Algebra and Combinatorics Seminar
The current seminar's organizers are
ChunHung Liu and
Catherine Yan.

Date Time 
Location  Speaker 
Title – click for abstract 

01/29 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Eric Rowell TAMU 
Representations of Braid Groups and Motion Groups
Representations of braid groups appear in many (related) guises, as sources of knot and link invariants, transfer matrices in statistical mechanics, quantum gates in topological quantum computers and commutativity morphisms in braided fusion categories. Regarded as trajectories of points in the plane, the natural generalization of braid groups are groups of motions of links in 3 manifolds. While much of the representation theory of braid groups and motions groups remains mysterious, we are starting to see hints that suggest a few conjectures. I will describe a few of these conjectures and some of the progress towards verification. 

02/05 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Jurij Volcic TAMU 
Freely noncommutative Hilbert's 17th problem
One of the problems on Hilbert's 1900 list asked whether every positive rational function can be written as a sum of squares of rational functions. Its affirmative resolution by Artin in 1927 was a breakthrough for real algebraic geometry. The talk addresses the analog of this problem for positive semidefinite noncommutative rational functions. More generally, a rational Positivstellensatz on matricial sets given by linear matrix inequalities will be presented; a crucial intermediate step is an extension theorem on invertible evaluations of linear matrix pencils, which has less to do with positivity and ostensibly more to do with representation theory. One of the consequences of the Positivstellensatz is an algorithm for eigenvalue optimization of noncommutative rational functions. Finally, some contrast between the polynomial and the rational Positivstellensatz in the noncommutative setting will be discussed. 

02/12 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Alexander Ruys de Perez TAMU 
Wheels of Neural Codes: A New Criterion for Nonconvexity
A neural code C on n neurons is a collection of subsets of the set of integers {1,2,...,n}. Usually, C is paired with a collection of n open subsets of some Euclidean space, with C encoding how those open sets intersect. A central problem concerning neural codes is determining convexity; that is, if the code can encode the intersections of n convex open subsets.
In this talk, I will generalize an example of Lienkaemper, Shiu, and Woodstock (2017) into a new criterion for nonconvexity called a 'wheel'. I will show why it forbids convexity, explain how one can find it combinatorially, and provide examples of previously unclassified codes that we now know to be nonconvex due to containing a wheel. 

02/20 3:00pm 
Zoom 

CombinaTexas 

02/21 3:00pm 
Zoom 

CombinaTexas 

02/26 3:00pm 
Zoom 
He Guo Georgia Tech 
Prague dimension of random graphs
The Prague dimension of graphs was introduced by Nesetril, Pultr and Rodl in the 1970s. Proving a conjecture of Furedi and Kantor, we show that the Prague dimension of the binomial random graph is typically of order n/log n for constant edgeprobabilities. The main new proof ingredient is a PippengerSpencer type edgecoloring result for random hypergraphs with large uniformities, i.e., edges of size O(log n).
Based on joint work with Kalen Patton and Lutz Warnke. 

03/05 3:00pm 
Zoom 
ChunHung Liu TAMU 
Wellquasiordering digraphs by the strong immersion relation
A wellquasiordering is a reflexive and transitive binary relation such that every infinite sequence has a nontrivial increasing subsequence. The study of wellquasiordering was stimulated by two conjectures of Vazsonyi in 1940s: trees and subcubic graphs are wellquasiordered by the topological minor relation. It is known that the topological minor relation does not wellquasiorder all graphs. NashWilliams in 1960s introduced the notion of strong immersion and conjectured that the strong immersion relation wellquasiorders all graphs, which is a common generalization of both conjectures of Vazsonyi. In this talk we consider strong immersion on digraphs. Paths that change direction arbitrarily many times form an infinite antichain with respect to the strong immersion relation. In this talk, we will prove that it is the only obstruction. Namely, for any integer k, digraphs with no paths that change direction at least k times are wellquasiordered by the strong immersion relation. Joint work with Irene Muzi. 

03/12 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Youngho Yoo Georgia Tech 


03/26 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Zixia Song University of Central Florida 


04/09 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Anton Dochtermann Texas State University 


04/16 3:00pm 
Zoom 
Songling Shan Illinois State University 


04/23 3:00pm 
Zoom 

