Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Saskatchewan
Office 209, McLean Hall, 106 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5E6, CANADA

rayan (at) | Dept of Math & Stats | USask


I am an Associate Professor and NSERC-supported researcher in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Saskatchewan. I am a faculty member of both the College of Arts & Science and the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. I am also the Director of the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA) at the University.

I am a pure mathematician influenced in large part by physics. My primary areas of research are:

  • algebraic geometry and topology of moduli spaces
  • geometric and topological techniques in mathematical physics

You can read an overview of my research or you can see my papers directly. If you want to learn about some of my research and also see cartoons of hedgehogs at the same time, please have a look at Higgs Bundles without Geometry, a pamphlet that I wrote with Laura Schaposnkik for the Oberwolfach Snapshots of Modern Mathematics series, which is "designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern mathematics and mathematical research in the interested public world-wide."

I am also a member of the NSF GEAR Network and Geometry Labs United.


Apply to Mathematical Physics BScH Program

I am the Chair of the Mathematical Physics BScH Program at the University of Saskatchewan. This is an exciting interdisciplinary undergraduate program that combines the best of two worlds. The program provides a rigorous foundation in both mathematics and physics, and upper-year students enjoy special topics courses ranging from algebraic geometry, to mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics, to string theory. Students in the program are very successful in attaining paid summer research positions and have an excellent track record of being admitted into top graduate schools. If you are performing well in first-year and second-year mathematics and physics courses and are considering the possibility of applying for Mathematical Physics, please schedule an appointment with me.


Apply for Graduate Studies

I am also the Graduate Chair in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. If you have a strong record of undergraduate and/or postgraduate academic achievement in the mathematical sciences; are keen to pursue Master's or PhD-level level studies in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, or statistics; and are interested in the research of one or more of our faculty members, then I encourage you to apply for admission to our MMath, MSc, or PhD graduate programs.


Recent Activity



  • May - July 2020: I was an invited speaker at the Workshop on Higgs Bundles and Related Topics and at the Conference on Lie Theory and Integrable Systems in Symplectic and Poisson Geometry, both of which were held exclusively online (due to the the COVID-19 outbreak). At both venues, I spoke on the relationship between generalized hyperpolygons and Higgs bundles on punctured curves and the existence of a Gelfand-Tsetlin-type integrable system on the moduli space of generalized hyperpolygons for certain flag types. I also gave a talk on the algebraic geometry of quantum matter at the SIDE Math Conference and a ``state of the lab'' address at the Geometry Labs United Conference. A number of other talks that I was invited to deliver during this period, including talks in the Caltech High Energy Theory Seminar and the Workshop on Current Trends on Spectral Data for Higgs Bundles VI in Chicago), were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I was also scheduled to give an invited plenary talk at the Symposium on Physics, Geometry, and Number Theory at the Chern Institute in Nankai. The symposium has been postoned to next year due to international travel restrictions associated with the pandemic.
  • April 20202: Two talks that I were to give this month (in Montré for the CRM Mathematical Physics Seminar and in Chicago for the UIC Geometry, Topology, and Dynamics Seminar) were understandably cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • February 2020: I gave the Colloquium in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University. The title of the lecture was "Hitchin Systems in Mathematics and Beyond", like my Ethel Raybould Colloquium at Queensland, although this talk emphasized a somewhat different side of Hitchin systems.
  • January 2020: I spoke in the Geometry, Algebra, and Physics Seminar and the Theoretical Physics Institute Seminar at the University of Alberta. The topics were the relationship of Nakajima quiver varieties to Hitchin systems and an overview of the moduli space of Higgs bundles, respectively.
  • March - July 2019: During this time, I spoke twice at the Simons Centre for Geometry and Physics in Stony Brook during the Thematic Program on Geometry and Physics of Hitchin Systems, then at the Workshop on Geometry and Physics of Higgs Bundles in Oberwolfach, twice at the CMS Summer Meeting in Regina, and finally at the Leibniz Universitä Hannover during the Workshop on Geometric and Analytic Aspects of Moduli Spaces. The topics of my talks ranged from hyperpolygon spaces to quivers in twisted categories to spectral data for Hitchin fibrations in low genus.
  • November 2018: I spoke in the Geometry & Analysis Seminar in the University of Oxford's Mathematical Institute. The topic was the hyperkähler geometry of hyperpolygon spaces, including the problem of how to extend the McKay correspondence to certain non-ADE quivers.
  • June 2018: I gave the Ethel Raybould Colloquium in the School of Mathematics & Physics at the University of Queensland. The talk was titled "Hitchin Systems in Mathematics and Beyond".
  • May 2018: I gave a talk in the Geometry Seminar at Stanford University and two in the Geometry and Topology Seminar at Caltech. The talk at Stanford described a new construction of solutions to twisted t=0 Kapustin-Witten equations on a compact Kähler surface. The second talk at Caltech was similar, but was preceded by an introductory talk on Higgs bundles and Hitchin systems.
  • April 2018: I gave a talk in the Geometry / Topology Seminar at Duke University and a talk in the Analysis and Geometry Seminar at Central Michigan University. Both were on asymptotics of hyperpolygon spaces. I also gave the Colloquium at SNOLab on what I consider to be spectacular interactions between geometry and physics in the 20th and 21st centuries!