The Dynamics seminar meets in room B329 of Van Vleck Hall on Mondays from 2:30pm - 3:20pm. To sign up for the mailing list send an email from your wisc.edu address to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Paul Apisa, Marissa Loving, Caglar Uyanik, or Chenxi Wu. Contact Caglar Uyanik with your wisc email to get the zoom link for virtual talks.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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").
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|January 30||Pierre-Louis Blayac (Michigan)||TBA||Zhu and Zimmer|
|February 6||Karen Butt (Michigan)||TBA||Zimmer|
|February 13||Elizabeth Field (Utah)||TBA||Loving|
|February 20||Chi Cheuk Tsang (Berkeley)||TBA||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|
Chi Cheuk Tsang
Archive of past Dynamics seminars