Paul James White is a young Australian postdoctorant. In 2007, he benefited from the Foundation exceptional support to finance his stay in Paris for his thesis.
"Bonjour! My name is Paul-James White and I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellows in Oxford. Last year, I was studying a Doctorate in Mathematics at the University of Paris 7 under the generous support of the foundation “Sciences Mathématiques de Paris”. More specifically I was working under the supervision of Professor Michael Harris in the automorphic forms research group at Chevaleret. My particular research was on the automorphic forms on unitary groups.
The study of automorphic forms first sparked my interest last year during my masters course at Trinity College, Cambridge where I worked on a dissertation based upon John Tate’s revolutionary thesis. I have as long as I can recall loved mathematics whose relationship to which was first developed during my undergraduate studies at home in Australia at the University of Wollongong. However It was from my dissertation in Cambridge that I was first introduced to the Langlands project. The Langlands project has exhibited an almost ineffable effect upon modern mathematics and it was from my initial intrigue and admiration of its magnitude that a distinct interest in automorphic forms was born.
Behind the aesthetic beauty of Paris lies a vibrant mathematical scene, in particular it currently exists as one of the worldwide centres of Number Theoretic research. My own decision to come to Paris was a combination of its current excellence, the ability to work under prominent figures in my field, along with its deep tradition of mathematics. France’s history is steeped with the great figures of mathematics, its contribution to modern mathematics runs almost unparalleled, to be given the opportunity to learn and research in the home and language of the great minds of Pierre-Simon Laplace, Joseph Louis Lagrange and Henri Poincaré simply to name a few was an opportunity beyond my wildest dreams.
I must express my deepest gratitude to the foundation for providing me with the opportunity to undertake my research here, from which I hope shall grow an academic career in Number Theory. The thought of being able to give back, to provide something to this discipline, even the smallest of additions would be something of great value to me. "