The Torelli Group, 17-21 March 2008

Master Class, by Andrew Putman (MIT)

Overview poster for the Master Classes in 2008.

The Torelli group is the subgroup of the mapping class group consisting of mapping classes which act trivially on the first homology group of the surface. Following preliminary work by Birman and her collaborators, Dennis Johnson produced a series of papers in the late 70's and early 80's which demonstrated that the Torelli group supports a surprisingly rich theory with deep ties to both 3-manifold topology and algebraic geometry. In fact, the Torelli group is the first group in an infinite filtration of the mapping class group. The terms in this filtration are linked together by the Johnson homomorphisms, whose beautiful theory dominates the subject.
The goal of this course is to cover in detail and from a modern prospective the foundations of the subject and to survey its later development.


From Monday 17 March to Friday 21 March.
All lectures take place in Aud. D4.

The schedule for the Master Class is as follows:
10:00-10:45 Lecture
10:45-11:15 Coffee break
11:15-12:00 Lecture
14:00-14:45 Lecture
14:45-15:15 Coffee break
15:15-16:00 Lecture

On Wednesday 19 March, there will be a Master Class Dinner.

List of Participants

Video Recordings

Practical Information

Organizers: Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen and Robert Penner.


Supplementary funding for this master class is provided by "Forskerskole i Matematik og anvendelser" based at the Department of Mathematics, University of Copenhagen.


Revised 22.03.2008

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