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Math @ Duke



Robert Bryant, Philip Griffiths Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science

Robert Bryant
Contact Info:
Office Location:  103 Physics
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2800, (919) 660-2817
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:

Typical Courses Taught:

  • MATH 123S, GEOMETRY Synopsis
  • MATH 268, Topics in DIFFERENTIAL GEOMETRY: Symplectic Geometry Synopsis
    The first third of the course is devoted to 'classical' symplectic geometry: Lagrangians, Legendre transformations, Hamiltonians, symplectic manifolds and the Darboux-Weinstein theorem, symmetries and conservation laws and the Arnold- Liouville theorem, momentum mappings, reduction, and convexity. The second third of the course is devoted to developing elliptic methods: pseudo-holomorphic curves, Gromov compactness and moduli, applications to packing and (non)-squeezing theorems, etc. The final third covers related topics and recent developments, such as relations with toric varieties, representation theory, or other topics that depend on the interests of the class.
Office Hours:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-12:00PM, and by appointment

Ph.D.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1979
BSNorth Carolina State University at Raleigh1974
B.A.North Carolina State University1974

Mathematical Physics
Research Interests: Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations and Differential Geometry

I'm interested in the geometry of partial differential equations (as always), but, more specifically, I have been thinking about conservation laws for PDE, Finsler geometry, calibrations, holonomy, and trying to learn more about Seiberg-Witten invariants and symplectic geometry.

Areas of Interest:

exterior differential systems
differential geometry
algebraic geometry
Finsler geometry


Almost complex manifolds • calibrations • CR hypersurfaces • exterior differential systems • Finsler • Geometry, Differential • Global differential geometry • solitons


Currently serving as President of the American Mathematical Society (2015-2017)
Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. R. Bryant, On the convex Pfaff-Darboux Theorem of Ekeland and Nirenberg (Preprint, December 22, 2015) [arXiv:1512.07100]  [abs]
  2. R. Bryant, On the conformal volume of 2-tori (Preprint, July 6, 2015) [arXiv:1507.01485]  [abs]
  3. R.L. Bryant, Notes on Exterior Differential Systems (Preprint, May, 2014) [arXiv:1405.3116]  [abs] [author's comments]
  4. R.L. Bryant, S.-s. Chern's study of almost-complex structures on the six-sphere (Preprint, May, 2014) [arXiv:1405.3405]  [abs]
  5. with M Dunajski and M Eastwood, Metrisability of two-dimensional projective structures, J. Differential Geometry, vol. 83 no. 3 (2009), pp. 465-499, ISSN 0022-040X [MR2581355], [arXiv:0801.0300v1 [math.DG]]  [abs]
Selected Invited Lectures

  1. Parking Cars, Rolling Balls, and Falling Cats: The Concept of Holonomy, May 22, 2013, Simons Foundation in New York City    
  2. Geometry Old and New: From Euclid to String Theory, November 1, 2012, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA [title.]    
  3. Applications of Cartan's generalization of Lie's Third Theorem, June 13, 2011, Centre de Rescherches Mathématiques, Montreal, CA [various]    
  4. The idea of Holonomy, October 14, 2010, MAA Carriage House, Washington, DC [the-idea-of-holonomy]    
  5. On the life and work of S.-S. Chern, August 19, 2010, ICM in Hyderabad, India [Ch]    
Recent Grant Support

  • The Geometry of Partial Differential Equations, National Science Foundation, DMS-1359583, 2013/09-2015/06.      
  • The Geometry of Partial Differential Equations and Applications, National Science Foundation, DMS-1359583, 2013/07-2015/06.      
Conferences Organized
ph: 919.660.2800
fax: 919.660.2821

Mathematics Department
Duke University, Box 90320
Durham, NC 27708-0320