Stony Brook University’s Simons Center for Geometry and Physics (SCGP) provides the university’s mathematicians and physicists, as well as visiting scientists, the opportunity to collaborate in an environment specifically designed to promote progress at the interface of those two fields.
Since opening its doors in 2011, SCGP has hosted more than 1,200 visiting scholars, from early-career researchers to experienced investigators.
“The center is one of the few places in the world where the express intent is to mix mathematicians and physicists,” says John Morgan, director of SCGP. “These investigators are together in one place, participating in programs centered around questions of interest to both subjects and with participants from each subject.”
In September, Stony Brook announced an additional $25 million to SCGP from the Simons Foundation, to provide continued support for research and progress at the center over the next five years.
“This gift makes continued activity at the same high level possible and gives the Simons Center multi-year stability, which is crucial in planning for future scientific programs,” says Morgan.
“The center has become a magnet for the world’s greatest minds in physics and geometry,” says Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of Stony Brook University. “This generous gift from the Simons Foundation will further bolster the center’s investigation of string theory, its quest to quantify gravity and its search for a better understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe.”
By creating a space that houses experts in both fields, promotes casual conversations in the many open seating areas and encourages interdisciplinary work, Stony Brook University and the Simons Foundation have narrowed the gap between mathematics and physics.
The center houses 6 permanent senior faculty members, 12 postdoctoral fellows and 20 additional visitors at any given time. Permanent faculty and postdoctoral fellows work at the interface of mathematics and physics and have demonstrated an interest in investigating developments in disciplines outside of their realm of expertise. Visitors participate in thematic programs that are of interest to both mathematicians and physicists.