Buffalo, October 8-10, 2004

Inspired by a May 2004 lecture of Sikora in George Washington University and following the arXiv paper math.QA/0409414 by Asaeda, Przytycki and Sikora, we re-solve a problem on finding a Khovanov-like invariant whose Euler characteristic is the skein-module-valued Jones polynomial of a tangle. Our solution involves "trace groups" and a generalized notion of Euler characteristics and may have far-reaching consequences in other parts of mathematics (we study those jointly with D. Thurston).

Handouts: TraceGroups.pdf, NewHandout-1.pdf.

Reference paper: Khovanov's Homology for Tangles and Cobordisms.