The objective of the project is to increase the US participation in the Workshop on Geometric Group Theory held at the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, with a particular emphasis on graduate students, junior researchers and minorities underrepresented in the mathematical sciences. The workshop will focus on the interactions between geometric group theory and non-commutative geometry, in particular, on approximation properties including amenability, the Haagerup property, property A (exactness of groups), their connections to ordinary group cohomology and bounded cohomology and applications to the Baum-Connes and Novikov conjectures.

The workshop, to be held in Bristol, UK, will serve as an excellent international platform for exchanging ideas. It will feature open problem sessions, ``ask the expert" question-and-answer sessions aimed at junior researchers and will provide a perfect opportunity for young mathematicians to establish connections and new collaborations which will benefit them in the future. Europe and the United States have leading researchers working in geometric and analytic group theory and there is an ongoing need for sharing knowledge in this active area of mathematical research.

This project is jointly funded by the Topology Program and the Analysis Program.

Project Report

held at the University of Bristol, June 20-24, 2011. The workshop was co-organized by the PI, the co-PI and Professor Graham Niblo of University of Southampton.The grant covered travel for 3 graduate students and 2 postdoctoral researchers, some of which gave presentations on their research during the workshop. The funds provided also were used to support 2 tenure or tenure-track faculty, who delivered introductory talks on topics discussed in the workshop as well as research talks on their latest findings. The project had several important outcomes. It allowed young researchers attend an international conference, at which some of the leading researchers presented their recent results in the area. The workshop featured five introductory lectures, aimed at graduate students and postdocs, during which specialists gave accesible overviews of some of the topics discussed at the workshop. This provided an opportunity to learn about new areas and gueranteed that the later research talks was as beneficial for the audience as possible. There was also an "Ask the expert" session, in which top experts in the field answered questions from graduate students and postdocs in a rather informal setting. Finally, the workshop was an excellent platform for starting new international collaborations and exchange of knowledge, which will benefit the participants in the future.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
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Christopher W. Stark
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Texas A&M Research Foundation
College Station
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