University of Edinburgh
School of Mathematics

Topology Seminars

Spring/Summer 2013

The Scottish Topology Seminar was the Edinburgh-based topology seminar initiated by Elmer Rees in 1981, as the first such seminar in Scotland.
The name is being taken over by a new joint venture, a peripatetic seminar which will be run jointly by
Richard Hepworth (Aberdeen), Brendan Owens (Glasgow) and Andrew Ranicki (Edinburgh).
The School Topology Seminar will continue as a separate entity.
The Scottish Topology Seminar is generously supported by a grant from the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust.
There will be at least 3 meetings a year, rotating between a permutation of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.
The inaugural meeting of the new Scottish Topology Seminar took place in Edinburgh on 21st March - details below. The next meeting will be in Glasgow on 20th September

Wednesday, 31st July
HNN splittings of knot groups
Stefan Friedl (Cologne and Regensburg)
4.00PM, Room 5327, JCMB

Thursday, 9th May
The triangulation of topological manifolds
Frank Quinn (Virginia Tech and Max Planck Institute, Bonn)
4.15PM, Room 6206, JCMB
Visit supported by the Edinburgh Mathematical Society

Friday, 3rd May
Dehn surgery on hyperbolic knots
Fionntan Roukema (Sheffield)
3.00PM, Room 6206, JCMB
Abstract Video

Friday, 5th April
Double knot concordance groups
Neal Stoltzfus (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge)
4.00PM, Room 4312, JCMB

Tuesday, 2nd April
Topological data analysis: reconstructing persistent structures from noisy images of graphs in the plane
Vitaliy Kurlin (Durham)
(Joint with Informatics)
3.00PM, Room 4.33, Informatics Forum
Video Slides

Thursday, 21st March
Scottish Topology Seminar meeting #1 at ICMS, 15 South College Street
2.00-3.00PM Geometry in the 21st Century Sir Michael Atiyah (Edinburgh)
3.10-4.10PM Polynomial upper bounds on Reidemeister moves, Marc Lackenby (Oxford)
4.40-5.40PM 50 years of index theory, Sir Michael Atiyah (Edinburgh)
Attendance is by registration. Please email by 14 March to register. Poster.

Friday, 8th March
Knots, links and braids in magnetic fields
Gunnar Hornig (Dundee)
4.00PM, Room 5215, JCMB
Abstract Poster Video

Friday, 8th February
Maxwell Institute Lecture
Modular Forms and Black Holes: from Ramanujan to Hawking
Don Zagier (MPIM, Bonn and College de France, Paris)
4.00PM, Lecture Room C, JCMB
Poster Video

Friday, 1st February
Random points on spheres
Mike Fourman (Informatics, UoE)
4.00PM, Room 6301, JCMB

Autumn 2012

Rob Kirby (Berkeley) is visiting Edinburgh in November.
The visit is supported by Scheme 2 of the London Mathematical Society.
Rob is giving a course of 12 lectures on the triangulation of topological manifolds,
The lectures are being recorded: see
for the links to the videos of the lectures of November 5,7,9,12,14,16,19,21.
The remaining 4 lectures will take place on November 23,26,28,30 at 5PM, in Lecture Room A, JCMB.

Tuesday, November 27, 5.30PM, Lecture Room A, JCMB
Rob Kirby (Berkeley) Morse 2-functions and trisections of 4-manifolds
Abstract: In joint work with David Gay, we show existence and uniqueness
of Morse 2-functions (also known as broken Lefschetz fibrations), and then existence and uniqueness
(up to stabilization) of trisections of 4-manifolds (analogous to Heegaard splittings of 3-manifolds).

Wednesday, November 7, 5.00PM, Lecture Room C, JCMB
Sir Michael Atiyah (Edinburgh) Chern classes for Real vector bundles. Video
Abstract: Mod 2 invariants, such as the Rochlin invariant, have links to analysis.
In my lecture I will be investigating a new version of Chern classes that may shed light on these matters.

Wednesday, November 7, 3.30PM, Lecture Room C, JCMB
Lecture #2 of Rob Kirby The Arf/Rochlin invariant in manifold topology.
Abstract: I will discuss how the Arf invariant of a Z/2 enhancement of
a Z/2 intersection form is important in dimensions one (knot theory) through infinity.
This is a historical talk at a colloquium-level. Familiarity with Lecture #1 will not be assumed.

Jones Polynomial, the Potts Model and Khovanov Homology (Joint with EMPG)
Lou Kauffman (Illinois and Isaac Newton Institute)
4.00PM, Wednesday, 31st October, Room 7.01, David Hume Tower
Abstract Video slides

The tale of a knot - the story of Peter Guthrie Tait
Popular lecture, Julia Collins (Edinburgh)
4.10PM, Friday, 26th October, Lecture Room C, JCMB.
Poster. Video.
Video of the Gresham College, London version of the lecture, given on 31st October.

The topology of US politics
Popular lecture, Mikael Vejdemo-Johannson (KTH, Stockholm)
4.10PM, Monday, 15th October, Room 6206, JCMB.
Poster Video

Invertible topological quantum field theories
Mathias Kreck (Bonn)
3.00PM, Monday, 1st October, Room 4312, JCMB.
Visit supported by the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust