The mapping class group of a surface is a group of homeomorphisms of that surface, and these groups have been very well studied in the last 50 years. The talk will be focused on a way to understand such a group by looking at the subsurfaces of the corresponding surface; this is the so-called "Masur-Minsky hierarchy machinery". We'll finish with a non-technical discussion of hierarchically hyperbolic groups, which are a popular area of current research, and of which mapping class groups are important motivating examples. No prior knowledge of the objects involved will be assumed.
- Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar