uOttawa Geometry and Topology Seminar
Winter 2024

uOttawa Geometry and Topology Group webpage

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Time and Venue: Thursdays 12:00–1:00 pm ET in STEM 364
unless noted otherwise in red

Last updated: Apr 2, 2024

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Schedule The schedule is updated throughout the semester.

Date Speaker Institution Title
Mar 5, 2024 (Tue)
STEM 664
Federico Salmoiraghi Queen's University New Anosov flows using contact surgery
Mar 14, 2024 Simon Henry University of Ottawa Introduction to Higher categories, from topology
Mar 21, 2024 Mike Wong University of Ottawa An introduction to Morse theory
Apr 4, 2024 Maia Fraser University of Ottawa An overview of the contact non-squeezing problem


Date Mar 5, 2024

Speaker Federico Salmoiraghi

Title New Anosov flows using contact surgery

Abstract Anosov flows are a class of chaotic dynamical systems that enjoy the remarkable property of being stable under small perturbation. In dimension 3 there is a deep and beautiful connection between the properties of an Anosov flow and the topology of the ambient manifold. For more than twenty years very few examples of Anosov flows were known (geodesic flows and suspension flows). The introduction of surgery techniques allowed us to construct a plethora of new examples with interesting and unexpected properties. Although a connection between Anosov dynamics and contact geometry has been known for decades (by the work of Eliashberg, Mitsumatsu and Thurston), recent work of Hozoori allows us to use powerful tools from the realm of contact structures. In this talk we will use this point of view to address questions in the theory of surgery on Anosov flows.

Date Mar 14, 2024

Speaker Simon Henry

Title Introduction to Higher categories, from topology

Abstract I'll give a brief introduction to Higher category theory from the point of view of topology and homotopy theory. The goal of the talk is to arrive at the definition of "(complete) Segal space" and of "Quasicategory" which are the two most used models of (infinity,1)-categories. I'll try to give some motivation and intuition of these notions from the point of view of topology. This is only an introduction, not a research talk.

Date Mar 21, 2024

Speaker Mike Wong

Title An introduction to Morse theory

Abstract Morse theory says that a generic function on a smooth manifold can be used to recover information about the homotopy type of the manifold. In this introductory talk, we outline this theory, with a view towards Morse homology and Floer theory.

Date Apr 4, 2024

Speaker Maia Fraser

Title An overview of the contact non-squeezing problem

Abstract In this talk, I will start by going over some basic background in contact and symplectic geometry – just enough to introduce the contact (non)-squeezing problem. No technical background is assumed. I will then give an overview of the various contact (non)-squeezing results that have been proved in the standard contact manifold R^2n \times S^1 from 2006 to the present, highlighting methods used in each case, and how they differ. If time permits, I will go into some detail on the simplest and most recent of these proofs, which uses a persistence-module viewpoint to extract more information from previously defined invariants (joint work with Lisa Traynor).

If you have questions about the seminar, please direct them to Mike Wong, at Mike [dot] Wong [at] uOttawa [dot] ca.