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Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

In this work, a novel approach is used to study geometric properties of the indicatrix bundle and the natural foliations on the tangent bundle of a Finsler manifold. By using this approach, one can find the necessary and sufficient conditions on the Finsler manifold (M; F) in order that its indicatrix bundle has the Sasakian structure.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

This is joint work with Saul Schleimer. Veering structures onideal triangulations of cusped manifolds were introduced by Ian Agol, whoshowed that every pseudo-Anosov mapping torus over a surface, drilled alongall singular points of the measured foliations, has an ideal triangulationwith a veering structure. Any such structure coming from Agol'sconstruction is necessarily layered, although a few non-layered structureshave been found by randomised search. We introduce veering Dehn surgery,which can be applied to certain veering triangulations, to produceveering triangulationsof a surgered manifold. As an application we find an infinite family oftransverse veering triangulations none of which are layered. Untilrecently, it was hoped that veering triangulations might be geometric,however the first counterexamples were found recently by Issa, Hodgson andme. We also apply our surgery construction to find a different infinitefamily of transverse veering triangulations, none of which are geometric.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

It is a well understood story that one can extract linkinvariants associated to simple Lie algebras. These invariants arecalled Reshetikhin-Turaev invariants and the famous Jones polynomialis the simplest example. Kauffman showed that the Jones polynomialcould be described very simply by replacing crossings in a knotdiagram by various smoothings. In this talk we will explainCautis-Kamnitzer-Licata's simple new approach to understanding theseinvariants using basic representation theory and the quantum Weylgroup action. Their approach is based on a version of Howe duality forexterior algebras called skew-Howe duality. Even the graphical (orskein theory) description of these invariants can be recovered in anelementary way from this data. The advantage of this approach isthat it suggests a `categorification' where knot homology theoriesarise in an elementary way from higher representation theory and thestructure of categorified quantum groups. Joint work with David Rose and Hoel Queffelec

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Existence of a tight contact structure on a closed oriented three manifold is still widely open problem. In this talk we will present some work in progress to answer this problem for manifolds that are obtained by Dehn surgery on a knot in three sphere. Our method involves on one side generalizing certain geometric methods due to Baldwin, on the other unfolds certain homological algebra methods due to Ozsvath and Szabo.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

In the 1980’s Furuta and Fintushel-Stern applied the theory of instantons and Chern-Simons invariants to develop a criterion for a collection of Seifert fibred homology spheres to be independent in the homology cobordism group of oriented homology 3-spheres. In turn, using the fact that the 2-fold cover of S^3 branched over the Whitehead double of a positive torus knot is negatively cobordant to a Seifert fibred homology sphere, Hedden-Kirk establish conditions under which an infinite family of Whitehead doubles of positive torus knots are independent in the smooth concordance group. In the talk, I will review some of the definitions and constructions involved in the proof by Hedden and Kirk and I will introduce some topological constructions that greatly simplify their argument. Time permiting I will mention some ways in which the result could be generalized to include a larger set of knots.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

In 2007, Honda, Kazez, and Matic defined an invariant of contact 3-manifolds with convex boundaries using sutured Heegaard Floer homology (SHF). Last year, Steven Sivek and I defined an analogous contact invariant using sutured Monopole Floer homology (SMF). In this talk, I will describe work with Sivek to prove that these two contact invariants are identified by an isomorphism relating the two sutured theories. This has several interesting consequences. First, it gives a proof of invariance for the contact invariant in SHF which does not rely on the relative Giroux correspondence between contact structures and open books (something whose proof has not yet been written down in full). Second, it gives a proof that the combinatorially computable invariants of Legendrian knots in Heegaard Floer homology can obstruct Lagrangian concordance.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Most work on surgeries in contact manifolds has focused upon determining the situations where tightness is preserved. We will discuss an approach to this problem from the reverse angle: when negative surgery on a fibred knot in an overtwisted contact manifold produces a tight one. We will examine the various phenomena that occur, and discuss an approach to characterising them via Heegaard Floer homology.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

We will start by counting lattice points in a polytope and showhow this produces many familiar objects in mathematics.For example if one scales the polytope, the number of lattice points givesrise to the Ehrhart polynomials, including binomals and other well knownfunctions.Things get more interesting once we take a weighted sum over the latticepoints instead of just counting them. I will explain how toextend Ehrhart's theory in this case and discuss an application to knottheory. We will derive a new state sum for the colored HOMFLYpolynomial using q-Ehrhart polynomials, following my recent preprint Arxiv1501.00123.