Category Archives: 3-manifolds

Mr Spock complexes (after Aitchison)

The recent passing of Leonard Nimoy prompts me to recall a lesser-known connection between the great man and the theory of (cusped) hyperbolic 3-manifolds, observed by my friend and former mentor Iain Aitchison. In particular, I am moved to give a brief presentation … Continue reading

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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 , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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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 , , , , , | 7 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

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