String theory derives the features of the quantum field theory describing the gauge interactions between the elementary particles in four spacetime dimensions from the physics of strings propagating on the internal manifold, e.g. a Calabi-Yau threefold. A simplified version of this correspondence relates the SU(2)-equivariant generalization of the Donaldson theory (and its further generalizations involving the non-abelian monopole equations) to the Gromov-Witten (GW) theory of the so-called local Calabi-Yau threefolds, for the SU(2) subgroup of the rotation symmetry group SO(4). In recent years the GW theory was related to the Donaldson-Thomas (DT) theory enumerating the ideal sheaves of curves and points. On the toric local Calabi-Yau manifolds the latter theory is studied using localization, producing the so-called topological vertex formalism (which was originally based on more sophisticated open-closed topological string dualities).

In order to accomodate the full SO(4)-equivariant version of the four dimensional Donaldson theory, the so-called "refined topological vertex" was proposed. Unlike that of the ordinary topological vertex, its relation to the DT theory remained unclear.

In these talks, based on joint work with Andrei Okounkov, this gap will be partially filled by showing that the equivariant K-theoretic version of the DT theory reproduces both the SO(4)-equivariant Donaldson theory in four dimensions, and the refined topologica vertex formalism, for all toric Calabi-Yau's admitting the latter.