Speaker: Yair Minsky
Title: Complexity in surfaces and 3-manifolds
Abstract: 3-manifolds can be built up by a process of gluing along surfaces, and a good quantitative understanding of this can help us study the geometric structures that these manifolds admit. This leads to a detailed study of the mapping class group of a surface and its coarse geometry. I will discuss the history of this area over recent (and not so recent) years, and hopefully give an overview of the current state, where a number of question marks remain.
History: The R.A. Blyth Lectures are an annual distinguished lecture series in Mathematics and Mathematical Science, established by the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first Professorship in Mathematics at the University. It consists of three lectures by a distinguished mathematician: the first for a general scientific audience, the second for a general mathematical audience, and the third for specialists in the field.
Information on previous year's events can be found at the following link: http://www.math.toronto.edu/cms/blyth