2014-2015 Bowen Lectures

The Spring 2015 Bowen Lectures were given by Dusa McDuff of Barnard College, Columbia University, on March 17th, 18th and 19th, 2015. Each lecture begins at 4:10pm and ends at 5:00pm.

Series Title: Symplectic topology today

Tuesday March 17th
Lecture 1: Overview of symplectic geometry
2060 Valley Life Sciences Building

Wednesday March 18th
Lecture 2: Symplectomorphism groups
106 Stanley Hall

Thursday March 19th
Lecture 3: Symplectic embeddings: constructions and obstructions
60 Evans Hall

Series Abstract:

Symplectic geometry is the geometry of a skew symmetric bilinear form. It has grown in the last thirty years into a vibrant part of differential topology with much intrinsic interest, as well as many applications to other fields such as low dimensional topology, dynamical systems and algebraic geometry. One of its most distinctive features is the intriguing interplay between rigidity and flexibility: in some situations there are delicate symplectic invariants, in others, seemingly not too different, almost anything is possible. The first of these talks will give an overview of the subject. Starting with basic definitions, it explains some of what is known and some of what is still not known.

An important feature of symplectic structures is that they have many symmetries, called symplectomorphisms. The second talk will describe some results and open problems about groups of symplectomorphisms. The third talk will be about symplectic embeddings, describing both some constructions and some obstructions.