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Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

The compact transverse cross-sections of a cylinder over a central
ovaloid in Rn, n ≥ 3, with hyperplanes are central ovaloids. A similar result holds
for quadrics (level sets of quadratic polynomials in Rn, n ≥ 3). Their compact
transverse cross-sections with hyperplanes are ellipsoids, which are central ovaloids.
In R3, Blaschke, Brunn, and Olovjanischnikoff found results for compact convex
surfaces that motivated B. Solomon to prove that these two kinds of examples
provide the only complete, connected, smooth surfaces in R3, whose ovaloid cross sections are central. We generalize that result to all higher dimensions, proving: If M^(n-1), n >= 4, is a complete, connected smooth hypersurface of R^n, which intersects at least one hyperplane transversally along an ovaloid, and every such ovaloid on M is central, then M is either a cylinder over a central ovaloid or a quadric.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

We prove that any minimal weak symplectic filling of the canonical contact structure on the unit cotangent bundle of a nonorientable closed surface other than the real projective plane is s-cobordant rel boundary to the disk cotangent bundle of the surface. If the nonorientable surface is the Klein bottle, then we show that the minimal weak symplectic filling is unique up to homeomorphism. (This is a joint work with Youlin Li.)

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

I will describe new
techniques for computing the homology of braid groups with coefficients
in certain exponential coefficient systems. An unexpected side of this
story (at least to me) is a connection with the cohomology of certain
braided Hopf
algebras — quantum shuffle algebras and Nichols algebras — which are
central to the classification of pointed Hopf algebras and quantum
groups. We can apply these tools to get a bound on the growth of the
cohomology of Hurwitz moduli spaces of branched covers
of the plane in certain cases. This yields a weak form of Malle’s
conjecture on the distribution of fields with prescribed Galois group in
the function field setting. This is joint work with Jordan Ellenberg
and TriThang Tran.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

We consider two knot diagrams to be equivalent if they are isotopic without Reidemeister moves, and prove a method for determining if the equivalence class of a knot diagram contains a representative that is the Lagrangian projection of a Legendrian knot. This work gives us a new tool for determining if a Legendrian knot can be de-stabilized.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

In this talk we first introduce a new "singularity-free" approach to the proof of Seidel's long exact sequence, including the fixed-point version. This conveniently generalizes to Dehn twists along Lagrangian submanifolds which are rank one symmetric spaces and their covers, including RPn and CPn, matching a mirror prediction due to Huybrechts and Thomas. The idea of the proof can be interpreted as a "mirror" of the construction in algebraic geometry, realized by a new surgery and cobordism construction. This is a joint work with Cheuk-Yu Mak.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Birman and Hilden ask: given finite branched cover X over the 2-sphere, does every homeomorphism of the sphere lift to a homeomorphism of X? For covers of degree 2, the answer is yes, but the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no for higher degree covers. In joint work with Ghaswala, we completely answer the question for cyclic branched covers. When the answer is yes, there is an embedding of the mapping class group of the sphere into a finite quotient of the mapping class group of X. In a family where the answer is no, we find a presentation for the group of isotopy classes of homeomorphisms of the sphere that do lift, which is a finite index subgroup of the mapping class group of the sphere. Our family introduces new examples of orbifold Picard groups of subloci of Teichmuller space that are finitely generated but not cyclic.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Existence of tight contact structures is a fundamental question of contact topology. Etnyre and Honda first gave the example which doesn't admit any tight structure. The existence of fillable tight structures is also a subtle question. Here we give some new examples of hyperbolic 3-manifolds which do not admit any fillable structures.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

We discuss the higher Teichmuller space A_{G,S} defined by Fockand Goncharov. This space is defined for a punctured surface S withnegative Euler characteristic, and a semisimple, simply connected Lie groupG. There is a birational atlas on A_{G,S} with a chart for each idealtriangulation of S. Fock and Goncharov showed that the transition functionsare positive, i.e. subtraction-free rational functions. We will show thatwhen G has rank 2, the transition functions are given by explicit quivermutations.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Given a plane field $dz-xdy$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$. A Legendrian knot is a knot which at every point is tangent to the plane at that point. One can similarly define a Legendrian knot in any contact 3-manifold (manifold with a plane field satisfying some conditions). In this talk, we will explore Legendrian knots in $\mathbb{R}^3$, $J^1(S^1)$, and $\#^k(S^1\times S^2)$ as well as a few Legendrian knot invariants. We will also look at the relationships between a few of these knot invariants. No knowledge of Legendrian knots will be assumed though some knowledge of basic knot theory would be useful.