Department of Mathematics

Student Geometry/Topology

  •  Joe Melby, MSU
  •  Complexity, 3-Manifolds, and Zombies
  •  10/07/2019
  •  3:00 PM - 3:50 PM
  •  C304 Wells Hall

An important invariant of a path-connected topological space X is the number of homomorphisms from the fundamental group of X to a finite, non-abelian, simple group G. Kuperberg and Samperton proved that, although these invariants can be powerful, they are often computationally intractable, particularly when X is an integral homology 3-sphere. More specifically, they prove that the problem of counting such homomorphisms is #P-complete via a reduction from a known #P-complete circuit satisfiability problem. Their model constructs X from a well-chosen Heegaard surface and a mapping class in its Torelli group. We will introduce the basics of complexity for counting problems, summarize the reduction used by K-S to bound the problem of counting homomorphisms, and discuss some of the topological and quantum computing implications of their results.



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science