Mathematical Conversations | |

Topic: | Heegaard splittings and the stabilization problem for 3-manifolds |

Speaker: | Abigail Thompson |

Affiliation: | University of California, Davis; Member, School of Mathematics |

Date: | Wednesday, January 20 |

Time/Room: | 6:00pm - 7:00pm/Dilworth Room |

All 3-manifolds can be decomposed into two simple objects, or handlebodies. Some manifolds have many such decompositions, which are distinct. All, however, are related by the operation of stabilization and destabilization. Given two decompositions of the same manifold, one can ask how many stabilizations are needed to make them equivalent. I'll discuss what's known and unknown about this problem.