Category Archives: 3-manifolds

Taut foliations and positive forms

This week I visited Washington University in St. Louis to give a colloquium, and caught up with a couple of my old foliations friends, namely Rachel Roberts and Larry Conlon. Actually, I had caught up with Rachel (to some extent) … Continue reading

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Groups quasi-isometric to planes

I was saddened to hear the news that Geoff Mess recently passed away, just a few days short of his 54th birthday. I first met Geoff as a beginning graduate student at Berkeley, in 1995; in fact, I believe he gave the … Continue reading

Posted in 3-manifolds, Complex analysis, Groups, Hyperbolic geometry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Div, grad, curl and all this

The title of this post is a nod to the excellent and well-known Div, grad, curl and all that by Harry Schey (and perhaps also to the lesser-known sequel to one of the more consoling histories of Great Britain), and the purpose … Continue reading

Posted in 3-manifolds, Riemannian geometry | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

3-manifolds everywhere

When I started in graduate school, I was very interested in 3-manifolds, especially Thurston’s geometrization conjecture. Somehow in dimension 3, there is a marvelous marriage of flexibility and rigidity: generic 3-manifolds are flexible enough to admit hyperbolic structures — i.e. Riemannian metrics … Continue reading

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Scharlemann on Schoenflies

Yesterday and today Marty Scharlemann gave two talks on the Schoenflies Conjecture, one of the great open problems in low dimensional topology. These talks were very clear and inspiring, and I thought it would be useful to summarize what Marty … Continue reading

Posted in 3-manifolds, 4-manifolds | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cube complexes, Reidemeister 3, zonohedra and the missing 8th region

There is an old puzzle which starts by asking: what is the next number in the sequence 1,2,4,? We are supposed to recognize the start of the sequence and answer that the next number is surely 8, because the first … Continue reading

Posted in 3-manifolds, Groups, Hyperbolic geometry, Polyhedra | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Agol’s Virtual Haken Theorem (part 3): return of the hierarchies

Ian gave his second and third talks this afternoon, completing his (quite detailed) sketch of the proof of the Virtual Haken Theorem. Recall that after work of Kahn-Markovic, Wise, Haglund-Wise and Bergeron-Wise, the proof reduces to showing the following: Theorem … Continue reading

Posted in 3-manifolds, Ergodic Theory, Groups, Hyperbolic geometry | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments