Dynamics Seminar
During the Spring 2023 semester, the Dynamics seminar meets in room 2425 of Sterling Hall on Mondays from 2:30pm - 3:20pm. To sign up for the mailing list send an email from your wisc.edu address to dynamics+join@g-groups.wisc.edu. For more information, contact Paul Apisa, Marissa Loving, Caglar Uyanik, Chenxi Wu or Andy Zimmer.
Spring 2023
date | speaker | title | host(s) |
---|---|---|---|
January 30 | Pierre-Louis Blayac (Michigan) | Divisible convex sets with properly embedded cones | Zhu and Zimmer |
February 6 | Karen Butt (Michigan) | Quantitative marked length spectrum rigidity | Zimmer |
February 13 | Elizabeth Field (Utah) | TBA | Loving |
February 20 | Chi Cheuk Tsang (Berkeley) | Dilatations of pseudo-Anosov maps and standardly embedded train tracks | Loving |
February 27 | Caglar Uyanik (UW Madison) | TBA | local |
March 6 | Filippo Mazzoli (UVA) | TBA | Zhu |
March 13 | Spring Break, No Seminar | ||
March 20 | Rose Morris-Wright (Middlebury) | TBA | Dymarz |
March 27 | Carolyn Abbott (Brandeis) | TBA | Dymarz and Uyanik |
April 3 | Samantha Fairchild (Osnabrück) | TBA | Apisa |
April 10 | Jon Chaika (Utah) | TBA | Uyanik |
April 17 | Mikolaj Fraczyk (Chicago) | TBA | Skenderi and Zimmer |
April 24 | Tarik Aougab (Haverford) | TBA | Loving |
May 1 | Didac Martinez-Granado (UC Davis) | TBA | Uyanik |
Spring Abstracts
Pierre-Louis Blayac
A divisible convex set is a convex, bounded, and open subset of an affine chart of the real projective space, on which acts cocompactly a discrete group of projective transformations. These objects have a very rich theory, which involves ideas from dynamical systems, geometric group theory, (G,X)-structures and Riemannian geometry with nonpositive curvature. Moreover, they are an important source of examples of discrete subgroups of Lie groups; for instance they have links with Anosov representations. In this talk, we will survey known examples of divisible convex sets, and then describe new examples obtained in collaboration with Gabriele Viaggi, of irreducible, non-symmetric, and non-strictly convex divisible convex sets in arbitrary dimensions (at least 3).
Karen Butt
The marked length spectrum of a closed Riemannian manifold of negative curvature is a function on the free homotopy classes of closed curves which assigns to each class the length of its unique geodesic representative. It is known in certain cases that the marked length spectrum determines the metric up to isometry, and this is conjectured to be true in general. In this talk, we explore to what extent the marked length spectrum on a sufficiently large finite set approximately determines the metric.
Elizabeth Field
Chi Cheuk Tsang
The dilatation of a pseudo-Anosov map is a measure of the complexity of its dynamics. The minimum dilatation problem asks for the minimum dilatation among all pseudo-Anosov maps defined on a fixed surface, which can be thought of as the smallest amount of mixing one can perform while still doing something topologically interesting. In this talk, we present some recent work on this problem with Eriko Hironaka, which shows a sharp lower bound for dilatations of fully-punctured pseudo-Anosov maps with at least two puncture orbits. We will explain some ideas in the proof, including standardly embedded train tracks and Perron-Frobenius matrices.
Caglar Uyanik
Filippo Mazzoli
Rose Morris-Wright
Carolyn Abbott
Samantha Fairchild
Jon Chaika
Mikolaj Fraczyk
Tarik Aougab
Didac Martinez-Granado
Fall 2022
Fall Abstracts
Jing Tao
By Nielsen-Thurston classification, every homeomorphism of a surface is isotopic to one of three types: finite order, reducible, or pseudo-Anosov. While there are these three types, it is natural to wonder which type is more prevalent. In any reasonable way to sample matrices in SL(2,Z), irreducible matrices should be generic. One expects something similar for pseudo-Anosov maps. In joint work with Erlandsson and Souto, we define a notion of genericity and show that pseudo-Anosov maps are indeed generic. More precisely, we consider several "norms" on the mapping class group of the surface, and show that the proportion of pseudo-Anosov maps in a ball of radius r tends to 1 as r tends to infinity. The norms can be thought of as the natural analogues of matrix norms on SL(2,Z).
Rebekah Palmer
Studying totally geodesic surfaces has been essential in understanding the geometry and topology of hyperbolic 3-manifolds. Recently, Bader--Fisher--Miller--Stover showed that containing infinitely many such surfaces compels a manifold to be arithmetic. We are hence interested in counting totally geodesic surfaces in hyperbolic 3-manifolds in the finite (possibly zero) case. In joint work with Khánh Lê, we expand an obstruction, due to Calegari, to the existence of these surfaces. On the flipside, we prove the uniqueness of known totally geodesic surfaces by considering their behavior in the universal cover. This talk will explore this progress for both the uniqueness and the absence.
Beibei Liu
The critical exponent is an important numerical invariant of discrete groups acting on negatively curved Hadamard manifolds, Gromov hyperbolic spaces, and higher-rank symmetric spaces. In this talk, I will focus on discrete groups acting on hyperbolic spaces (i.e., Kleinian groups), which is a family of important examples of these three types of spaces. In particular, I will review the classical result relating the critical exponent to the Hausdorff dimension using the Patterson-Sullivan theory and introduce new results about Kleinian groups with small or large critical exponents.
