Getting a handle on contact manifolds

Symplectic Dynamics/Geometry Seminar
Topic:Getting a handle on contact manifolds
Speaker:Kevin Sackel
Affiliation:MIT
Date:Monday, February 11
Time/Room:3:30pm - 5:00pm/Princeton University, Fine 224

Analogous to Weinstein structures in symplectic geometry, there is a notion of convex structures in contact geometry. We discuss an explicit surgery theory for contact manifolds with convex structures, showing that they naturally decompose into handles, just like in the Weinstein setting. We also explore the relationship between these handle decompositions and Weinstein open books, proving as a corollary that every closed contact manifold has a convex structure, and hence a handle decomposition.