Filling invariants for groups

Geometry Topology Seminar
Monday, September 15, 2008 - 14:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 269
Emory University and LSU
The Dehn function of a finitely presented group measures the difficulty in filling loops in the presentation complex of the group. Higher dimensional Dehn functions are a natural generalization: the n-dimensional Dehn function of a group captures the difficulty of filling n-spheres with (n+1)-balls in suitably defined complexes associated with the group. A fundamental question in the area is that of determining which functions arise as Dehn functions. I will give an overview of known results and describe recent progress in the 2-dimensional case. This is joint work with Josh Barnard and Noel Brady.