Matilde Marcolli

Italian mathematician and physicist

Matilde Marcolli is an Italian mathematical physicist. She was an Invited Speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in 2010 in Hyderabad.

Quotes edit

  • The physicists' approach to the equivalence of Seiberg-Witten and Donaldson theory is based on Witten's interpretation of Donaldson's theory as a twisted supersymmetric Quantum Field Theory ... and on the concept of electro-magnetic duality.
  • Noncommutative geometry, as developed by Connes starting in the early ’80s ..., extends the tools of ordinary geometry to treat spaces that are quotients, for which the usual “ring of functions”, defined as functions invariant with respect to the equivalence relation, is too small to capture the information on the “inner structure” of points in the quotient space. Typically, for such spaces functions on the quotients are just constants, while a nontrivial ring of functions, which remembers the structure of the equivalence relation, can be defined using a noncommutative algebra of coordinates, analogous to the non- commuting variables of quantum mechanics.
  • It turns out that noncommutative geometry is a very good framework for theories of (modified) gravity coupled to matter. The main idea behind gravity and particle physics models based on noncommutative geometry is that "all forces become gravity" on an noncommutative space. In other words, it is only from the point of view of a slice of the geometry consisting of an ordinary spacetime manifold that we see a difference between gravity and the other forces, while from the point of view of the overall (noncommutative) geometry they are all seen together as gravity. As we will see, the main construction is not unlike the idea of "extra dimensions" many people are familiar with from string theory, except for the fact that the extra dimensions in these models are not only small, but also noncommutative, while the extended dimensions of spacetime maintain their commutative nature.

Quotes from A Drifter of Dadaist Persuasion (2015) edit

  • Violence, bullying, and intimidation exist and are practiced on a daily basis within the mathematical community, and there is a widespread "culture of cruelty" among its practitioners ...
  • The general discourse of scientists about science is marred by beliefs of the Ancient Greeks in the kalos kai agathos: that which is beautiful must also be good, and conversely. This leads inevitably to portraits of scientists as cartoonish heroes: the more profound and significant the science, ... In fact what is truly heroic about science is the fact that it does uncover beautiful truths about the universe despite the ugliness and brutality of the human beings involved.

Quotes about Marcolli edit

  • Matilde Marcolli describes how she came to mathematics influenced by her parents’ involvement in Italian contemporary art. The abstract art of her father and the conceptual art of her mother, together with atonal twentieth-century music, share with mathematics an appreciation of abstract structures. Her own art includes painting, where surrealism allows her to express contrasts inherent in the practice of mathematical research and to explore the inner world of patient, difficult, and painful hard work and also the bullying and “culture of cruelty” within the mathematics community. ... Besides painting, Marcolli is also a writer in many forms, including science fiction, short stories, poetry, and a theater play.

External links edit

  Encyclopedic article on Matilde Marcolli on Wikipedia