah will host a conference jointly run by the University of Utah AWM as well as the RTG group. For more information, including for instructions for how to apply for funding (deadline TBD), click here:

Additional conferences are planned in 2022 and 2024.

AWM-RTG lecture series

There is now an AWM-RTG lecture series in the department.
CLICK HERE to learn more.

RTG Mini conferences

In the 2019-2020 and 2022-2023 academic years, the University of Utah will host mini workshops focused on topics of interest to the RTG group.

The first conference, titled Riemann Surfaces and their Moduli, was held at the University of Utah February 7-9th, 2020. For more information, see the link below.

RTG Travel Funding

The RTG grant has limited funds available for participants (at both the undergraduate and graduate levels) to travel to conferences and other events, including those focused on building connections and mentorship networks.

2019-2021 rules

Note, due to University policy and the pandemic, we cannot travel at this time. The mathematics department has limited funding that graduate and undergraduate students can use to go to conferences, workshops, summer schools, etc. in any area of pure math covered by the RTG grant. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed on the 1st of every month. Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of two co-PIs of the RTG grant. Due to the pandemic, we are not accepting applications for these funds at this time.

Applicants should submit the following materials via email to BOTH of the committee members:
  • a letter justifying the travel, including a rough budget with explanations,
  • a recommendation letter from a faculty member (an informal email to the two committee members would sufce), and
  • any relevant supplemental material (conference invitation etc.).
The committee will make a decision within the frst week of every month and the applicant (as well as the letter writing faculty) will be notifed via email regarding the results, including the amount of the award if successful. Priorities for funding will be given to applicants who are invited to give a presentation of original results and who have not received support in the past. Due to limited funding, each applicant is limited to $500 per year from this source

People involved in this NSF RTG grant

Summer 2021

  • Jack Cook
  • George Domat
  • Michael Kopreski
  • Rebecca Rechkin
  • Spring 2021

    • Matthew Goroff
    • Christian Klevdal
    • Daniel McCormick

    Fall 2020

    • Rebekah Eichberg
    • Hannah Hoganson
    • Michael Kopreski
    • Rebecca Rechkin

    Summer 2020

    • Christian Klevdal
    • Kristen Lee
    • Peter McDonald

    Spring 2020

    • Kevin Childers
    • Pinches Dirnfeld
    • George Domat
    • Matthew Goroff
    • Hannah Hoganson
    • Peter McDonald

    Fall 2019

    • Hanna Astephan
    • Donald Chacon-Taylor
    • Kristen Lee
    • Faith Pearson
    Future RTG postdocs:
  • Devlin Mallory (2021--2024):
  • Eamon Quinlan (2021--2024):
  • Alex Rasmussen (2021--2024): Alex is interested in geometric group theory. In particular, he studies infinite type surfaces and hyperbolic graphs associated to them, as well as hyperbolic actions of solvable groups. He works with Priyam Patel, Mladen Bestvina, and the rest of the geometry group at the University.
  • Current RTG postdocs:
    • Leo Herr (2019--2022): Leo's work concerns applications of Log Geometry in calculating Gromov-Witten Invariants. This extends the breadth to which these invariants may be applied to mildly singular spaces. Leo will work most directly with Y. P. Lee.
    • Elizabeth Field (2020--2023): Elizabeth's research lies in geometric group theory and low-dimensional topology. She is particularly interested in hyperbolic groups and spaces, boundaries of groups and spaces, and mapping class groups. She will be working with Mladen Bestvina, Ken Bromberg, Priyam Patel, and the rest of the GGT group at Utah.
    • Alicia Lamarche (2020--2023): Alicia is interested in algebraic and arithmetic geometry, and her recent work has focused on methods of extracting arithmetic information from the derived category of coherent sheaves of a variety. She plans on working with Karl Schwede, Aaron Bertram, and the rest of the AG community at Utah.
    • Peter Wear (2020--2023): Peter studies arithmetic geometry. His focus is on the non-archimedean geometry of perfectoid spaces and related objects. He will be working primarily with Sean Howe.
    Previous RTG postdocs:
    • Emily Stark (2019--2020): Emily's research area is geometric group theory, and her work focuses on spaces with hyperbolic or non-positive curvature. She worked with Mladen Bestvina, Ken Bromberg, and Priyam Patel. She is now a tenure track faculty member at Wesleyan
    • Joshua Pollitz (2019--2020): Josh' primary research interests are studying and applying homological algebra in the context of commutative algebra and its related areas. While an RTG postdoc he worked with Srikanth Iyengar and other faculty members in the commutative algebra community at Utah. He is now an NSF postdoc.