Grace Work
The shrinking target problem characterizes when there is a full measure set of points that hit a decreasing family of target sets under a given flow. This question is closely related to the Borel Cantilli lemma and also gives rise to logarithm laws. We will examine the discrete shrinking target problem in a general and then more specifically in the setting of Teichmuller flow on the moduli space of unit-area quadratic differentials.
Jean Pierre Mutanguha
The Nielsen–Thurston theory of surface homeomorphisms can be thought of as a surface analogue to the Jordan Canonical Form. I will discuss my progress in developing a similar canonical form for free group automorphisms. (Un)Fortunately, free group automorphisms can have arbitrarily complicated behaviour. This is a significant barrier to translating arguments that worked for surfaces into the free group setting; nevertheless, the overall ideas/strategies do translate!
Anthony Sanchez
Platonic solids have been studied for thousands of years. By unfolding a platonic solid we can associate to it a translation surface. Interesting information about the underlying platonic solid can be discovered in the cover where more (dynamical and geometric) structure is present. The translation covers we consider have a large group of symmetries that leave the global composition of the surface unchanged. However, the local structure of paths on the surface is often sensitive to these symmetries. The Kontsevich-Zorich mondromy group keeps track of this sensitivity.
In joint work with R. Gutiérrez-Romo and D. Lee, we study the monodromy groups of translation covers of some platonic solids and show that the Zariski closure is a power of SL(2,R). We prove our results by finding generators for the monodromy groups, using a theorem of Matheus–Yoccoz–Zmiaikou that provides constraints on the Zariski closure of the groups (to obtain an "upper bound"), and analyzing the dimension of the Lie algebra of the Zariski closure of the group (to obtain a "lower bound").
Feng Zhu
Putting hyperbolic metrics on a finite-type surface S gives us linear representations of the fundamental group of S into PSL(2,R) with many nice geometric and dynamical properties: for instance they are discrete and faithful, and in fact stably quasi-isometrically embedded.
In this talk, we will introduce (relatively) Anosov representations, which generalise this picture to higher-rank Lie groups such as PSL(d,R) for d>2, giving us a class of (relatively) hyperbolic subgroups there with similarly good geometric and dynamical properties.
This is mostly joint work with Andrew Zimmer.
Ethan Farber
A pseudo-Anosov (pA) is a homeomorphism of a compact connected surface S that, away from a finite set of points, acts locally as a linear map with one expanding and one contracting eigendirection. Ubiquitous yet mysterious, pAs have fascinated low-dimensional topologists and dynamicists for the past forty years. We show that any pA on the sphere whose associated quadratic differential has at most one zero, admits an invariant train track whose expanding subgraph is an interval. Concretely, such a pA has the dynamics of an interval map. As an application, we recover a uniform lower bound on the entropy of these pAs originally due to Boissy-Lanneau. Time permitting, we will also discuss potential applications to a question of Fried. This is joint work with Karl Winsor.
Lukas Geyer
Recently there has been an increased interest in complex dynamics of orientation-reversing maps, in particular in the context of gravitational lensing and as an analogue of reflection groups in Sullivan's dictionary between Kleinian groups and dynamics of (anti-)rational maps. Much of the theory parallels the orientation-preserving case, but there are some intriguing differences. In order to deal with the post-critically finite case, we study anti-Thurston maps (orientation-reversing versions of Thurston maps), and prove an orientation-reversing analogue of Thurston's topological classification of post-critically finite rational maps, as well as the canonical decomposition of obstructed maps, following Pilgrim and Selinger. Using these tools, we obtain a combinatorial classification of critically fixed anti-Thurston maps, extending a recently obtained classification of critically fixed anti-rational maps. If time allows, I will explain applications of this classification to gravitational lensing. Most of this is based on joint work with Mikhail Hlushchanka.
Harry Baik
I will give a brief introduction to laminar groups which are groups of orientation-preserving homeomorphisms of the circle admitting invariant laminations. The term was coined by Calegari and the study of laminar groups was motivated by work of Thurston and Calegari-Dunfield. We present old and new results on laminar groups which tell us when a given laminar group is either fuchsian or Kleinian. This is based on joint work with KyeongRo Kim and Hongtaek Jung.
MurphyKate Montee
Random groups are one way to study "typical" behavior of groups. In the Gromov density model, we often find that properties have a threshold density above which the property is satisfied with probability 1, and below which it is satisfied with probability 0. Two properties of random groups that have been well studied are cubulation (and relaxations of this property) and Property (T). In this setting these are mutually exclusive properties, but threshold densities are not known for either property. In this talk I'll present the current state of the art regarding these properties in random groups, and discuss some ways to further these results.
Marissa Loving
A fundamental question in geometry is the extent to which a manifold M is determined by its length spectrum, i.e. the collection of lengths of closed geodesics on M. This has been studied extensively for flat, hyperbolic, and negatively curved metrics. In this talk, we will focus on surfaces equipped with a choice of hyperbolic metric. We will explore the space between (1) work of Otal (resp. Fricke) which asserts that the marked length spectrum (resp. marked simple length spectrum) determines a hyperbolic surface, and (2) celebrated constructions of Vignéras and Sunada, which show that this rigidity fails when we forget the marking. In particular, we will consider the extent to which the unmarked simple length spectrum distinguishes between hyperbolic surfaces arising from Sunada’s construction. This represents joint work with Tarik Aougab, Max Lahn, and Nick Miller.
Tina Torkaman
In this talk, I will talk about the (geometric) intersection number between closed geodesics on finite volume hyperbolic surfaces. Specifically, I will discuss the optimum upper bound on the intersection number in terms of the product of hyperbolic lengths. I also talk about the equidistribution of the intersection points between closed geodesics.
Archive of past Dynamics seminars
2021-2022 Dynamics_Seminar_2021-2022
2020-2021 Dynamics_Seminar_2020-2021