# Math Calendar

 Categories: Choose a category... View all categories _______________________ Biomath Seminar Colloquium Computational Analysis Seminar Departmental Student Awards Faculty Meeting Graph Theory and Combinatorics Seminar Informal von Neumann Algebras Seminar Noncommutative Geometry and Operator Algebras Seminar Partial Differential Equations Seminar Subfactor Seminar Symplectic and Differential Geometry Seminar Topology and Group Theory Seminar Undergraduate Seminar Universal Algebra and Logic Seminar Vandy Math Club RSS

###### » Seminar Pages

February 7, 2013 4:10 pm (Thursday)

## Tales of Our Forefathers

Barry Simon, Cal Tech
Location: Stevenson 1425

This is not a mathematics talk but it is a talk for mathematicians. Too often, we think of historical mathematicians as only names assigned to theorems. With vignettes and anecdotes, I'll convince you they were also human beings and that, as the Chinese say, "May you live in interesting times" really is a curse. Tea at 3:30 pm in 1425 Stevenson Center

February 5, 2013 7:00 pm (Tuesday)

## The Four Color Theorem

Corey Jones, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1206

The Four Color Theorem is easy to state:  If you have a (nice enough) map of countries, and you want to color them so that no two adjacent countries are the same color, then you never need more than four colors to do it!  This theorem was proved in the 70's, but its proof is controversial among mathematicians due to its heavy use of a computer.  We will discuss the history of this theorem, and then prove the Five Color Theorem, which states you never need more than five colors to color our map, which is much easier than four!

February 5, 2013 4:10 pm (Tuesday)

## Is It Harder to Factor a Polynomial or to Find a Root?, Part II

Rebecca Steiner, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1312

For a computable algebraic field F, the splitting set S_F of F is the set of polynomials with coefficients in F which factor over F, and the root set R_F of F is the set of polynomials with coefficients in F which have a root in F. In the first part of this talk, on October 2, 2012, we showed that under the bounded Turing (bT) reducibility, determining whether a polynomial has a root in a field F is more difficult than determining whether it factors over F, i.e. S_F is always bT-reducible to R_F, but there are fields F where R_F is not bT-reducible to S_F. In the second part, we will define a Rabin embedding g of a field into its algebraic closure, and for a computable algebraic field F, we compare the relative complexities of R_F, S_F, and g(F) under m-reducibility and under bT-reducibility.

February 4, 2013 4:10 pm (Monday)

## Some Secondary Geometric Invariants

Zhizhang Xie, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1432

Secondary invariants are important in geometry and topology. While primary invariants only depend on the topology of the underlining manifolds, secondary invariants also depend on certain auxiliary geometric data (e.g. metrics or connections etc. ) of the underlining manifolds. Some of the well-known secondary invariants are Chern-Simon invariants, eta invariant and rho invariant, where the latter two were introduced by Atiyah, Patodi and Singer. In this talk, I will discuss some of my recent work and joint work with others on these secondary invariants (and their higher versions). In particular, I shall talk about the higher eta invariant and the higher rho invariant, and their connections to the Baum-Connes conjecture and positive scalar curvature problems.

February 4, 2013 3:10 pm (Monday)

## "Characterization of K_{2,4}-minor-free graphs (part II)"

Emily Marshall, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1432

The characterization of all K_{2,3}-minor-free graphs is well-known: 2-connected K_{2,3}-minor-free graphs are either K_4 or outerplanar. In this talk, we provide a characterization of all K_{2,4}-minor-free graphs. For the 3-connected graphs, we have an infinite family which yields 2n-8 graphs on n vertices along with some small special examples on at most eight vertices. The 2-connected graphs are then formed by joining the 3-connected ones with outerplanar graphs subject to some restrictions. This is joint work with Mark Ellingham, Kenta Ozeki and Shoichi Tsuchiya.

February 1, 2013 4:10 pm (Friday)

## Finite Factor Representations of Higman-Thompson Groups

Location: Stevenson 1432

We will talk about relations between ergodic properties of group actions and the structure of group characters. The latter is equivalent to the classification of all finite-type factor representations. The outstanding conjecture (often attributed to Vershik) is that for a large class of groups their group characters must have the form \mu(Fix(g)), where $\mu$ is a G-invariant measure for some special group action on a measure space, Fix(g) is the set of all fixed points of group element $g$. We will then establish Vershik's conjecture for the family of Higman-Thompson groups. Since these groups have no non-trivial ergodic measures, we get that they have no non-trivial factor representations. Examples of other classes of groups known to satisfy Vershik's conjecture will be also discussed. The talk will be based on two recent preprints by Dudko and Medynets, "Finite factor representations of Higman-Thompson Groups" ArXiv 1212.1230 and "On characters of inductive limits of symmetric groups" Arxiv 1105.6325

January 30, 2013 3:10 pm (Wednesday)

## Overview of Inverse Problems in Planar Magnetization

Eduardo Lima (MIT) and Laurent Baratchart (INRIA),
Location: Stevenson 1307

January 29, 2013 4:00 pm (Tuesday)

## Is It Harder to Factor a Polynomial or to Find a Root?, Part II

Rebecca Steiner, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1312

For a computable algebraic field F, the splitting set S_F of F is the set of polynomials with coefficients in F which factor over F, and the root set R_F of F is the set of polynomials with coefficients in F which have a root in F. In the first part of this talk, on October 2, 2012, we showed that under the bounded Turing (bT) reducibility, determining whether a polynomial has a root in a field F is more difficult than determining whether it factors over F, i.e. S_F is always bT-reducible to R_F, but there are fields F where R_F is not bT-reducible to S_F. In the second part, we will define a Rabin embedding g of a field into its algebraic closure, and for a computable algebraic field F, we compare the relative complexities of R_F, S_F, and g(F) under m-reducibility and under bT-reducibility.

January 28, 2013 3:10 pm (Monday)

## Characterization of K_{2,4}-minor-free graphs

Emily Marshall, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1432

The characterization of all K_{2,3}-minor-free graphs is well-known: 2-connected K_{2,3}-minor-free graphs are either K_4 or outerplanar. In this talk, we provide a characterization of all K_{2,4}-minor-free graphs. For the 3-connected graphs, we have an infinite family which yields 2n-8 graphs on n vertices along with some small special examples on at most eight vertices. The 2-connected graphs are then formed by joining the 3-connected ones with outerplanar graphs subject to some restrictions. This is joint work with Mark Ellingham, Kenta Ozeki and Shoichi Tsuchiya.

January 25, 2013 4:10 pm (Friday)

## Mixing on Rank-One Transformations

Darren Creutz, Vanderbilt University
Location: Stevenson 1432

In this talk on a more classical part of ergodic theory, that of Z-actions, I will explain the construction of rank-one transformations via cutting and stacking that goes back to von Neumann and Kakutani and has been used to create examples and counterexamples of various mixing-like properties. Following the explanation of the subject, I will present some of my work on when such transformations are mixing. Some of the results presented are joint work with Cesar Silva.