Algebraic geometry is a key area of mathematical research of international significance. It has strong connections with many other areas of mathematics (differential geometry, topology, number theory, representation theory, etc.) and also with other disciplines (in the present context, particularly theoretical physics). Moduli theory is the study of the way in which objects in algebraic geometry (or in other areas of mathematics) vary in families and is fundamental to an understanding of the objects themselves. The theory goes back at least to Riemann in the mid-nineteenth century, but moduli spaces were first rigorously constructed in the 1960s by Mumford and others. The theory has continued to develop since then, perhaps most notably with the infusion of ideas from physics after 1980.
Read more at: http://www.newton.ac.uk/programmes/MOS/