Geometry and Topology Seminar

From UW-Math Wiki
Revision as of 18:05, 9 October 2012 by Bwang (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Geometry and Topology seminar meets in room 901 of Van Vleck Hall on Fridays from 1:20pm - 2:10pm.
For more information, contact Richard Kent.


Fall 2012

date speaker title host(s)
September 21 Owen Sizemore (Wisconsin)

Operator Algebra Techniques in Measureable Group Theory

local
September 28 Mireille Boutin (Purdue)

The Pascal Triangle of a discrete Image:
definition, properties, and application to object segmentation

Mari Beffa
October 5 Ben Schmidt (Michigan State)

Three manifolds of constant vector curvature

Dymarz
October 12 Ian Biringer (Boston College)

Growth of Betti numbers and a probabilistic take on Gromov Hausdorff convergence

Dymarz
October 19 Peng Gao (Simons Center for Geometry and Physics)

string theory partition functions and geodesic spectrum

Wang
October 26 Jo Nelson (Wisconsin)

Cylindrical contact homology as a well-defined homology theory? Part I

local
November 2 Jennifer Taback (Bowdoin)

TBA

Dymarz
November 9 Jenny Wilson (Chicago)

TBA

Ellenberg
November 16 Jonah Gaster (UIC)

TBA

Kent
Thanksgiving Recess
November 30 Shinpei Baba (Caltech)

TBA

Kent
December 7 Kathryn Mann (Chicago)

TBA

Kent
December 14

Fall Abstracts

Owen Sizemore (Wisconsin)

Operator Algebra Techniques in Measureable Group Theory

Measurable group theory is the study of groups via their actions on measure spaces. While the classification for amenable groups was essentially complete by the early 1980's, progress for nonamenable groups has been slow to emerge. The last 15 years has seen a surge in the classification of ergodic actions of nonamenable groups, with methods coming from diverse areas. We will survey these new results, as well as, give an introduction to the operator algebra techniques that have been used.

Mireille Boutin (Purdue)

The Pascal Triangle of a discrete Image: definition, properties, and application to object segmentation

We define the Pascal Triangle of a discrete (gray scale) image as a pyramidal ar- rangement of complex-valued moments and we explore its geometric significance. In particular, we show that the entries of row k of this triangle correspond to the Fourier series coefficients of the moment of order k of the Radon transform of the image. Group actions on the plane can be naturally prolonged onto the entries of the Pascal Triangle. We study the induced action of some common group actions, such as translation, rotations, and reflections, and we propose simple tests for equivalence and self- equivalence for these group actions. The motivating application of this work is the problem of recognizing ”shapes” on images, for example characters, digits or simple graphics. Application to the MERGE project, in which we developed a fast method for segmenting hazardous material signs on a cellular phone, will be also discussed.

This is joint work with my graduate students Shanshan Huang and Andrew Haddad.

Ben Schmidt (Michigan State)

Three manifolds of constant vector curvature.

A Riemannian manifold M is said to have extremal curvature K if all sectional curvatures are bounded above by K or if all sectional curvatures are bounded below by K. A manifold with extremal curvature K has constant vector curvature K if every tangent vector to M belongs to a tangent plane of curvature K. For surfaces, having constant vector curvature is equivalent to having constant curvature. In dimension three, the eight Thurston geometries all have constant vector curvature. In this talk, I will discuss the classification of closed three manifolds with constant vector curvature. Based on joint work with Jon Wolfson.

Ian Biringer (Boston College)

Growth of Betti numbers and a probabilistic take on Gromov Hausdorff convergence

We will describe an asymptotic relationship between the volume and the Betti numbers of certain locally symmetric spaces. The proof uses an exciting new tool: a synthesis of Gromov-Hausdorff convergence of Riemannian manifolds and Benjamini-Schramm convergence from graph theory.

Peng Gao (Simons Center for Geometry and Physics)

string theory partition functions and geodesic spectrum

String theory partition functions often have nice modular properties, which is well understood within the context of representation theory of (supersymmetric extensions) of Virasoro algebra. However, many questions of physical importance are preferrably addressed when string theory is formulated in terms of non-linear sigma model on a Riemann surface with a Riemannian manifold as target space. Traditionally, physicists have studied such sigma models within the realm of perturbation theory, overlooking a large class of very natural critical points of the path integral, namely, closed geodesics on the target space Riemannian manifold. We propose how to take into account the effect of these critical points on the path integral, and initiate its study on Ricci flat targe spaces, such as the K3 surface.


Jo Nelson (Wisconsin)

Cylindrical contact homology as a well-defined homology theory? Part I

In this talk I will define all the concepts in the title, starting with what a contact manifold is. I will also explain how the heuristic arguments sketched in the literature since 1999 fail to define a homology theory and provide a foundation for a well-defined cylindrical contact homology, while still providing an invariant of the contact structure. A later talk will provide us with a large class of examples under which one can compute a well-defined version of cylindrical contact homology via a new approach the speaker developed for her thesis that is distinct and completely independent of previous specialized attempts.

Jennifer Taback (Bowdoin)

TBA

Jenny Wilson (Chicago)

TBA

Jonah Gaster (UIC)

TBA

Shinpei Baba (Caltech)

TBA

Kathryn Mann (Chicago)

TBA

Spring 2013

date speaker title host(s)
January 25
February 1
February 8
February 15
February 22
March 1
March 8
March 15
March 22 Michelle Lee (Michigan)

TBA

Kent
Spring Break
April 5
April 12
April 19
April 26
May 3
May 10

Spring Abstracts

Michelle Lee (Michigan)

TBA

Archive of past Geometry seminars

2011-2012: Geometry_and_Topology_Seminar_2011-2012

2010: Fall-2010-Geometry-Topology