Thu, 06 Jun 2013

Positivity Problems for Linear Recurrence Sequences

Ben Worrell

 We consider two decision problems for linear recurrence sequences (LRS) 
over the integers, namely the Positivity Problem (are all terms of a given 
LRS positive?) and the Ultimate Positivity Problem (are all but finitely 
many terms of a given LRS positive?). We show decidability of both 
problems for LRS of order 5 or less, and for simple LRS (i.e. whose 
characteristic polynomial has no repeated roots) of order 9 or less. Our 
results rely on on tools from Diophantine approximation, including Baker's 
Theorem on linear forms in logarithms of algebraic numbers. By way of 
hardness, we show that extending the decidability of either problem to LRS 
of order 6 would entail major breakthroughs on Diophantine approximation 
of transcendental numbers.

This is joint with work with Joel Ouaknine and Matt Daws.

Wed, 22 May 2013

16:00 - 17:00

Constructing a sigma model for the symmetric product of $R^D$

Thomas Wasserman
(University of Oxford)

In this talk I will describe an attempt to construct a conformal field theory with target space a symmetric product of $R^D$ (referred to by physicists as orbifold sigma model). The construction uses branched covers of $S^2$ to lift the well studied formulation of a sigma model on $S^2$, in terms of vertex operator algebras, to higher genus surfaces. I will motivate and explain this construction.

Thu, 23 May 2013

'Model completeness and henselianity'

Franziska Jahnke
(U.of Muenster)

 A classical question in the model theory of fields is to find out which fields are model complete in the language of rings. It turns out that all well-known examples of model complete fields are quite rigid when it comes to henselianity. We discuss some first results which indicate that in residue characteristic zero, definable henselian valuations prevent model completeness.

Wed, 15 May 2013

16:00 - 17:00

Partial actions of Groups in Coarse Geometry

Martin Finn-Sell
(University of Southampton)

Group actions play an important role in both topological problems and coarse geometric conjectures. I will introduce the idea of a partial action of a group on a metric space and explain, in the case of certain classes of coarsely disconnected spaces, how partial actions can be used to give a geometric proof of a result of Willett and Yu concerning the coarse Baum-Connes conjecture.

Tue, 28 May 2013

16:30 - 17:30

The critical window for the Ramsey-Turan problem

Po-Shen Loh

The first application of Szemeredi's regularity method was the following celebrated Ramsey-Turan result proved by Szemeredi in 1972: any K_4-free graph on N vertices with independence number o(N) has at most (1/8 + o(1))N^2 edges. Four years later, Bollobas and Erdos gave a surprising geometric construction, utilizing the isodiametric inequality for the high dimensional sphere, of a K_4-free graph on N vertices with independence number o(N) and (1/8 - o(1)) N^2 edges. Starting with Bollobas and Erdos in 1976, several problems have been asked on estimating the minimum possible independence number in the critical window, when the number of edges is about N^2 / 8.

These problems have received considerable attention and remained one of the main open problems in this area.  More generally, it remains an important problem to determine if, for certain applications of the regularity method, alternative proofs exist which avoid using the regularity lemma and give better quantitative estimates.  In this work, we develop new regularity-free methods which give nearly best-possible bounds, solving the various open problems concerning this critical window.

Joint work with Jacob Fox and Yufei Zhao.

Wed, 08 May 2013

16:00 - 17:00

Amenable hyperbolic groups

David Hume
(University of Oxford)

The integers (while wonderful in many others respects) do not make for fascinating Geometric Group Theory. They are, however, essentially the only infinite finitely generated group which is both hyperbolic and amenable. In the class of locally compact topological groups, the intersection of these two notions is richer, and the major aim of this talk will be to give the structure of a classification of such groups due to Caprace-de Cornulier-Monod-Tessera, beginning with Milnor's proof that any connected Lie group admitting a left-invariant negatively curved Riemannian metric is necessarily soluble.

Wed, 01 May 2013

16:00 - 17:00

Some Decision Problems in Groups

Robert Kropholler
(University of Oxford)

To continue the day's questions of how complex groups can be I will be looking about some decision problems. I will prove that certain properties of finitely presented groups are undecidable. These properties are called Markov properties and include many nice properties one may want a group to have. I will also hopefully go into an algorithm of Whitehead on deciding if a set of n words generates F_n.

Thu, 02 May 2013

17:00 - 18:00

The p-adic monodromy group of abelian varieties over global function fields of characteristic p

Ambrus Pal
(Imperial College)

We prove an analogue of the Tate isogeny conjecture and the
semi-simplicity conjecture for overconvergent crystalline Dieudonne modules
of abelian varieties defined over global function fields of characteristic
p, combining methods of de Jong and Faltings. As a corollary we deduce that
the monodromy groups of such overconvergent crystalline Dieudonne modules
are reductive, and after base change to the field of complex numbers they
are the same as the monodromy groups of Galois representations on the
corresponding l-adic Tate modules, for l different from p.

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