Vitalijs Brejevs

Mathematics, University of Glasgow

Tenure since 2017

Cobordism in smooth and symplectic topology

Vitalijs BrejevsThe proposed area of my PhD research is 3- and 4-dimensional topology, i.e., the study of mathematical shapes that resemble our physical space and spacetime. In particular, I am interested in how some 3-dimensional spaces, called 3-manifolds, bound 4-dimensional spaces, much like a 1-dimensional circle bounds a 2-dimensional disk. This is a general and important topic in topology which I am looking to investigate in two particular cases, namely from the viewpoints of knot theory and contact geometry (respectively, the study of tangled loops and certain geometric structures built on top of manifolds). In my research I intend to advance our understanding of spaces associated to a certain class of knots as well as to tackle more complex open problems in the rapidly developing area of contact structures.


I came to the University of Glasgow from Riga, Latvia in 2012 and have graduated from it with a first class BSc Hons degree in Mathematics in 2016, having received several awards such as Cleland Medal and Faraday Medal for best academic performance in Physics, and Cunninghame Medal for best academic performance in Mathematics. After that I have spent a year at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, graduating with a MASt in Pure Mathematics degree in July 2017, and having worked on applications of topological data analysis to drug research at GlaxoSmithKline for the rest of the summer as a part of the Cambridge Post-Masters Placement scheme. In my free time I am a keen runner and competitive quizzer, having appeared on the University Challenge show for the University of Glasgow in the 2015-2016 season.