Dr. Mladen Bestiva to give talk entitled "The van Kampen obstruction for groups at infinity."
- Friday, April 21, 2017 from 12:00am to 11:59pm
The Department of Mathematical Sciences Colloquium Series is hosting Dr. Mladen Bestvina, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Utah. Dr. Bestvina will be giving a talk entitled "The van Kampen obstruction for groups at infinity" on Thursday, April 27 at 4:00pm in Reid Hall, Room 202. The talk is about geometric group theory studying discrete groups using topological and geometric methods. Many groups have a natural "boundary," or a "space at infinity," a much studied object in this subject. In this talk, Dr. Bestvina will explain how a problem in topology (what is the smallest dimension of a manifold thickening of an n-fold product of graphs?) leads to a problem in geometric group theory and a solution to both using the ideas from the classical van Kampen embedding obstruction (which will also be explained in the talk). These are some old results from Dr. Bestvina along with Misha Kapovich and Brucke Kleiner, but if time allows, Dr. Bestvina will go over some more recent developments.
Dr. Bestvina is a three-time medalist at the International Mathematical Olympiad. He received his PhD in Mathematics in 1984 at the University of Tennessee. He joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Utah in 1993, and was appointed Distinguished Professor in 2008. Bestvina gave an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing in 2002. He has served as the Editorial Board member for the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. He is currently an associate editor of the Annals of Mathematics and an Editorial Board member for Geometric and Functional Analysis to name a few. In 2012, he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.