*This seminar series gives visitors and staff members the opportunity to explain the context and aims of their work. These research talks cover any field in the mathematical sciences, and should be presented in a way that is understandable and interesting to a broad audience.* *Seminar information and recordings can be found below and in the SMRI Seminar YouTube playlist.*

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##### SMRI Seminar ‘Condensation of anyons in topological states of matter and structure theory of E_2-algebras’

**Alexei Davydov**, Ohio University

**Alexei Davydov**

**13 December 2021**

*Abstract:* The talk will be on the algebraic structure present in both parts of the title. This algebraic story is most pronounced for E2-algebras in the category of 2-vector spaces (also known as braided fusion categories). Condensation gives rise to an equivalence relation on such E2-algebras (Witt equivalence) with sets of equivalence classes exhibiting nice properties, e.g. being abelian groups (Witt groups). The Witt group of braided fusion categories is a countably generated abelian group with the torsion part annihilated by 32. Watch the recording.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘Quantum geometry of 3-dimensional lattices’

**Vladimir Bazhanov**, The Australian National University

**Vladimir Bazhanov**

**26 October 2021**

*Abstract:* In this lecture I will explain a relationship between incidence theorems in elementary geometry and the theory of integrable systems, both classical and quantum. We will study geometric consistency relations between angles of 3-dimensional (3D) circular quadrilateral lattices — lattices whose faces are planar quadrilaterals inscribable into a circle. We show that these relations generate canonical transformations of a remarkable “ultra-local” Poisson bracket algebra defined on discrete 2D surfaces consisting of circular quadrilaterals. Quantization of this structure allowed us to obtain new solutions of the tetrahedron equation (the 3D analog of the Yang-Baxter equation) as well as reproduce all those that were previously known. These solutions generate an infinite number of non-trivial solutions of the Yang-Baxter equation and also define integrable 3D models of statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. The latter can be thought of as describing quantum fluctuations of lattice geometry. Watch the recording.

##### SMRI Seminar Series ‘SMRI course on Yang-Baxter maps’

Vladimir Bazhanov, The Australian National University

**August 2021**

*Abstract:* Vladimir Bazhanov will give a short course of lectures on Yang-Baxter maps. The topic lies on the intersection of the theory of quantum groups and discrete integrable equations. Watch the recordings.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘Root components for tensor product of affine Kac-Moody Lie algebra modules’

**Behrouz Taji**, University of Sydney

**10 June 2021**

*Abstract:* In the 1920s, building on Fermat’s Last Theorem, Mordell conjectured that the set of rational points of any smooth projective curve of genus at least two, over any number field, is finite. In the 1960s, Shafarevich turned this into a purely algebro-geometric conjecture involving families of smooth projective curves. Parshin, Arakelov and Faltings settled this conjecture by showing that the base spaces of such families are in some sense hyperbolic, as long as there is some variation in the algebraic structure of the fibers. Inspired by recent advances in birational geometry, Kebekus and Kovacs conjectured that these hyperbolicity type properties should hold for a vast class of projective families, with fibers of arbitrary dimension. In this talk I will discuss this conjecture and my solution to it. I will also talk about more recent progress in this area, based on a joint work with Kovacs (University of Washington). Read the notes.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘Generic pipe dreams, conormal matrix Schubert varieties and the commuting variety’

**Paul Zinn-Justin**, University of Melbourne

**Paul Zinn-Justin**

**9 June 2021**

*Abstract:* In the first part of the talk, I will review Grobner degenerations of matrix Schubert varieties, following Knutson et al and others. I will interpret this in terms of quantum integrable systems and discuss how this construction is not entirely satisfactory and needs to be generalized. Then I will provide such a generalization; we’ll work with the “lower-upper scheme”; one component of which is closely related to the commuting variety. We’ll discuss applications to the latter.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘Base change and representation growth of arithmetic groups’