    • Aaron Bertram: Aaron works within algebraic geometry; specifically on questions about moduli spaces related to mirror symmetry. Current interests include stable maps and Gromov-Witten theory, derived categories and Bridgeland stability conditions, and the relationship between classical Riemann surface theory and tropical curves (i.e., metric graphs).
    • Mladen Bestvina: Mladen studies geometric group theory. Of particular interest is the geometry of Outer Space and other spaces associated to Out(F_n), as well as mapping class groups, Teichm\uller space and curve complexes. Other interests include: asymptotic dimension, bounded cohomology, limit groups.
    • Ken Bromberg: Ken works on hyperbolic geometry and deformation spaces of Kleinian groups. He is particularly interested in the "bumping" phenomena leading to non-local connectivity of deformation spaces. Other interests: geometric group theory, actions on quasi-trees, asymptotic dimension.
    • Jon Chaika: Jon works on ergodic theory, interval exchange transformations and flows on flat surfaces. He is particularly interested in diophantine approximation and also non-unique ergodicity. His other interests include properties of and actions on the parameterizing space of interval exchanges and flat surfaces, diophantine approximation in abstract settings and isomorphism problems.
    • Tommaso de Fernex: Tommaso works in algebraic geometry, with focus on problems in birational geometry of higher dimensional varieties and singularity theory. Of particular interest are topics related to rationality, Fano varieties, log canonical thresholds and multiplier ideals, spaces of arcs, and non-archimedean geometry.
    • Christopher Hacon: Christopher's research is focused on the birational geometry of varieties and especially on questions related to the minimal model program, both in characteristic 0 and in positive characteristics. In particular he studies global questions such as the geometry of pluricanonical maps of projective varieties and the geometry of irregular varieties, as well as local questions regarding singularities of quasi-projective varieties and their invariants such as the log canonical thresholds and minimal log discrepancies.
    • Sean Howe: Sean works at the crossroads of algebraic geometry, number theory, and representation theory. His current research focuses on: 1) p-adic automorphic forms and their role in the p-adic Langlands program, and 2) arithmetic and motivic statistics. Most of his work is on problems that connect representation theoretic structures to the geometry and topology of moduli spaces.
    • Srikanth Iyengar: Srikanth is interested in commutative algebra and its manifestations in other fields, especially the representation theory of finite groups, and dimensional algebras. Some of the topics he likes to think about are free resolutions (finite and infinite), structure of morphisms, Hochschild and Andre-Quillen (co)homology, and various triangulated categories linked to commutative rings.
    • Y.P. Lee: Works on algebraic geometry and mathematical physics, with emphasis on Gromov-Witten theory and its relations with and applications to algebraic cobordism, birational geometry, K-theory, integrable systems, mirror symmetry, moduli of curves, and variation of Hodge structures.
    • Dragan Milicic: Works in representation theory of Lie groups, specifically in analytic, algebraic and geometric aspects of representation theory of real reductive Lie groups. His current interests are focused on applications of the theory of holonomic D-modules to the study of categories of Harish-Chandra modules and related categories of representations.
    • Priyam Patel: Priyam works in low-dimensional topology and geometry and geometric group theory. She is particularly interested in hyperbolic manifolds and their finite degree covering spaces, arc and curve complexes associated to hyperbolic surfaces, Teichmuller theory, right-angled Artin groups, and cube complexes. More recently, she has been studying surfaces of infinite type and their (big) mapping class groups.
    • Gordan Savin: Works in representation theory and number theory, in particular, representations of p-adic groups and algebraic structures related to exceptional reductive groups. Current work includes research on the Gan-Gross-Prasad restriction program, and exceptional theta correspondences.
    • Karl Schwede: Karl works on the border between algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. He is especially interested in singularities, their relation to the minimal model program and characteristic $p$ methods such as Frobenius splittings and tight closure theory. More recently, he has been working to develop a theory of singularities in mixed characteristic.
    • Anurag Singh: Anurag studies commutative algebra, specifically questions related to local cohomology, tight closure theory, determinantal ideals, and invariant theory. Current projects include the study of local cohomology and differential operators in the integral setting.
    • Peter Trapa: Peter studies representations of reductive Lie groups over local fields. Recent work focuses on relating the underlying geometry of the Local Langlands Conjectures (for example, singularities of spaces of Langlands parameters) to questions of harmonic analysis on reductive groups (for example, the classification of unitary representations).
    • Kevin Wortman: Kevin works in geometric group theory, particularly on lattices in locally compact groups and their corresponding actions on nonpositively curved complexes and spaces, as well as some of their naturally occurring subspaces. Of particular interest are finiteness properties of groups and group cohomology.

    We are collaborating with the University of Utah's AWM chapter. Learn more about what they are doing by clicking the image below

    University of Utah AWM Chapter


    Below are the people involved in managing various aspects of this grant, and what they are involved in (what you should email them about).


    RTG Staff
    General RTG management, Reimbursements, Fellowships, Insurance, Tuition


    General RTG management, RTG conferences and speaker series oversight, Research training seminar, 2020-2021


    General RTG management, RTG Travel funding 2019-2020, AWM RTG Lecture Series, 2020--2021


    General RTG management, this website, research training seminar oversight


    Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Lecture Series, 2020--2021


    Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Conf., May 2021


    Former Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Conf., May 2021


    Former Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Conf., May 2021


    Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Conf., May 2021

    Serrano López

    Grad. Student
    AWM RTG Conf., May 2021.
    & AWM RTG Lecture Series, 2020--2021

    Sean Howe

    Pre-REU, summer 2020


    AWM RTG lecture series, 2019-2021