Low Dimensional Topology

November 26, 2013

What’s Next? A conference in question form

Mark your calendars now: in June 2014, Cornell University will host “What’s Next? The mathematical legacy of Bill Thurston”.  It looks like it will be a very exciting event, see the (lightly edited) announcement from the organizers below the fold.

Conference banner
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September 8, 2012

ICERM Fall 2013: Topology, geometry, and dynamics

I’ve mentioned before that the fall semester program at ICERM for 2013 will focus on computation in low-dimensional topology, geometry, and dynamics.   You can now apply to be a long-term visitor for this as a graduate student, postdoc, or other.   The deadline for the postdoctoral positions is January 14, 2013; the early deadline for everyone else is December 1, 2012 and the second deadline March 15, 2013.

There will also be three week-long workshops associated with this, so mark your calendars for these exciting events:

  1. Exotic Geometric Structures. September 15-20, 2013.
  2. Topology, Geometry, and Group Theory: Informed by Experiment. October 21-25, 2013.
  3. Geometric Structures in Low-Dimensional Dynamics. November 18-22, 2013.

August 22, 2012

Bill Thurston is dead at age 65.

Bill Thurston passed away yesterday at 8pm, succumbing to the cancer that he had been battling for the past two years.   I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the revolutionary impact that he had on the study of geometry and topology.  Almost everything we blog about here has the imprint of his amazing mathematics.    Bill was always very generous with his ideas, and his presence in the community will be horribly missed.    Perhaps I will have something more coherent to say later, but for now here are some links to remember him by:

July 26, 2011

L-spaces and left-orderability of 3-manifold groups

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Computation and experiment,Floer homology,Foliations — Nathan Dunfield @ 10:38 am

Steve Boyer, Cameron Gordon, and Liam Watson have an interesting new preprint out today on the arXiv. In it, they posit:

Conjecture. An irreducible rational homology 3-sphere is an L-space if and only if its fundamental group is not left-orderable.

The motivation here is as follows: An L-space is something whose Heegaard Floer homology is as simple as possible; such 3-manifolds have no taut foliations. A nice type of taut foliation are those that are R-covered, and in this case, the fundamental group of the 3-manifold inherits a left-order from the action of the leaf space. (I’m always assuming here that foliations are co-orientable.)

Of course, it’s not known whether every non-L-space has a taut foliation, and there are certainly non-R-covered foliations, so a reasonable initial reaction is that this conjecture isn’t very plausible. However, their paper outlines a surprising amount of evidence for it, and in this post I’ll give some more data in that direction.

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