**Uri Onn**, The Australian National University

**Uri Onn**

**3 June 2021**

*Abstract:* A group is said to have polynomial representation growth if the sequence enumerating the isomorphism classes of finite dimensional irreducible representations according to their dimension is polynomially bounded. The representation zeta function of such group is the associated Dirichlet generating series. In this talk I will focus on representation zeta functions of arithmetic groups and their properties. I will explain the ideas behind a proof of a variant of the Larsen-Lubotzky conjecture on the representation growth of arithmetic lattices in high rank semisimple Lie groups (joint with Nir Avni, Benjamin Klopsch and Christopher Voll) and analogous results for arithmetic groups of type A_2 in positive characteristic (joint with Amritanshu Prasad and Pooja Singla). Watch the recording.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘On the space of properly convex projective structures’

**Stephan Tillmann**, University of Sydney

**Stephan Tillmann**

**20 May 2021**

*Abstract:* This talk will be in two parts. I will outline joint work with Daryl Cooper concerning the space of holonomies of properly convex real projective structures on manifolds whose fundamental group satisfies a few natural properties. This generalises previous work by Benoist for closed manifolds. A key example, computed with Joan Porti, is used to illustrate the main results. Watch the recording.

##### SMRI Seminar ‘Expansions, completions and automorphisms of welded tangled foams’

**Marcy Robertson**, University of Melbourne

**Marcy Robertson**

**22 April 2021**

*Abstract:* Welded tangles are knotted surfaces in R^4. Bar-Natan and Dancso described a class of welded tangles which have “foamed vertices” where one allows surfaces to merge and split. The resulting welded tangled foams carry an algebraic structure, similar to the planar algebras of Jones, called a circuit algebra. In joint work with Dancso and Halacheva we provide a one-to-one correspondence between circuit algebras and a form of rigid tensor category called “wheeled props.” This is a higher dimensional version of the well-known algebraic classification of planar algebras as certain pivotal categories.

This classification allows us to connect these “welded tangled foams” to the Kashiwara-Vergne conjecture in Lie theory. In work in progress, we show that the group of homotopy automorphisms of the (rational completion of) the wheeled prop of welded foams is isomorphic to the group of symmetries KV, which acts on the solutions to the Kashiwara-Vergne conjecture. Moreover, we explain how this approach illuminates the close relationship between the group KV and the pro-unipotent Grothendieck–Teichmueller group. Watch the recording.

*Biography: *Marcy Robertson obtained her PhD in Algebraic Topology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. From there she worked in Canada, France and her native United States before settling down in Australia 2015. She is now a Senior Lecturer of Pure Mathematics at the University of Melbourne.

##### SMRI Seminar Double Header ‘Recent progress on the effective Mordell problem’

**Adam Piggott**, Australian National University & **Murray Elder**, University of Technology Sydney

**Adam Piggott**

**Murray Elder**

**8 April 2021**

*Abstract:* A program of research, started in the 1980s, seeks to classify the groups that can be presented by various classes of length-reducing rewriting systems. We discuss the resolution of one part of the program (joint work with Andy Eisenberg (Temple University), and recent related work with Murray Elder (UTS). Watch the recording.

*Elder Biography: *The growth function of a finitely generated group is a powerful and well-studied invariant. Gromov’s celebrated theorem states that a group has a polynomial growth function if and only if the group is ‘virtually nilpotent’. Of interest is a variant called the ‘geodesic growth function’ which counts the number of minimal-length words in a group with respect to some finite generating set. I will explain progress made towards an analogue of Gromov’s theorem in this case.

I will start by defining all of the terms used in this abstract (finitely generated group; growth function; virtual property of a group; nilpotent) and then give some details of the recent progress made. The talk is based on the papers arxiv.org/abs/1009.5051, arxiv.org/abs/1908.07294 and arxiv.org/abs/2007.06834 by myself, Alex Bishop, Martin Brisdon, José Burillo and Zoran Šunić.