Self-Similarity and Branching in Group Theory (08w5066)

Arriving in Banff, Alberta Sunday, October 12 and departing Friday October 17, 2008


Rostislav Grigorchuk (Texas A & M University)

(Carleton University)

Zoran Sunic (Texas A & M University)


In addition to the standard objectives of a mathematical workshop to
serve as a forum for formal exchange of information and ideas through formal
presentations, we will strongly emphasize the secondary (but nevertheless
absolutely crucial) aspects of such a meeting as a forum for informal exchange of information and ideas through informal conversations, chance meetings, learning by ``osmosis'', and so on. Furthering of the existing collaborative efforts between the participants, as well as development of new professional relations.

To accomplish these objectives the number of formal plenary presentations will be kept to 3 - 4 per day in order to save time for the following activities:

Meetings in smaller groups focused on specific aspects and goals, such as profinite aspects (B.~Steinberg, L. Ribes, M. Abert), holomorphic dynamics and iterated monodromy groups (V. Nekrashevych, K. Pilgrim, L. Bartholdi, R. Perez), amenability and probabilistic aspects (R. Grigorchuk, V. Kaimanovich, B. Virag,
T. Smirnova-Nagnibeda), algebraic and algorithmic aspects, including connections to automata (M. Sapir, O. Kharlampovich, M. Kambites, S. Sidki, Z. Sunic). All participants will be included in such activities according to their own inclination. The goal of these focused teams will be to make progress toward resolving some of the more challenging problems in the area, at least at the level of establishing lasting and directed collaborative efforts, based on
sound working ideas and strategies.

Demonstration of GAP packages for working with self-similar groups, developed by graduate students D. Savchuk and Y. Muntyan at Texas A & M University. The work on the packages was supported by an NSF grant of R. Grigorchuk and Z. Sunic and the packages will be made accessible to anyone interested in using them.

Problem session in the beginning (and also possibly at the end) of the Workshop.