Recent developments in 3-dimensional topological quantum field theory allow us to understand the vector spaces assigned to surfaces as spaces of string diagrams. In the Reshetikhin-Turaev model, these string diagrams live inside a handlebody bounding the surface, while in the Turaev-Viro model, they live on the surface itself. There is a "lifting map" from the former to the latter, which sheds new light on a number of constructions. Joint with Gerrit Goosen.
- Topology Seminar