Type: Seminar

Distribution: World

Expiry: 3 Apr 2012

Auth: athomas(.pmstaff;2039.2002)@p615.pc.maths.usyd.edu.au

The next Group Actions Seminar will be held on Tuesday 3 April at the University of Western Sydney. Volker Gebhardt will speak at 12 noon and Attila Egri-Nagy at 2:30pm. **Note that the seminar is being held at the Kingswood campus of UWS, not at Parramatta as previously advertised.** If you would like to get the train from Central with me, please let me know. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tuesday 3 April Time: 12 noon Location: Room 2.39, Building Y, Kingswood Campus, University of Western Sydney Speaker: Volker Gebhardt (University of Western Sydney) Title: Finite index subgroups of mapping class groups Abstract: The interaction between mapping class groups and finite groups has long been a topic of interest. The famous Hurwitz bound of 1893 states that a closed Riemann surface of genus g has an upper bound of 84(g-1) for the order of its finite subgroups, and Kerckhoff showed that the order of finite cyclic subgroups is bounded above by 4g+2. The subject of finite index subgroups of mapping class groups was brought into focus by Grossman’s discovery that the mapping class group M_{g,n} of an oriented surface \Sigma_{g,n} of genus g with n boundary components is residually finite, and thus well-endowed with subgroups of finite index. This prompts the "dual’’ question: What is the minimum index mi(M_{g,n}) of a proper subgroup of finite index in M_{g,n}? Results to date have suggested that, like the maximum finite order question, the minimum index question should have an answer that is linear in g. The best previously published bound due to Paris is mi(M_{g,n})>4g+4 for g \geq 3. This inequality is used by Aramayona and Souto to prove that, if g \geq 6 and g’ \leq 2g-1, then any nontrivial homomorphism M_{g,n} \to M_{g’,n’} is induced by an embedding. It is also an important ingredient in the proof of Zimmermann that, for g=3 and 4, the minimal nontrivial quotient of M_{g,0} is Sp_{2g}(F_2). I will report on recent work with Jon Berrick and Luis Paris, in which we showed an exact exponential bound for mi(M_{g,n}). Specifically, we proved that M_{g,n} contains a unique subgroup of index 2^{g-1}(2^{g}-1) up to conjugation, a unique subgroup of index 2^{g-1}(2^{g}+1) up to conjugation, and the other proper subgroups of M_{g,n} are of index greater than 2^{g-1}(2^{g}+1). In particular, the minimum index for a proper subgroup of M_{g,n} is 2^{g-1}(2^{g}-1). ---------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tuesday 3 April Time: 2.30pm Location: Room 2.39, Building Y, Kingswood Campus, University of Western Sydney Speaker: Attila Egri-Nagy (University of Western Sydney) Title: Recursive Reduction of Multiplication Tables Abstract: Motivated by the problem of enumerating finite transformation semigroups here we present a recursive algorithm for systematic reduction of multiplication tables. We can downsize the hopelessly huge search space even if we do not exploit properties of the underlying algebra. By considering the elements appearing in the diagonal of the table we can define a closure operator on the cuts. This technique can be used for any algebraic structure with one multiplication operation. When considering transformation semigroups in particular, the automorphism group can be used to find new complete cuts. For a computational implementation, permutation groups provide convenient test cases for the algorithm since for groups the number of subgroups and conjugacy classes are easy to calculate. ----------------------------------------------------------------