Richard Thomas (mathematician)

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Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas, mathematician.jpg
Born Richard Paul Winsley Thomas
Institutions Imperial College London
Alma mater University of Oxford
Thesis Gauge Theory on Calabi-Yau Manifolds[1] (1997)
Doctoral advisor Simon Donaldson
Notable awards Whitehead Prize[2] (2004)

Professor Richard Paul Winsley Thomas FRS is a pure mathematician working in several areas of geometry. He is a professor at Imperial College London. He studies moduli problems in algebraic geometry, and ‘mirror symmetry’ — a phenomenon in pure mathematics predicted by string theory in theoretical physics.[3]


Thomas obtained his PhD on gauge theory on Calabi–Yau manifolds in 1997 under the supervision of Simon Donaldson at the University of Oxford. Together with Simon Donaldson, he defined the Donaldson–Thomas (DT) invariants of Calabi–Yau 3-folds, now a major topic in geometry and the mathematics of string theory.

Career and research[edit]

For the special case of curve counting, the more recent Pandharipande–Thomas (PT) stable pair invariants further refine the DT invariants. With Martijn Kool and Vivek Shende, he used the PT invariants to prove the Göttsche conjecture — a classical algebro-geometric problem going back more than a century.[4] He has translated ideas from symplectic geometry through mirror symmetry to produce group actions on derived categories with applications to knot theory.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2004, Thomas was awarded the LMS Whitehead Prize and the Philip Leverhulme Prize, in 2010 the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Thomas' thesis introduced, as a holomorphic analogue of Casson's 3-manifold invariant, Donaldson–Thomas invariants which have appeared in the field of enumerative algebraic geometry. Thomas was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.[5][6]


  1. ^ Richard Thomas at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "Department of Mathematics Prizes and Awards". Imperial College London. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Richard Thomas FRS Biography
  4. ^ A short proof of the Göttsche conjecture
  5. ^
  6. ^ Professors in Mathematics and Chemistry honoured with Royal Society Fellowships