### Topological complexity

Rummaging in the arXiv I ran across this article and the notion of topological complexity which is really appealing. The idea of topological complexity isn’t quite new, it was developed by M. Farber in a short article published in 2003 in Discrete & Computational Geometry. The article doesn’t even have a proper review on MathSciNet, … Continue reading "Topological complexity"

### Database of online seminar talks

Due to the current situation there are numerous online seminar talks organized all over the world. I was quite happy to discover this week that the website researchseminars.org maintains a useful database of online seminars and conferences, focusing on mathematics and related fields. The website is supported by the American Mathematical Society, the MIT and … Continue reading "Database of online seminar talks"

### The commutator subgroups of surface groups

Every subgroup of infinite index in a surface group is a free group. There are many ways to see this, for instance, using a bit of topology. An infinite index subgroup corresponds to a covering space with infinitely many sheets and this covering space is a non-compact surface. By a result of Whitehead it deformation … Continue reading "The commutator subgroups of surface groups"

### Condensed mathematics

This post is inspired by Alex Engel’s post “Validity of results II” on incorrect results and computer proof checking. Before I get there, let me start with some background first and reveal the connection later. Dustin Clausen and Peter Scholze have put forward the idea of “condensed mathematics” which aims at replacing topological spaces by … Continue reading "Condensed mathematics"

### The group of germs at infinity of line homeomorphisms

Recently, I learned that the group G∞ of germs at +∞ of orientation preserving homeomorphisms of the real line has two remarkable properites: it is simple and left-orderable. I thought it is maybe worth to share some background on left-orderability (and why this might be interesting). Let’s start with a definition: A group G is … Continue reading "The group of germs at infinity of line homeomorphisms"