Geometry/Topology Seminar
Spring 2015
Thursdays (and sometimes Tuesdays) 34pm, in
Eckhart 308

 Thursday April 16 at 34pm in Eck 308
 Steven Boyer, UQAM
 Foliations, leftorders, and Lspaces

Abstract: Much work has been devoted in recent years
to examining relationships between the existence of a
cooriented taut foliation on a closed, connected, prime
3manifold W, the leftorderability of the fundamental group
of W, and the property that W not be a HeegaardFloer
Lspace. Classic work shows that each of these conditions
holds when W has a positive first Betti number and it has
been conjectured that they coincide when the first Betti
number of W is zero. In this talk I will discuss the known
connections between these conditions and survey the current
status of the conjectures.

 Tuesday May 5 at 34pm in Eck 308
 Dave Witte Morris, Lethbridge
 TBA

Abstract: TBA

 Thursday May 7 at 34pm in Eck 308
 Jeff Danciger, Austin
 TBA

Abstract: TBA

 Tuesday May 19 at 34pm in Eck 308
 Christoforos Neofytidis, Binghamton
 Groups presentable by products and an ordering of Thurston geometries by
maps of nonzero degree

Abstract: The existence of a map of nonzero degree
defines a transitive relation on the homotopy types of
closed oriented manifolds of the same dimension, called
domination relation. Gromov suggested investigating the
domination relation as defining an ordering of manifolds and
formulated numerous conjectures regarding classes that might
(not) be comparable under this relation. A particular case
of the domination question, which specifies Steenrod's
classical problem on the realization of homology classes by
manifolds, and is motivated by MilnorThurston and Gromov's
theory of functorial seminorms on homology (such as the
simplicial volume), is when the domain is a nontrivial
direct product. In this talk, I will discuss the
(non)existence of maps of nonzero degree from direct
products to aspherical manifolds with fundamental groups
with nontrivial center. As an application, I will describe
an ordering of all nonhyperbolic aspherical 4manifolds
possessing a Thurston geometry.

 Tuesday May 26 at 34pm in Eck 308
 Ailsa Keating, TBA
 TBA

Abstract: ((scheduled by Jesse, approved Benson))
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