Past Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar

7 February 2018
16:00
Sam Shepherd
Abstract

CAT(0) spaces are defined as having triangles that are no fatter than Euclidean triangles, so it is no surprise that under special conditions  you find pieces of the Euclidean plane appearing in CAT(0) spaces. What is surprising though is how weak these special conditions seem to be. I will present some well known results of this phenomenon, along with detailed sketch proofs.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
31 January 2018
16:00
Mehdi Yazdi
Abstract

I will talk about the properties of algebraic integers that can arise as stretch factors of pseudo-Anosoc maps. I will mention a conjecture of Fried on which numbers supposedly arise and Thurston’s theorem that proves a similar result in the context of automorphisms of free groups. Then I will talk about recent developments on the Fried conjecture namely, every Salem number has a power arising as a stretch factor. 

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
24 January 2018
16:00
Alex Margolis
Abstract

I will discuss a wonderful structure theorem for finitely generated group containing a codimension one polycyclic-by-finite subgroup, due to Martin Dunwoody and Eric Swenson. I will explain how the theorem is motivated by the torus theorem for 3-manifolds, and examine some of the consequences of this theorem.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
17 January 2018
16:00
Nicolaus Heuer
Abstract

Stable commutator length (scl) is a well established invariant of group elements g  (write scl(g)) and  has both geometric and algebraic meaning.

It is a phenomenon that many classes of non-positively curved groups have a gap in stable commutator length: For every non-trivial element g, scl(g) > C for some C>0. Such gaps may be found in hyperbolic groups, Baumslag-solitair groups, free products, Mapping class groups, etc. 
However, the exact size of this gap usually unknown, which is due to a lack of a good source of “quasimorphisms”.

In this talk I will construct a new source of quasimorphisms which yield optimal gaps and show that for Right-Angled Artin Groups and their subgroups the gap of stable commutator length is exactly 1/2. I will also show this gap for certain amalgamated free products.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
30 November 2017
16:00
Abstract

 In a recent paper Friedl, Zentner and Livingston asked when a sum of torus knots is concordant to an alternating knot. After a brief analysis of the problem in its full generality, I will describe some effective obstructions based on Floer type theories.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
25 October 2017
16:00
Elia Fioravanti
Abstract

If $G$ is an irreducible lattice in a semisimple Lie group, every action of $G$ on a tree has a global fixed point. I will give an elementary discussion of Y. Shalom's proof of this result, focussing on the case of $SL_2(\mathbb{R}) \times SL_2(\mathbb{R})$. Emphasis will be placed on the geometric aspects of the proof and on the importance of reduced cohomology, while other representation theoretic/functional analytic tools will be relegated to a couple of black boxes.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar
18 October 2017
16:00
Abstract

I will present a gentle introduction to the theory of conformal dimension, focusing on its applications to the boundaries of hyperbolic groups, and the difficulty of classifying groups whose boundaries have conformal dimension 1.

  • Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar

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