David R. Morrison is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, and his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, all in mathematics. Following postdoctoral work at Princeon University and Kyoto University, he spent 20 years on the faculty at Duke University where he was named James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Physics in 1997.
Originally trained in algebraic geometry, Morrison’s work turned towards the interaction between string theory and mathematics after the discovery by physicists of new properties of some of the mathematical objects he was most familiar with. In recent years, he has used sophisticated mathematical tools to explore the four-dimensional physical theories which can be described using string theory and its cousins, M-theory and F-theory. Manifolds with special holonomy have played an important role in these studies, and Morrison looks forward to learning more about the less-explored cases of holonomy and Spin(7) and applying this knowledge to questions in physics.
Morrison was a National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, an American Mathematical Society Centennial Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Clay Mathematics Institute Senior Scholar, and a Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Research Professor. In recent years, he has been elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.