Jeff Harvey is the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Service Professor and a member of the Physics Department, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kadanoff Center for theoretical physics at the University of Chicago. A particle theorist, Harvey is noted as one of the developers of heterotic string theory and the orbifold approach to string compactification. More recently he was one of the originators of Umbral Moonshine, a surprising set of connections between the mock modular forms of Ramanujan and finite group theory. Born in San Antonio Texas in 1955, Harvey grew up in the Twin Cities in Minnesota and received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Minnesota. He obtained a Ph.D from Caltech in 1981 and was a postdoc and faculty member at Princeton University before moving to the University of Chicago in 1989. Harvey is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was chair of the Physics Department at Chicago from 2001-2004.

Research Interests

Jeff Harvey's research interests cover a broad spectrum of topics in particle theory, cosmology, mathematical physics, and string theory. He has worked on developing string theory as a theory of quantum gravity and a unified framework for particle interactions, has helped to develop the idea of duality in string theory through the study of the structure of supersymmetric BPS states, and has studied applications of string/gauge theory duality to the strong interactions. He has also helped to develop the theory of anomalies in field theory and string theory and has proposed novel applications of them to neutrino physics. He is interested in the structure of black holes, and the sophisticated mathematics connected to black hole counting in string theory. His research has also had an impact on pure mathematics including his recent work on Umbral Moonshine which develops surprising and as yet poorly understood connections between mock modular forms, number theory, self-dual lattices, and the representation theory of certain finite groups.

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Primary Section

Section 13: Physics

Secondary Section

Section 11: Mathematics