Graduate RTG Courses
The lively seminar culture of the Geometry Group feeds off and nourishes an increasingly cohesive and enthusiastic group of graduate students. The two new seminar-classes take this even further.
The Graduate Geometry Apprenticeship (GAGA) for first- and second-year students tackles basic papers or a classic textbook. Students take turns presenting the material. The material will be chosen from the common core shared by the diverse directions of our Groups, focussing on topics we all feel are an essential part of a geometer's toolkit. Recent topics have included Morse theory and the basic theory of Lie algebras. Students in this class interact intensely with each other and with faculty, more so than in regular classes. This foundation of communal learning carries far beyond GAGA.
The Graduate Literature Seminar in Geometry bridges the gap between classroom learning and research. It emulates and adapts the long-standing and highly successful Kan seminar at MIT. But whereas the Kan Seminar covers algebraic topology, our version spans topics in geometry and topology broadly. Each of the students studies and presents three classic papers in their concentration area in geometry. The first paper is short with a single well-defined result. Subsequent papers have more extended structure and scope. As the semester progresses and the level of the papers rises, a major challenge for students is to extract a mathematical "story" from their papers and to then express the authors' ideas and vision in their own voice. This challenge prepares students for the next step in graduate life--formulating and pursuing research problems based on the papers they read.