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July 2018
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Events on Friday 23 March 2018

Computing trisections of 4-manifolds
13:10 Fri 23 Mar, 2018 :: Barr Smith South Polygon Lecture theatre :: Stephen Tillmann :: University of Sydney

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Gay and Kirby recently generalised Heegaard splittings of 3-manifolds to trisections of 4-manifolds. A trisection describes a 4–dimensional manifold as a union of three 4–dimensional handlebodies. The complexity of the 4–manifold is captured in a collection of curves on a surface, which guide the gluing of the handelbodies. The minimal genus of such a surface is the trisection genus of the 4-manifold. After defining trisections and giving key examples and applications, I will describe an algorithm to compute trisections of 4–manifolds using arbitrary triangulations as input. This results in the first explicit complexity bounds for the trisection genus of a 4–manifold in terms of the number of pentachora (4–simplices) in a triangulation. This is joint work with Mark Bell, Joel Hass and Hyam Rubinstein. I will also describe joint work with Jonathan Spreer that determines the trisection genus for each of the standard simply connected PL 4-manifolds.
Complexity of 3-Manifolds
15:10 Fri 23 Mar, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: A/Prof Stephan Tillmann :: University of Sydney

In this talk, I will give a general introduction to complexity of 3-manifolds and explain the connections between combinatorics, algebra, geometry, and topology that arise in its study. The complexity of a 3-manifold is the minimum number of tetrahedra in a triangulation of the manifold. It was defined and first studied by Matveev in 1990. The complexity is generally difficult to compute, and various upper and lower bounds have been derived during the last decades using fundamental group, homology or hyperbolic volume. Effective bounds have only been found in joint work with Jaco, Rubinstein and, more recently, Spreer. Our bounds not only allowed us to determine the first infinite classes of minimal triangulations of closed 3-manifolds, but they also lead to a structure theory of minimal triangulations of 3-manifolds.
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