Lei Chen (Caltech): Section problems
In this talk, I will discuss a direction of study in topology: Section problems. There are many variations of the problem: Nielsen realization problems, sections of a surface bundle, sections of a bundle with special property (e.g. nowhere zero vector field). I will discuss some techniques including homology, Thurston-Nielsen classification and dynamics. Also I will share many open problems. Some of the results are joint work with Nick Salter.
From a group action on a space, define a variant of the configuration space by insisting that no two points inhabit the same orbit. When the action is almost free, this "orbit configuration space'' is the complement of an arrangement of subvarieties inside the cartesian product, and we use this structure to study its topology. We give an abstract combinatorial description of its poset of layers (connected components of intersections from the arrangement) which turns out to be of much independent interest as a generalization of partition and Dowling lattices. The close relationship to these classical posets is then exploited to give explicit cohomological calculations akin to those of (Totaro '96). Joint work with Nir Gadish.
Kan simplicial manifolds, also known as "Lie infinity-groupoids", are simplicial Banach manifolds which satisfy conditions similar to the horn lling conditions for Kan simplicial sets. Group-like Lie infinity-groupoids (a.k.a "Lie infinity-groups") have been used to construct geometric models for the higher stages of the Whitehead tower of the orthogonal group. With this goal in mind, Andre Henriques developed a smooth analog of Sullivan's realization functor from rational homotopy theory which produces a Lie infinity-group from certain commutative dg-algebras (i.e. L_infinity-algebras).
In this talk, I will present a homotopy theory for both these commutative dg-algebras and for Lie infinity-groups, and discuss some examples that demonstrate the compatibility between the two. Conceptually, this work can be interpreted either as a C^\infty-analog of classical results of Bouseld and Gugenheim in rational homotopy theory, or as a homotopy-theoretic analog of classical theorems from
Lie theory. This is based on joint work with A. Ozbek (UNR grad student) and C. Zhu (Gottingen).
Convex surface theory and bypasses are extremely powerful tools
for analyzing contact 3-manifolds. In particular they have been
successfully applied to many classification problems. After reviewing
convex surface theory in dimension three, we explain how to generalize many
of their properties to higher dimensions. This is joint work with Yang
The Hull-Strominger system is a system of nonlinear PDEs describing the geometry of compactification of heterotic strings with torsion to 4d Minkowski spacetime, which can be regarded as a generalization of Ricci-flat Kähler metrics coupled with Hermitian Yang-Mills equation on non-Kähler Calabi-Yau 3-folds. The Anomaly flow is a parabolic approach to understand the Hull-Strominger system initiated by Phong-Picard-Zhang. We show that in the setting of generalized Calabi-Gray manifolds, the Hull-Strominger system and the Anomaly flow reduce to interesting elliptic and parabolic equations on Riemann surfaces. By solving these equations, we obtain solutions to the Hull-Strominger system on a class of compact non-Kähler Calabi-Yau 3-folds with infinitely many topological types and sets of Hodge numbers. This talk is based on joint work with Zhijie Huang and Sebastien Picard.