Past Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

29 November 2017
Eloise Hamilton

 The aim of this talk is to describe the classification problem for Higgs bundles and to explain how a combination of classical and Non-Reductive Geometric Invariant Theory might be used to solve this classification problem.
I will start by defining Higgs bundles and their physical origins. Then, I will present the classification problem for Higgs bundles. This will involve introducing the "stack" of Higgs bundles, a purely formal object which allows us to consider all isomorphism classes of Higgs bundles at once. Finally, I will explain how the stack of Higgs bundles can be described geometrically. As we will see, the stack of Higgs bundles can be decomposed into disjoint strata, each consisting of Higgs bundles of a given "instability type". Both classical and Non-Reductive GIT can then be applied to obtain moduli spaces for each of the strata.

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
23 November 2017
Tom Zeman

In a recent preprint, Basterra, Bobkova, Ponto, Tillmann and Yeakel
defined operads with homological stability (OHS) and showed that after
group-completion, algebras over an OHS group-complete to infinite loop
spaces. This can in particular be used to put a new infinite loop space
structure on stable moduli spaces of high-dimensional manifolds in the
sense of Galatius and Randal-Williams, which are known to be infinite
loop spaces by a different method.

To complicate matters further, I shall introduce a mild strengthening of
the OHS condition and construct yet another infinite loop space
structure on these stable moduli spaces. This structure turns out to be
equivalent to that constructed by Basterra et al. It is believed that
the infinite loop space structure due to Galatius--Randal-Williams is
also equivalent to these two structures.

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
9 November 2017
Nicholas Wilkins

Topologists have the Steenrod squares, a collection of additive homomorphisms on the Z/2 cohomology of a space M. They can be defined axiomatically and are often be regarded as algebraic operations on cohomology groups (for many purposes). However, Betz and Cohen showed that they could be viewed geometrically. 

Symplectic geometers have quantum cohomology, which on a symplectic manifold M is a deformation of singular cohomology using holomorphic spheres.

The geometric definition of the Steenrod square extends to quantum cohomology. This talk will describe the Steenrod square and quantum cohomology in terms of the intersection product, and then give a description of this quantum Steenrod square by putting these both together. We will describe some properties of the quantum squares, such as the quantum Cartan formula, and perform calculations in certain cases.

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar