About the Workshop

The goal. The Talbot workshop is an annual mathematical retreat. It brings together a group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with a faculty mentor, and the participants engage in a week-long, intensive exploration of a single topic of contemporary research interest. The Talbot workshops have introduced aspiring mathematicians in a variety of disciplines (and from many institutions) to vibrant areas of research, fostering collaboration between fields and forming strong pedagogical and research ties between established mathematicians and young researchers.

The topic. The topic varies from year to year but tends to focus on current developments in mathematics at the interface of algebraic topology, geometry, and physics. Each year, the organizers decide on a topic based on several factors, the most important of which is the availability of an appropriate mentor to lead the workshop. Past Talbot Workshops covered topics such as twisted K-Theory and the representation of loop groups, Fukaya categories, the Geometric Langlands program, and topological modular forms, among others.

The format. Each year, the mentors and organizers design a sequence of approximately twenty lectures, providing background, context, and future research directions in the topic. The mentors typically give two of the lectures, and participants give the rest. A distinguishing feature of Talbot is that the living facilities contain the lecture space, leading to an informal but mathematically intensive atmosphere. There is ample time for casual discussion among the participants (this is one major motivation for combining the living space with the lecture space), and participants often ski or hike together while reviewing material from the lectures and developing ideas. The lectures take place during the morning and evening, while the afternoons are left open to encourage discussion and group activities.

Participants also cook, clean, and eat together -- these activities also help to develop the communal atmosphere of the workshop.

Funding. Every year we can give partial travel funding to participants. This has varied between \$100 and \$300 of support per participant, sometimes more. (A limited number of international participants may receive more funding for travel.) No participant has to pay for lodging or food, as both are provided by the workshop. All funding for the 2014-2016 Talbot Workshops comes from the NSF grant DMS-1623977. The 2014-2016 Talbot Workshops were supported by NSF grant DMS-1406356. The 2011-2013 Talbot Workshops were supported by NSF grant DMS-1007096. The 2008-2010 Talbot Workshops were supported by NSF grant DMS-0805838, and the 2005-2007 workshops were supported by NSF grant DMS-0512714.

The Application. Due to space and funding constraints, it is not possible to accommodate everybody who is interested in attending. As such, we have potential participants fill out an application form. Typically, the organizers try to assemble about 30 participants of varying backgrounds to encourage an atmosphere which is friendly to both expert and non-expert graduate students.

Who should apply. Talbot is meant to encourage collaboration among young researchers, with an emphasis on graduate students. We also aim to gather participants with a diverse array of knowledge and interests, so applicants need not be an expert in the field--in particular, students at all levels of graduate education are encouraged to apply. Because of space constraints, only one to three mathematicians past their PhD attend Talbot in a typical year (aside from the mentor). As we are committed to promoting diversity in mathematics, we also especially encourage women and minorities to apply.

Organizers. The Talbot Workshop was founded by Chris Douglas, John Francis, Andre Henriques, and Mike Hill. Other past organizers are Owen Gwilliam (Fall 2008 - Spring 2012), Sheel Ganatra (Fall 2008 - Spring 2013), and Hiro Lee Tanaka (Fall 2009 - Spring 2013), Saul Glasman (Fall 2011 - Spring 2015), Gijs Heuts (Fall 2012 - Spring 2015), Dylan Wilson (Fall 2013 - Spring 2017).

The current organizers are

Sean Pohorence (Fall 2016 - present), Eva Belmont (Summer 2014 - present), Inbar Klang (Summer 2014 - present), Calista Bernard (Fall 2017 - present), and Morgan Opie (Fall 2017 - present).

The faculty sponsor for the Talbot Workshop is Haynes Miller.