Pure math meets concept art! Meet prof. Artan Sheshmani

iMT Honorary member Artan Sheshmani brings math to Imaginarium of Technology
By Barmak, Jul 23, 2017 | |
  1. Being based at Cambridge Massachussetts comes with it perks, one of which is having access to some of the world class leading scientists in different fields. Last weekend I was at a bar minding my own business when I bumped into an interesting young individual who was talking about string theory, new LIGO measurements and some stuff about geometry and algebra. I told myself, well that's typical around here. Having some background in engineering though, I got curious and approached him to learn more. After a brief introduction I realized that the young man is actually Artan Sheshmani, the new Iranian-american pure math professor at Harvard University which I have heard about before from my colleagues at MIT.

    Professor Sheshmani's research is focused on Gromov Witten/Donaldson Thomas theory, Calabi-Yau geometries and mathematical aspects of String theory. He mainly makes use of Algebraic Geometry techniques, such as Intersection theory and Derived Category theory for his research. For example, Artan has focused on proving modularity property of Donaldson-Thomas invariants of Calabi-Yau threefolds which in lay terms is a mathematical framework that explains some of the predicted properties of String theory conjecture called S-duality conjecture.
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    Prof. Sheshmani explaining his work in Witten/Donaldson Thomas theory

    But what's more interesting about Artan is that he actually come from a radically diverse background in engineering. He has got his Ph.D. and Master's degrees in pure mathematics but he also holds Master's degree in Solid Mechanics (2004) and two Bachelor's degrees, in Mechanical and Civil Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, (Iran, 2003). This is notoriously impressive as even finishing a single bachelor's degree in Sharif University (equivalent to MIT of Iran) requires supernatural powers and the prayers of the saint's.

    So being impressed, I invited Dr. Sheshmani to see our concept exhibition here at Imaginarium of Technology and asked him to give me some feedback about the ideas of scientists that have been visualized by our talented artists here at MIT exhibition. Artan was really enjoying his tour as he happened to be a drawing enthusiast himself; that explains why he is a natural fit to be our honorary member.
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    Artan's drawing.

    In his testimonial about his experience at the exhibition Artan writes: "I recently got the pleasure of visiting Imaginarium of Technology’s exhibition at MIT’s media lab. I found the concepts exhibited simply brilliant. These were highly creative ideas, in the form of sketches providing the viewer with an imagination of human's life in a, not so far away, future; concepts that took advantage of our current technological and scientific achievements in a highly interdisciplinary regime. Being a pure mathematician, working on algebraic geometry and mathematics of string theory, I do not necessarily appreciate the new but merely conjectural ideas and concepts as impressive as when I find an evidence of their practicality (that being from a mathematical point of view);"
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    Artan Sheshmani at Imaginarium of Technology Exhibition

    "Indeed it is true that even in the world of pure math, concepts and imaginative ideas eventually will be much further appreciated by the community when they provide one with a tool to get a firmer grasp in understanding the behavior of a system in the actual physical world; take for example Quantum field theory or the theory of relativity which started as purely conceptual theories however upon a series of experimental confirmations they turned into the fundamental building blocks for our understanding of the universe. I believe that original ideas at this exhibition share a similar quality, that is, the practically of concepts proposed in the IMT’s exhibition is certainly an aspect that shines in the work of Barmak and his team this is the factor that I most highly appreciated after visiting iMT. It was an honor for me to be given this opportunity and I am looking forward to our possible future collaborations with iMT. I have high confidence that pure mathematics can potentially contribute to the development of some of ideas with applicable trajectory in engineering.
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    This is a true honor for us at Imaginarium of Technology to have Artan on board with us for conception of technology and conceiving solutions for our future. We are excited to combine concept art, engineering and pure math together to push the boundaries of human imagination in our collaborations.

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