Wednesday, November 29, 2017

04:20 pm
- 05:20 pm

Topology Seminar

Patrick Devlin, Yale University Topological Methods in Combinatorics Abstract:
It is sometimes remarked that combinatorics is not the study of
structures or theorems, so much as the study of techniques. Several techniques
are well known and evidently quite fruitful (e.g., linear programming, the
probabilistic method, Fourier analysis, entropy, et cetera). But another tool
that should be in every discrete mathematician's backpocket is topology.
In
this talk, we will discuss some clever applications of topology to
combinatorics providing quick primers on any relevant topological (and combinatorial)
concepts along the way. We will focus on work related to graph colorings and
boolean function complexity and introduce several open problems and conjectures
in the area.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

04:20 pm
- 05:20 pm

Topology Seminar

Speaker: Arie Levit, Yale Title: Local rigidity of uniform lattices Abstract: A
lattice is topologically locally rigid
(t.l.r) if small deformations of it are isomorphic lattices. Uniform lattices
in Lie groups were shown to be t.l.r by Weil [60']. We show that uniform
lattices in any compactly generated topological group are t.l.r.
A
lattice is locally rigid
(l.r) if small deformations arise from conjugation. It is a classical fact due
to Weil [62'] that lattices in semi-simple Lie groups are l.r. Relying on our
t.l.r results and on recent work by Caprace-Monod we prove l.r for uniform
lattices in the isometry groups of certain CAT(0) spaces, with the exception of
SL_2(R), which occurs already in the classical case.
In
the talk I will explain the above notions and results, and present some
geometric ideas from the proofs.
This
is a joint work with Tsachik Gelander.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

04:20 pm
- 05:20 pm

Topology Seminar

Speaker: Noelle Sawyer, Wes
Title: The specification property and closed orbit measures
Abstract: Given a compact metric space X, and a homeomorphism T on X, the
dynamical system (X,T) has the specification property if we can approximate
distinct orbit segments with the orbit of a periodic point. I will present a
result by Sigmund showing that if (X,T) has the specification property, any
T-invariant measure on X can be approximated by a closed orbit measure.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

04:20 pm
- 05:20 pm

Topology Seminar

Speaker: Shelly Harvey, Rice University Title: Braids, gropes, Whitney towers, and solvability of
links
Abstract: The n-solvable filtrations of the knot/link
concordance groups were defined as a way of studying the structure of the
groups and in particular, the subgroup of algebraically slice knots/links. While the knot concordance group C^1 is known
to be an abelian group, when m is at least 2, the link concordance group C^m of
m-component (string) links is known to be non-abelian. In particular, it is well known that the pure
braid group with m strings is a subgroup of C^m and hence when m is at least 3,
this shows that C^m contains a non-abelian free subgroup. We study the relationship between the derived
subgroups of the the pure braid group, n-solvable filtration of C^m, links
bounding symmetric Whitney towers, and links bounding gropes. This is joint with with Jung Hwan Park and
Arunima Ray.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

04:20 pm
- 05:20 pm

Topology Seminar

Speaker: Samuel Lin, Dartmouth Title: Curvature Free
Rigidity of Higher Rank Three- manifolds Abstract:
Fixing K=-1, 0, or 1, a Riemannian manifold (M, g) is said to have
higher hyperbolic, spherical, or Euclidean rank if every geodesic in M admits a
normal parallel field making curvature K with the geodesic. Rank rigidity
results, which usually involve a priori sectional curvature bounds,
characterize locally symmetric spaces in terms of these geometric notions of
rank.
After
giving a short survey of historical results, Ill discuss how rank rigidity
holds in dimension three without a priori sectional curvature bounds.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

04:20 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar

Boris Gutkin, University Duisberg-Essen: Pairings between
periodic orbits in hyperbolic coupled map lattices. Abstract:
Upon quantization, hyperbolic Hamiltonian systems generically exhibit
universal spectral properties effectively described by Random Matrix Theory.
Semiclassically this remarkable phenomenon can be attributed to the existence
of pairs of classical periodic orbits with small action differences. So far,
however, the scope of this theory has, by and large, been restricted to small-dimensional
systems. I will discuss an extension of this program to hyperbolic coupled map
lattices with a very large number of sites. The crucial ingredient is a
two-dimensional symbolic dynamics which allows an effective representation of
periodic orbits and their pairings. I will illustrate the theory with a
specific model of coupled cat maps, where such a symbolic dynamics can be
constructed explicitly. The
core of the talk is based on the
joint work with V. Osipov: Nonlinearity
29, 325 (2016) and a work in progress with P. Cvitanovic, R. Jafari, L. Han, A.
Saremi.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 121

