Past Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

19 November 2009
12:00
Richard Wade
Abstract
We describe John Stalling's method of studying finitely generated free groups via graphs and moves on graphs called folds. We will then discuss how the theory can be extended to study the automorphism group of a finitely generated free group.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
12 November 2009
12:00
Tom Baird
Abstract
I will survey the theory of quasiHamiltonian spaces, a.k.a. group valued moment maps. In rough correspondence with historical development, I will first show how they emerge from the study of loop group representations, and then how they arise as a special case of "presymplectic realizations" in Dirac geometry.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
5 November 2009
12:00
Abstract
The spectrum of the integers is an affine scheme which number theorists would like to complete to a projective scheme, adding a point at infinity. We will list some reasons for wanting to do this, then gather some hints about what properties the completed object might have. In particular it seems that the desired object can only exist in some setting extending traditional algebraic geometry. We will then present the proposals of Durov and Shai Haran for such extended settings and the compactifications they construct. We will explain the close relationship between both and, if time remains, relate them to a third compactification in a third setting, proposed by Toen and Vaquie.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
29 October 2009
12:00
George Raptis
Abstract
The talk is about the homotopy type of configuration spaces. Once upon a time there was a conjecture that it is a homotopy invariant of closed manifolds. I will discuss the strong evidence supporting this claim, together with its recent disproof by a counterexample. Then I will talk about the corrected version of the original conjecture.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
22 October 2009
12:00
Alan Thompson
Abstract
A <2>-polarised K3 surface admits an embedding into weighted projective space defined by its polarisation. Let X be a family of such surfaces, then one can construct a projective model W of X such that the map from X to W realises this embedding on the general fibre. This talk considers what happens to W when we allow the fibres of the family X to degenerate.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
25 June 2009
12:00
Ben Davison
Abstract
I will explain what a perfect obstruction theory is, and how it gives rise to a "virtual" fundamental class of the right expected dimension, even when the dimension of the moduli space is wrong. These virtual fundamental classes are one of the main preoccupations of "modern" moduli theory, being the central object of study in Gromov-Witten and Donaldson-Thomas theory. The purpose of the talk is to remove the black-box status of these objects. If there is time I will do some cheer-leading for dg-schemes, and try to convince the audience that virtual fundamental classes are most happily defined to live in the dg-world.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
18 June 2009
12:15
Magnus Lauridsen
Abstract
The AJ conjecture relates two different knot invariants, namely the coloured Jones polynomial and the A-polynomial. The approach we will use will be that of 2+1 dimensional Topological Quantum Field Theory. Indeed, the coloured Jones polynomial is constructed in Reshetikhin and Turaev's formulation of a TQFT using quantum groups. The A-polynomial is defined by a subvariety of the moduli space of flat <b>SL</b>(2,<b>C</b>) connections of a torus.  Geometric quantization on this moduli space also gives a TQFT, and the correspondence between these provides a framework where the knot invariants can be compared. In the talk I will sketch the above constructions and show how we can do explicit calculations for simple knots. This is work in progress joint with J. E. Andersen.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
11 June 2009
12:15
Frank Gounelas
Abstract
In this talk I will outline the two constructions of the Brauer group <b>Br</b>($X$) of a scheme $X$, namely via etale cohomology and Azumaya algebras and briefly describe how one may compute this group using the Hochschild-Serre spectral sequence. In the early '70s Manin observed that one can use the Brauer group of a projective variety $X/k$ to define an obstruction to the existence of rational points on $X$. I will discuss this arithmetic application and time permitting, outline an example for $X$ a K3 surface.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

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