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Behold the wonders that are Thompson's groups


Speaker: Sean Cleary, CUNY
Location: 3106 MSB
Start time: Tue, Nov 5 2013, 4:10PM

In the early 1960's Richard J. Thompson discovered a fascinating family of finitely-presented infinite groups in connection with his work in logic. These groups have reappeared in a wide variety of settings, including homotopy theory, measure theory of discrete groups, non-associative algebras, dynamical systems, and geometric group theory. Thompson's group F is the simplest known example of a variety of unusual group-theoretic phenomena and has been the subject of a great deal of study. I will describe these groups from several different perspectives and discuss some of their remarkable properties, particularly some unusual aspects of the geometry of their Cayley graphs.