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Ph.D. Profile: Benjamin Sung

Please describe your research.

My research lies primarily in the fields of algebraic geometry and string theory. Algebraic geometry is the study of geometric objects defined by polynomial equations while string theory is the study of strings and D-branes as the fundamental building blocks of the universe. These seemingly disparate fields are deeply related: the physics realized by compactifications of string theory on certain objects in algebraic geometry provides insight into the underlying space and reveals deep and inherently noncommutative structures. Further research has led to a plethora of conjectures and realizations in mathematics such as homological mirror symmetry, and motivated novel techniques such as Bridgeland stability conditions. My research is focused on two complementary themes: 1) the leverage of techniques from quantum field theory and string theory to geometry, and 2) the applications of categorical structures to moduli problems in algebraic geometry. In particular, my recent work focuses on understanding singular geometry and its invariants both from the perspective of generalized fundamental strings and approximations by more tangible noncommutative spaces.

What is your favorite part about Northeastern?

Northeastern fosters a rich and stimulating research environment for both faculty and students. There are many young and active faculty working in algebraic geometry and mathematical physics and there are a myriad of opportunities to interact on a regular basis. Moreover, there is never a lack of conferences and seminars in the mathematics and physics departments.

What is your favorite part of Boston?

Scientifically, Boston is one of the best places in the world. With all the neighboring universities in the area, there are always academic events to attend and people to interact with. As a smaller city, it strikes an optimal balance of having the benefits of living in a big city while minimizing commute.

What advice would you give to an incoming graduate student?

Prioritize your research and take advantage of all the scientific opportunities that Boston has to offer.

What are your plans after degree completion?

Ideally, I hope to attain a postdoctoral position and land a faculty job in the future.

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