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Caltech/USC/UCLA Joint Topology Seminar

Monday, April 15, 2019
4:00pm to 4:50pm
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Bridge trisections and the Thom conjecture
Peter Lambert-Cole, School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology,

UCLA MS 6221

The classical degree-genus formula computes the genus of a nonsingular algebraic curve in the complex projective plane. The well-known Thom conjecture posits that this is a lower bound on the genus of smoothly embedded, oriented and connected surface in CP2. The conjecture was first proved twenty-five years ago by Kronheimer and Mrowka, using Seiberg-Witten invariants. In this talk, we will describe a new proof of the conjecture that combines contact geometry with the novel theory of bridge trisections of knotted surfaces. Notably, the proof completely avoids any gauge theory or pseudoholomorphic curve techniques.

For more information, please contact Math Dept. by phone at 626-395-4335 or by email at mathinfo@caltech.edu.