Course Identification

Generalized Geometry, an introduction

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Roberto Rubio , Prof. Dmitry Gourevitch

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Sunday, 13:15 - 16:00, FGS, Rm A

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Mathematics and Computer Science: Lecture; Elective; 3.00 points
Physical Sciences: Elective; 3.00 points


Lectures will be given by Roberto Rubio.

No lecture on 29/4.





Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation

Expected and Recommended

Grade Type

Pass / Fail

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



Generalized geometry is a novel approach to geometric structures pioneered by Hitchin in 2003. Developed further by Gualtieri, Cavalcanti and others, it soon became an active topic catching the interest and bringing together the expertise of geometers and theoretical physicists. For example, generalized complex geometry provides a uniform setting for complex and symplectic structures, which made it suitable for the study of mirror symmetry and as a geometric explanation of the extended complex deformation space.

In this introductory course we will present the basics of this topic starting from basic linear algebra and focusing on the study of Dirac structures, which were introduced in 1990 and have applications in Mechanics, and generalized complex structures, the best and most useful instance of generalized geometry. After introducing linear complex/symplectic/Poisson structures, we will define some generalized concepts in the context of linear algebra. We will then move to classical geometry, focusing on the meaning of integrability, and finally deal with generalized geometry.

We will cover the following topics:

I. Linear algebra
    - Linear complex structures.
    - Linear symplectic structures.
    - Linear Poisson structures.
II. Generalized linear algebra
    - The vector space V+V*: the canonical pairing.
    - Isotropic subspaces and orthogonal transformations.
    - Linear Dirac structures.
    - Differential forms as spinors and the Clifford algebra.
    - Linear generalized complex structures and the real index.
III. Geometry
    - Almost complex structures and non-degenerate 2-forms.
    - Integrability: complex and symplectic structures.
    - Poisson structures.
IV. Generalized geometry
    - The Dorfman bracket and the Courant algebroid TM+T*M.
    - The group of generalized diffeomorphisms.
    - Dirac structures: geometric interpretation as foliations.
    - Type-change structures.
    - Integrability in terms of spinors.
    - Generalized complex structures.
    - Type change in generalized complex geometry.
    - A generalized complex manifold that admits neither complex nor symplectic structures.
    - Other topics, depending on the interest and time: twisted versions, other generalized tangent bundles, generalized riemannian geometry, deformation of complex and generalized complex structures, applications to Physics, possible research directions.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students
    - will achieve a working knowledge of concepts such as maximal isotropic subbundle, spinor and integrability.
    - will know the basics about generalized complex geometry.
    - will be acquainted with a very recent mathematical theory with applications both in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.
    - will be able to independently read relevant literature on the topic.


Reading List

     [LN] Updated lecture notes will be provided a few days after each lecture.

The foundational works are good reads and we will refer to them:

     [Gua04] Marco Gualtieri. Generalized complex geometry. arXiv:math/0401221, January 2004. Available online at

     [Gua11] Marco Gualtieri. Generalized complex geometry. Ann. of Math. (2), 174(1):75--123, 2011. Available online at

     [Hit03] Nigel Hitchin. Generalized Calabi-Yau manifolds. Q. J. Math., 54(3):281--308, 2003. Available online at

Finally, these lecture notes are also very interesting:

     [Hit10b] Nigel Hitchin. Lectures on generalized geometry. arXiv:math.DG:1008.0973, August 2010. Available online at

We will add some background material on the website as the course progresses.