Past Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

19 October 2017
16:00
Thomas Wasserman
Abstract


This talk will be a gentle introduction to braided fusion categories, with the eventual aim to explain a result from my thesis about symmetric fusion categories. 


Fusion categories are certain kinds of monoidal categories. They can be viewed as a categorification of the finite dimensional algebras, and appear in low-dimensional topological quantum field theories, as well as being studied in their own right. A braided fusion category is additionally commutative up to a natural isomorphism, symmetry is an additional condition on this natural isomorphism. Computations in these categories can be done pictorially, using so-called string diagrams (also known as ``those cool pictures''). 


In this talk I will introduce fusion categories using these string diagrams. I will then discuss the Drinfeld centre construction that takes a fusion category and returns a braided fusion category. We then show, if the input is a symmetric fusion category, that this Drinfeld centre carries an additional tensor product. All of this also serves as a good excuse to draw lots of pictures.
 

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
11 August 2017
13:00
Benedict Morrissey
Abstract

Topological field theories (TFT's) are physical theories depending only on the topological properties of spacetime as opposed to also depending on the metric of spacetime.  This talk will introduce topological field theories, and the work of Freed and Hopkins on how a class of TFT's called "invertible" TFT's describe certain states of matter, and are classified by maps of spectra.  Constructions of field theories corresponding to specific maps of spectra will be described.
 

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
15 June 2017
16:00
Abstract

Despite its fame there appears to be little literature outlining Lurie's proof sketched in his expository article "On the classification of topological field theories." I shall embark on the quixotic quest to explain how the cobordism hypothesis is formalised and give an overview of Lurie's proof in one hour. I will not be able to go into any of the motivation, but I promise to try to make the talk as accessible as possible. 

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
31 May 2017
16:00
Joshua Jackson
Abstract

Moduli spaces attempt to classify all mathematical objects of a particular type, for example algebraic curves or vector bundles, and record how they 'vary in families'. Often they are constructed using Geometric Invariant Theory (GIT) as a quotient of a parameter space by a group action. A common theme is that in order to have a nice (eg Hausdorff) space one must restrict one's attention to a suitable subclass of 'stable' objects, in effect leaving certain badly behaved objects out of the classification. Assuming no prior familiarity, I will elucidate the structure of instability in GIT, and explain how recent progress in non-reductive GIT allows one to construct moduli spaces for these so-called 'unstable' objects. The particular focus will be on the application of this principle to the GIT construction of the moduli space of stable curves, leading to moduli spaces of curves of fixed singularity type.
 

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

Pages