On characters and words in groups

 Mathematical Conversations Topic: On characters and words in groups Speaker: Ori Parzanchevski Affiliation: Member, School of Mathematics Date: Wednesday, April 9 Time/Room: 6:00pm - 7:00pm/Dilworth Room

In 1896, Frobenius obtained a remarkable character-theoretic formula for the number of solutions to the equation $xyx^{-1}y^{-1}=g$, for any finite group $G$ and element $g \in G$. While more than a century has since passed, our understanding of this kind of results is far from complete. I will tell of what is known, and of some fascinating open questions. About Mathematical Conversations: We meet in Harry's Bar at 6pm, where free drinks are provided. After 20 minutes, we move to the Dilworth room, where the speaker gives a 20-minute talk, followed by 15 minutes of discussion with the audience. After that we return to the bar for further discussions. Website: http://www.math.ias.edu/~nicks/conversations.html