
A learning seminar on topics related to the geometric aspects of string theory. Several mathematical subjects, such as topology, representation theory, and operator algebras are also discussed. The notes of a few talks are available below.
Time: Tuesday 2:00 pm  4:00 pm Location: Innova 21 Building, Room 5.56 This seminar is organised by Pedram Hekmati and Snigdhayan Mahanta. Kindly contact one of us in order to be included in the mailinglist. Current schedule Semester 2, 201112 ScheduleIGA/AMSI Workshop: Groupvalued moment maps with applications to mathematics and physics Speaker: P. Hekmati Title: ChernSimons gauge theory and knot invariants Abstract: This talk will be a survey of Witten's 1989 classic "Quantum field theory and the Jones polynomial". I will also say a few words on Khovanov homology which provides a modern "categorified" description of knot invariants. Speaker: S. Mahanta Title: GromovWitten Theory Abstract: I shall present my understanding of GromovWitten theory. This is a preparation for the upcoming IGA/AMSI workshop on GaugeString Dualities. Speaker: V. Mathai Title: Introduction to Tduality Venue: Room 5.57 Innova 21 Semester 1, 2011 ScheduleSpeaker: P. Hekmati Title: Groupvalued moment map and quasiHamiltonian quantisation Abstract: This will be an introduction to groupvalued moment maps and prequantization of quasiHamiltonian group actions, as developed by AlekseevMalkenMeinrenken. I will also discuss the bijective correspondence between quasiHamiltonian Gspaces and Hamiltonian LGspaces with proper moment map. Speaker: P. Hekmati Title: Gerbal representations Abstract: I will discuss the notion of gerbal group representations following FrenkelZhu and provide some concrete examples. Speaker: S. Mahanta Title: Bivariant Ktheory for malgebras (after Cuntz) Abstract: An malgebra is an inverse limit of Banach algebras. Many geometric examples can be studied using malgebras. The construction of the bivariant Ktheory groups for malgebras will be described. Some formal properties will also be discussed, including a universal characterization. Speaker: P. Hekmati Title: Topics in Morse Theory Abstract: Morse theory studies the relation between the critical points of functions on a space and the shape of the space. This talk will cover the basic concepts and treat a few selected examples in more detail. Speaker: S. Mahanta Title: Bivariant ChernConnes character (after Cuntz) Abstract: Building upon the contents of the previous talk we are going to construct the bivariant ChernConnes character. To this end we shall introduce the bivariant periodic cyclic homology for malgebras. The bivariant ChernConnes character is a binatural transformation from bivariant Ktheory to bivariant periodic cyclic homology. After outlining its construction we are going to focus on the univariant ChernConnes character from (univariant) Ktheory to (univariant) periodic cyclic homology, which is a generalization of the Chern character in topology. Speaker: V. Mathai Title: Tduality  topology change in spacetime Abstract: I will explain a geometric approach to Tduality, which is a fundamental symmetry of String Theory. In the presence of a background "Hflux", I will show that Tduality implies that a String Theory on topologically different spacetimes can be equivalent! A background in differential forms and some undergraduate topology will be useful for understanding the talk. Student Vs. Staff Football Match Speaker: A. Fernández Tojo Title: Birkhoff factorisation of loop groups Abstract: We will give an analytic proof of the Birkhoff decomposition of loop groups and explain how it provides a complete classification of holomorphic vector bundles on the Riemann sphere. Speaker: D. Roberts Title: Introduction to 2groups Abstract: Whereas a group is a set with a multiplication and an inverse satisfying some properties, a 2group is a category with a (weak) multiplication and a (weak) inverse satisfying some coherence conditions. Under another name, 2groups arose in Whitehead and MacLane's classification of lowdimensional homotopy types in the late 1940's, and are now being put to use in contemporary mathematical physics and category theory, with the "string 2group" engendering many new constructions. This talk will present an introduction to 2groups, and point towards the latest uses to which 2groups have been put. A familiarity with categories as far as knowing about natural transformations will be helpful. Speaker: P. Hekmati Title: Octonions: a panorama Abstract: “The real numbers are the dependable breadwinner of the family, the complete ordered field we all rely on. The complex numbers are a slightly flashier but still respectable younger brother: not ordered, but algebraically complete. The quaternions, being noncommutative, are the eccentric cousin who is shunned at important family gatherings. But the octonions are the crazy old uncle nobody lets out of the attic: they are nonassociative.” —John Baez. This talk will let the crazy old uncle out of the attic. Speaker: Jacob Lurie's lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 Title: TQFT and the Cobordism Hypothesis Abstract: Lecture 1 Speaker: Jacob Lurie's lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 Title: TQFT and the Cobordism Hypothesis Abstract: Lecture 2 Speaker: Jacob Lurie's lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 Title: TQFT and the Cobordism Hypothesis Abstract: Lecture 3 Speaker: Jacob Lurie's lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 Title: TQFT and the Cobordism Hypothesis Abstract: Lecture 4 Speaker: Nigel Higson's Grasp lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 Title: Khomology and index theory Abstract: Lecture 1 Speaker: Nigel Higson's Grasp lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 Title: Khomology and index theory Abstract: Lecture 2 Speaker: Nigel Higson's Grasp lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 Title: Khomology and index theory Abstract: Lecture 3 Speaker: Nigel Higson's Grasp lectures at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 Title: Khomology and index theory Abstract: Lecture 4 Speaker: Siye Wu Title: The geometry and physics of Nahm and Bogomolny equations Speaker: V. Mathai Title: Topics related to the Meinrenken's lectures I Speaker: P. Hekmati Title: Topics related to the Meinrenken's lectures II Last updated: 1 September 2011 