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Faculty Spotlight

Aaron Bertram

Aaron Bertram, professor of mathematics, recently was awarded a 2018 fellowship from the Simons Foundation, which will allow him to continue research in his specialty area of algebraic geometry. Bertram will be studying questions about moduli or meta-geometry, in which points in a meta-space represent different curved spaces. The Simons Foundation named 40 mathematicians and 12 theoretical physicists from universities across the United States and Canada for its 2018 awards. 

“I’m honored to receive a fellowship,” said Bertram. “The award will allow me the academic freedom to pursue my research, meet with my Ph.D. students, and confer with colleagues at Harvard University and at the University of California, Berkeley.” Bertram intends to use the full year given by the Simons Foundation to work on his research.

“Algebraic geometry can either be thought of as using algebra to study the geometry of multi-dimensional curved spaces, or else using geometry to study the algebra of polynomials in many variables,” said Bertram. “Some of my recent work sheds light on moduli associated to projective spaces. I would like to understand moduli associated with other curved spaces. The ‘holy grail’ of moduli are Calabi-Yau spaces, which are curved spaces with symmetries that are crucial in quantum physics, but which have so far not been well understood.”

“I enjoy teaching at all levels,” he said. “Students energize me, and I enjoy meeting with them, challenging them, and challenging myself to find ways to reach them.” 

In recent years, Bertram has taught calculus to engineering students, advanced mathematics to Honors math majors, transformational geometry to high school teachers, and algebraic geometry to graduate students. “I’ll miss teaching next year,” he said, “but I’m really excited about the opportunity to devote my energy to pure mathematical research.”

Bertram attended Harvard University where he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He later obtained a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He began teaching at the U in 1992.

Last Updated: 5/11/18