Symmetry in Newcastle

10:00 am — 4:30 pm

Friday, 6th Mar 2020

V107, Mathematics Building


10.00-11.00: Waltraud Lederle
11.00-11.30: Morning Tea
11.30-12.30: Mark Pengitore
12.30-14.00: Lunch
14.00-15.00: Jeroen Schillewaert
15.00-15.30: Afternoon Tea
15.30-16.00: François Thilmany

Dr Jeroen Schillewaert

(Department of Mathematics, The University of Auckland)

Fixed points for group actions on $2$-dimensional affine buildings

We prove a local-to-global result for fixed points of groups acting on $2$-dimensional affine buildings (possibly non-discrete, and not of type $\tilde{G}_{2}$). In the discrete case, our theorem establishes two conjectures by Marquis. (joint work with Koen Struyve and Anne Thomas)

Dr François Thilmany

(UC Louvain)

Lattices of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_n$

A classical result of Siegel asserts that the (2,3,7)-triangle group attains the smallest covolume among lattices of $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{R})$. In general, given a semisimple Lie group $G$ over some local field $F$, one may ask which lattices in $G$ attain the smallest covolume. A complete answer to this question seems out of reach at the moment; nevertheless, many steps have been made in the last decades. Inspired by Siegel's result, Lubotzky determined that a lattice of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_2(F)$ with $F=\mathbb{F}_q((t))$ is given by the so-called characteristic $p$ modular group $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{F}_q[1/t])$. He noted that, in contrast with Siegel’s lattice, the quotient by $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{F}_q[1/t])$ was not compact, and asked what the typical situation should be: "for a semisimple Lie group over a local field, is a lattice of minimal covolume a cocompact or nonuniform lattice?".
In the talk, we will review some of the known results, and then discuss the case of $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{R})$ for $n > 2$. It turns out that, up to automorphism, the unique lattice of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{R})$ ($n > 2$) is $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{Z})$. In particular, it is not uniform, giving a partial answer to Lubotzky’s question in this case.

Dr Waltraud Lederle

(UC Louvain)

Conjugacy and dynamics in the almost automorphism group of a tree

We define the almost automorphism group of a regular tree, also known as Neretin's group, and determine when two elements are conjugate. (joint work with Gil Goffer)

Assistant Prof Mark Pengitore

(Ohio State University)

Translation-like actions on nilpotent groups

Whyte introduced translation-like actions of groups as a geometric generalization of subgroup containment. He then proved a geometric reformulation of the von Neumann conjecture by demonstrating that a finitely generated group is non amenable if and only it admits a translation-like action by a non-abelian free group. This provides motivation for the study of what groups can act translation-like on other groups. As a consequence of Gromov’s polynomial growth theorem, virtually nilpotent groups can act translation-like on other nilpotent groups. We demonstrate that if two nilpotent groups have the same growth, but non-isomorphic Carnot completions, then they can't act translation-like on each other. (joint work with David Cohen)