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

04:20 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar

Dave Constantine, Wes: " Hausdorff
dimension and the CAT(K) condition for surfaces" Abstract: A geodesic metric
space satisfies the CAT(K) condition if its geodesic triangles are all
`thinner' than triangles with the same side lengths in the model space of
constant Riemannian curvature K. This condition allows one to extend many
arguments relying on an upper curvature bound from Riemannian geometry to the
metric space setting.
How `strange' can
a metric be while still satisfying the CAT(K) property? One way to measure this
is with the difference between the topological dimension of the space and its
Hausdorff dimension with respect to the metric. In this talk I'll show that, at
least for surfaces, a CAT(K) metric is tame in the sense that it yields
Hausdorff dimension 2. I'll also provide some motivation for this question by
showing how results like this allow one to extend volume entropy rigidity
statements to the CAT(-1) setting.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar

Scott Taylor, Colby College: Neighbors of knots in the Gordian graph Abstract:
Switching a crossing on a knot diagram is one of the simplest methods
for converting
one type of knot into another type of knot. The Gordian graph is the graph which
keeps track of which knot types can be converted into which other knot types by a
single crossing change. Its vertex set is the set of knot types and its edge
set consists of
pairs of knots which have a diagram wherein they differ at a single crossing.
Bridge number
is a classical knot invariant which is a measure of the complexity of a knot.
It can be
re_ned by another, recently discovered, knot invariant known as \bridge
distance". We show,
using arguments that are almost entirely elementary, that each vertex of the
Gordian graph
is adjacent to a vertex having arbitrarily high bridge number and bridge
distance.
This
is joint work with Ryan Blair, Marion Campisi, Jesse Johnson, and Maggy Tomova.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar

Katherine Raous, Brandeis University: "Rational knots, Rational Seifert surfaces and genus
bounds" Abstract: Let K be a knot in a 3-manifold Y that represents a
torsion class in the first homology of Y. Since K is torsion, it has finite
order, p, and unless p=1, K does not bound a surface in Y. However, we can
always find a surface which wraps p times around K. Using this construction, Ni
showed that K defines a filtration of the Heegaard Floer chain complex of Y
indexed by the rationals. We will use this filtration to define analogues of
the Ozsvath-Szabo tau-invariants for such knots and show that when Y bounds a
rational homology ball, these invariants give a lower bound for the genus of a
surface with boundary K.

Exley Science Center Tower ESC 638

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:15 pm

Topology Seminar, Alyson Hildum (Wes): "Right-angled Artin groups with tame cohomology"

Abstract: In this talk we
will discuss certain group cohomological conditions arising in the study of
4-manifolds with right-angled Artin fundamental groups. While
investigatinga 4-manifold classification problem, Ian Hambleton and I
discovered an interesting question about the cohomology of right-angled Artin
groups (RAAGs) with group-ring coefficients. We call a $G$-module A a torsion
module if $Hom_{ZG}(A,ZG)=0$ (where ZG is the group-ring). For any group $G$,
the group cohomology group $H^i(G;ZG)$ is a $G$-module, and one can ask under
which conditions these cohomology groups are torsion modules. Certain
conditions on the cohomology groups (which we call "tame cohomology")
allow for a better understanding of the structure of the second homotopy group
of a 4-manifold $M$, $\pi_2(M)$, as a $\pi_1(M)$-module, which is necessary for
tackling our classification problem.

Exley Science Center (Tower)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:00 pm

Topology Seminar: John Schmitt (Middlebury): "Two tools from the polynomial method toolkit"

Abstract: The
polynomial method is an umbrella term that describes an evolving set of
algebraic statements used to solve problems in arithmetic combinatorics,
combinatorial geometry, graph theory and elsewhere by associating a set of
objects with the zero set of a polynomial whose degree is somehow
constrained. Algebraic statements about
the zero set translate into statements about the set of objects of interest.
We will examine two tools from the polynomial method
toolkit, each of which generalizes the following, well-known fact: a
one-variable polynomial over a field can have at most as many zeros as its
degree. The first generalization which
we will discuss is Alons Non-vanishing Corollary, a statement for a
multivariate polynomial introduced in the 1990s that follows from his
celebrated Combinatorial Nullstellensatz.
The second generalization is the Alon-Furedi Theorem, a statement which gives
a lower bound on the number of non-zeros of a multivariate polynomial over a
Cartesian product. We give an
application for each of these tools. For
the first we show how to apply it to a combinatorial problem of the polymath
Martin Gardner known as the minimum no-three-in-a-line problem.
For the second we show how it quickly proves a
number-theoretic result from the 1930s due to Ewald Warning, a statement which
gives a lower bound on the number of common zeros of a polynomial system over a
finite field.

