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Richard Hain

Professor of Mathematics
Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
107 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708


I am a topologist whose main interests include the study of the topology of complex algebraic varieties (i.e. spaces that are the set of common zeros of a finite number of complex polynomials). What fascinates me is the interaction between the topology, geometry and arithmetic of varieties defined over subfields of the complex numbers, particularly those defined over number fields. My main tools include differential forms, Hodge theory and Galois theory, in addition to the more traditional tools used by topologists. Topics of current interest to me include:

  • the topology and related geometry of various moduli spaces, such as the moduli spaces of smooth curves and moduli spaces of principally polarized abelian varieties;
  • the study of fundamental groups of algebraic varieties, particularly of moduli spaces whose fundamental groups are mapping class groups;
  • the study of various enriched structures (Hodge structures, Galois actions, and periods) of fundamental groups of algebraic varieties;
  • polylogarithms, mixed zeta values, and their elliptic generalizations, which occur as periods of fundamental groups of moduli spaces of curves. 

My primary collaborators are Francis Brown of Oxford University and Makoto Matsumoto of Hiroshima University.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Mathematics · 1991 - Present Mathematics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign · 1980 Ph.D.
Australian National University (Australia) · 1977 M.Sc.
University of Sydney (Australia) · 1976 B.Sc. (hons)