There are many interesting problems surrounding the unit group U(RG) of the ring RG, where R is a commutative ring and G is a finite group. Of particular interest are the finite subgroups of U(RG). In the seventies, Zassenhaus conjectured that any u in U(ZG) is conjugate, in the group U(QG), to an element of the form +/-g, where g is an element of the group G. This came to be known as the "(first) Zassenhaus conjecture". I will talk about the recent construction of a counterexample to this conjecture (this is joint work with L. Margolis), and recent work on related questions in the modular representation theory of finite groups.
- Algebra Seminar