The interplay between curvature and topology of Riemannian manifolds is among the most fundamental questions in differential geometry. Over the past century, various different approaches have been developed to attack these types of problems. This includes variational techniques based on geodesics and minimal surfaces, as well as the Ricci flow approach pioneered by Richard Hamilton. In this lecture, I will give an overview of the subject, focusing on the case of positive curvature.
This is the fifth of a series of lectures on F-theory. The lectures will present the theory of elliptically fibered Calabi-Yau manifolds in considerable detail, explain how these manifolds are used to produce string vacua by means of the ``F-theory'' construction, and how various properties of these string vacua are determined by the corresponding Calabi-Yau manifolds.