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Mathematician Awarded the Faculty of Science's Research Award 2016


The Faculty of Science’s Research Prize 2016 goes to Orsola Tommasi from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Tommasi’s research focuses on algebraic geometry.

Algebraic geometry is the study of the geometric characteristics of objects that are defined by polynomial equations. Algebraic geometry interacts with several subfield of physics.

‘For starters, let’s think of points, circles and straight lines. But the things we study in algebraic geometry are usually more complicated. My research has to do with moduli spaces, which classify geometric objects with certain characteristics,’ says Tommasi.

Complex mathematics

The moduli spaces have a very rich structure that can become very complex.
‘So we are always looking for ways to describe this complex structure in a simpler manner. What “building blocks” do we need to keep in mind? How do we put them together? Those are things we like to explore.’

Tommasi is thrilled about having received the Faculty of Science’s Research Prize.

‘It feels great! I’m quite new at the University of Gothenburg – I arrived here in April 2016 – and the prize of course makes me feel extra welcome.’

Portrait of Orsola TomassiThe Faculty of Science explains the decision to award Tommasi the Research Prize 2016 as follows:
‘Orsola Tommasi works in the field of algebraic geometry and specialises in the study of so-called moduli spaces. She has made relevant and well-recognised contributions in a research field of central importance in modern number theory and theoretical physics. By providing counterexamples to fundamental assumptions, her research stretches the frontier to the unknown within mathematical theory. In this way she has established herself as a first-class mathematician. Orsola Tommasi is outgoing, has broad interests and contributes through her knowledge to fruitful collaborations and the development of research in her own and adjacent fields.’