Patrick Dehornoy (Université de Caen)
Friday 31st March, 12.05-12.55pm, Carslaw 159
Efficient solutions for the word problem of braids
We shall review some of the (many) solutions for the word problem of Artin braids, with a special emphasis on the so-called handle reduction method and the proof of its convergence, which relies both on the Garside structure and on a canonical ordering of braids. We shall show that the subject is connected with intriguing conjectures about the symmetric group --- as well as with weird questions of large cardinals in set theory.