A cornerstone of the study of mapping class groups is the
Nielsen--Thurston classification theorem. I will outline a
polynomial-time algorithm that determines the Nielsen--Thurston type and
the canonical curve system of a mapping class. Time permitting, I shall
describe a polynomial-time algorithm to compute the quotient orbifold of
a periodic mapping class, and I shall discuss the conjugacy problem for
the mapping class group. This is joint work with Mark Bell.
- Topology Seminar