Welcome to my website.

I'm currently a math graduate student at Caltech.

Specifically, my ongoing research in algebraic geometry deals with motivic Donaldson-Thomas invariants and arc spaces. I expect to finish my PhD in June of 2013. My advisor is Tom Graber.

Office hours

I am teaching Math 130B: algebraic geometry. You can find me at 356 Sloan during most days. My office hours are on Thursday from 1PM to 3PM. Please feel free to stop by to discuss math or chat.

Or click here for an amusing PhD comic.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Click here to open my CV as a PDF (71 kb).

About Me

Here are some things about myself...

Basic Facts
I was born in Switzerland, but have lived across various locations throughout Europe and the US. I am the middle of two brothers, and speak English, French, German, and Swiss German, among other languages. When not immersed in math, I have an avid passion for classical music, watching operas at the Los Angeles Opera house, and practicing piano.

Education
I am currently pursuing a PhD at Caltech in Pasadena, California. I attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne for my bachelor's, and completed a masters thesis at UC Berkeley. Prior to my degrees, I attended Stiftsschule Engelberg boarding school (high school) in Engelberg, Switzerland, located on the edge of the Alps.

Piano and Classical Music
I have long been an enthusiastic fan of classical music and try to play piano daily. You may have observed that many math students and scholars are also incidentally- trained pianists. This is a frequent, yet interesting phenomenon. Some of my favorite composers are Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky. In the recent years, I have amassed quite a heavy collection of classical CD's, as I found ordering music from Amazon is quite addictive. My friends and I occassionally attend concerts in various local hall.

Literature
I enjoy burying myself in a novel. Currently I am exploring works by Joseph Kessel, who was a French journalist and novelist. Kessel wrote several novels and books that were later represented in the cinema, most notably Belle de jour (by Luis Buñuel in 1967).

Mathematics

And academic activity

I am always enthused to attend math conferences as they afford me the opportunity to travel to new cities, states, countries, and interact with scholars from diverse backgrounds.

Conferences

In 2011, I will be attending conferences all over the US, as well as Europe. In the upcoming months, I will be traveling to New York, France, Berlin, and Boston. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending conferences at Stanford, UCLA, Portugal, and Illinois. A biyearly conference that I never miss is the Southern California Algebraic Geometry Seminar. It is a perfect opportunity to meet with other researchers from southern California and elsewhere. This conference contributes to creating a pole of algebraic geometry in southern California.

Research

I am interested in Donaldson-Thomas theory. My research centers around motivic Donaldson-Thomas (DT) invariants and arc spaces. Motivic DT invariants, as the name suggests, are a flavor of degree zero DT invariants that were introduced by Behrend-Bryan-Szendroi. One of the advantages of motivic DT invariants is that the just named authors computed their generating functions for any smooth complex quasi-projective threefold. Their major disadvantage however is that they lie in a huge ring, the Grothendieck ring of motives. The construction of DT-invariants involves arc spaces and I am investigating different properties of this construction.

Papers

Stay tuned until I upload and compile my list of papers and projects. They will be posted shortly. Feel free to email me directly for more information. I am interested in Donaldson-Thomas theory. My research centers around motivic Donaldson-Thomas (DT) invariants and arc spaces. Motivic DT invariants, as the name suggests, are a flavor of degree zero DT invariants that were introduced by Behrend-Bryan-Szendroi. One of the advantages of motivic DT invariants is that the just named authors computed their generating functions for any smooth quasi-projective threefold.

Teaching

During the fall term 2010, I was the head TA for Ma1a, one variable calculus. Click here to see some of my evaluations.

Contact Me

I would be happy to hear from you

I am always open to networking, discussing with other Donaldson-Thomas theory enthusiasts, or chatting just about anything.

Email


Mailing address
Michel van Garrel
MC 253-37
1200 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91125