## IGA Mini-Workshop |

A North Carolina native, Robert Bryant received his PhD in mathematics in 1979 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working under Robert B. Gardner. After serving on the faculty at Rice University for seven years, he moved to Duke University in 1987, where he held the Juanita M. Kreps Chair in Mathematics until moving to the University of California at Berkeley in July 2007. In July of 2013, he returned to Duke, rejoining the Mathematics Department. He has held numerous visiting positions at universities and research institutes around the world. During the 2001-02 academic year, he visited MSRI as a Clay Mathematics Visiting Professor, and he was in residence at MSRI during the Fall 2003 term as a co-organizer of the program in Differential Geometry.

His research interests center on exterior differential systems and the geometry of differential equations as well as their applications to Riemannian geometry, special holonomy, and mathematical physics.

In 2002, he was appointed by then-President Bush to serve on the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation, and he currently serves on the International Committee for the National Mathematics Center of Nigeria. He has served as the Director of the MSRI, the Park City/IAS Mathematics Institute and as a Vice President of the American Mathematical Society. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Mathematical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. See here for more details.

It took some time before this notion in this generality was taken seriously, with the fundamental work being done in the early 20th century by Finsler, Cartan, and Chern. By that time, so-called 'Riemannian geometry' (a very special case of what Riemann originally had in mind) had undergone extensive development and much effort was put into forcing the general 'Finsler' case to fit the pattern of the special case of 'Riemannian' geometry, with somewhat unsatisfactory results.

In this talk, I will outline an approach to Finsler geometry that starts from the point of view that the central importance of the subject is to uncover the properties of the solutions to the calculus of variations problem that underlies Finsler geometry and will explain how this leads to a more natural understanding of Finsler geometry than one often encounters in its expositions.

There will be no registration fees: all are welcome. However, if you are interested in attending, kindly send an e-mail to Pedram Hekmati by

Participants, other than the invited speakers, are asked to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. For a list of budget hotels in Adelaide, please click here.

The University of Adelaide provides wireless access for visitors whose home institutions have eduroam. For more information on how to set up eduroam, please click here.

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**Organisers****
**

David Baraglia School of Mathematical Sciences University of Adelaide North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5005 Phone: (08) 8303 1604 Fax: (08) 8303 3696 E-mail: david.baraglia@adelaide.edu.au |
Pedram Hekmati School of Mathematical Sciences University of Adelaide North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5005 Phone: (08) 8303 5261 Fax: (08) 8303 3696 E-mail: pedram.hekmati@adelaide.edu.au |
Thomas Leistner School of Mathematical Sciences University of Adelaide North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5005 Phone: (08) 8303 6401 Fax: (08) 8303 3696 E-mail: thomas.leistner@adelaide.edu.au |

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