Exley Science Center (Tower)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:00 pm

Topology Seminar: Tue Ly (Brandeis): "Diophantine approximation on number fields, homogenous dynamics and Schmidt game"

Abstract: In
1960's, Wolfgang Schmidt used his (\alpha, \beta)-game to prove that the set of
badly approximable numbers has countable intersection property. In this talk, I will discuss about extending
Schmidt's result to the set BA_K of vectors badly approximable by elements of a
fixed number field K using the connection to homogeneous dynamics and recent
developments of Schmidt's game. This strengthens a recent result by Anish
Ghosh, Beverly Lytle and Manfred Einsiedler concerning the intersection of BA_K
with curves. Joint work with Dmitry
Kleinbock.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:15 pm

Topology Seminar, Dan Licata (Wes): "Structural Proof Theory of Adjoint Functors"

Abstract:
Adjoint functors are a central tool in category theory, because an
adjunction provides a well-behaved way to compare two objects that belong to
two different categories. They are
related to modal logic, because every adjunction gives rise to both a comonad,
which is like a necessitation modality, and a monad, which is like a
possibility modality. In this talk, I
will describe some work, joint with Mike Shulman (University of San Diego),
investigating the structural proof theory of adjoint functors. An application is integrating the synthetic
homotopy theory of homotopy type theory with the synthetic topology of
Lawvere's axiomatic cohesion, which opens up new opportunities for proofs and
formalizations in type theory.

Exley Science Center (Tower)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar, Chris Arretines (CUNY): 'Combinatorial and algorithmic questions in low dimensional topology'

Abstract: I will discuss how several geometric and topological questions related to curves on surfaces can be presented in terms of combinatorial data, and I will outline algorithmic methods for answering these questions. In particular, I will discuss how to determine intersection numbers for collections of curves, and how to determine whether or not a collection of curves is filling, which means that the complement of the curves is a disjoint union of topological disks. The study of these properties is motivated in part by the role of curves on surfaces in proving several powerful theorems related to Teichmueller space, which I will try to convey. Time permitting, I will also showcase some interesting constructions motivated by exploring the above algorithms.

ESC 638

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

PhD Defense/Topology Seminar, Brett Smith (Wes): 'On Minimality of Planar Graphs with Respect to Treewdith'

Abstract: Robertson and Seymour developed the parameter, treewidth, in order to prove the Graph Minors Theorem, which says that the class of finite, undirected graphs is well-quasi-ordered by the minor relation. The treewidth of a graph can be defined using structures called brambles. A clique is a simple example of a bramble, but brambles can be much more intricate. The primary result in our work is a characterization of a family brambles in planar graphs, called 3-nets, along with an algorithm for determining the order of any bramble in this family. The 3-nets lead us to several results on the minimality of planar graphs with respect to tree width.

ESC 638

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar, Ann Trenk (Wellesley): 'Unit Interval Orders of Open and Closed Intervals'

Abstract: The class of unit interval orders arises in scheduling problems and has a lovely forbidden poset characterization. The characterization remains the same whether the intervals used in the representation are all open intervals or all closed intervals. In this talk we consider the class of posets that arise when both open and closed unit intervals are allowed in the same representation. We give a structural characterization of this class of posets and an efficient algorithm for recognizing the class. The algorithm takes a poset P as input and either produces a representation or returns a forbidden poset induced in P.

ESC 638

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

04:15 pm
- 05:30 pm

Topology Seminar, Anthony Hager (Wes): 'The sigma property in C(X)'

Abstract: A vector lattice is a real linear space with a compatible lattice-order.Examples are C(X) (continuous functions from the topological space X to the reals ),and any abstract 'measurable functions mod null functions'.The sigma property of a vector lattice A is (s) For each sequence (a(n)) in A+,there are a sequence (p(n)) of positive reals and a in A,for which p(n)a(n) < a for each n.Examples:C(X) for compact X (trivial);Lebesgue Measurable mod Null (not trivial;connected with Egoroff's theorem).An application:If a quotient A/I has (s),the the quotient map lifts countable disjoint sets to disjoint sets.We consider which C(X) have (s),for example: For discrete X,C(X) has (s) iff the cardinal of X < the bounding number b. For metrizable X ,C(X) has (s) iff X is locally compact and each open cover has a sub cover of size <b. (This much studied'b' is the minimum among cardinals m for which any family of functions from the positive integers N to N of size < m is bounded in the order of eventual domination for such functions.It is uncountable,no bigger than c,and regular.In ZFC,not much more can be said.)

ESC 638