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Contact topology and geometry in high dimensions (Prof. Bahar Acu)

April 27 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Title: Contact topology and geometry in high dimensions

Speaker: Bahar Acu, Department of Mathematics, Pitzer College

Abstract: A very useful strategy in studying topological manifolds is to factor them into “smaller” pieces. An open book decomposition of an n-manifold (the open book) is a special map (fibration) that helps us study our manifold in terms of its (n-1)-dimensional submanifolds (i.e. fibers=the pages) and (n-2)-dimensional boundary of these submanifolds (the binding). Open books provide a natural framework for studying topological properties of certain geometric structures on smooth manifolds such as “contact structures”. Thanks to open books, contact manifolds, odd dimensional manifolds carrying these geometric structures, can be studied from an entirely topological viewpoint. For example, every contact 3-manifold can be presented as an open book whose pages are surfaces and binding is a knot/link. In this talk, we will talk about higher-dimensional contact manifolds and provide a setting where we study these manifolds in terms of 3D open books. We present various results along with examples concerning geometric and topological aspects of these manifolds.

Dr. Bahar Acu (pronounced: Ah-Joo) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Pitzer College since Spring 2022. Prior to joining Claremont Colleges, Dr. Acu held positions at UCLA, Northwestern, ETH Zürich, and IAS Princeton following a Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California in 2017. Dr. Acu’s primary research interests are in the field of geometric topology, more precisely contact and symplectic topology in high dimensions and their relations with low-dimensional topology. While doing so, Dr. Acu actively thinks about ways in which the math community at large can improve and promote the presence and visibility of more first-gen, womxn, queer, and many other historically underrepresented individuals in math in various mathematical events and projects. Dr. Acu continues to hope that more of the math colleagues join these efforts in their day-to-day navigation in math in any beneficial way they can.


April 27
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
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