UIC mathematician earns 2021 Simons Fellowship

Laura Schaposnik, UIC associate professor of mathematics
Laura Schaposnik, UIC associate professor of mathematics

University of Illinois Chicago’s Laura Schaposnik is among 45 researchers who have been named a 2021 Simons Fellow in mathematics and theoretical physics.

The competitive grant from the Simons Foundation extends faculty sabbaticals from one academic term to a full year, enabling recipients to focus solely on their research. Recipients are selected based on their scientific accomplishments and on the potential scientific impact of the work to be done during their fellowship.

Schaposnik, UIC associate professor of mathematics, studies the geometry and topology of the moduli spaces of Higgs bundles and integrable systems, and the geometric structures they parametrize. Her work in recent years has yielded significant advances in the study of subspaces of this moduli space, known as branes.

She will spend the Fall 2022 semester in Berkeley, California, where she will co-organize a semester-long program at the Mathematical Science Research Institute and examine the gauge theoretic aspects of her research program.

While based at the University of Oxford during the Spring 2023 semester, she will focus on advancing the study of generalized hyperpolygons, which are a kind of very special graphs carrying extra data she introduced recently together in co-authored research.

“In particular, I will look into their role within F-Theory, string theory and their relationship to wild Hitchin systems and mirror symmetry,” she said.

Schaposnik’s work has been supported by multiple National Science Foundation grants and she was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship in 2017. She has been at UIC since 2015 and earned her doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2013.

The Simons Foundation’s mathematics and physical sciences division, established in 2010, supports research in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science by providing funding for individuals, institutions and science infrastructure.

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