Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

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Stabilizations of Heegaard Splittings


Speaker: Joel Hass, UC Davis
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Wed, Jan 23 2008, 4:10PM

I will report on joint work with Abby Thompson and Bill Thurston in which we show that for certain pairs of genus g Heegaard splittings of a 3-manifold, no fewer than g stabilizations are required before they become equivalent. All previously known examples became equivalent after one stabilization. The proof uses a deformation of families of surfaces to harmonic maps.