Generators for the kernel of the integral Burau representation

Tara Brendle (U Glasgow)

Wednesday 23rd January, 2013 16:00-17:00 204


The "integral Burau representation" is the classical Burau representation of the braid group evaluated at t = -1.  The kernel of the integral Burau representation can be identified with the so-called hyperelliptic Torelli subgroup of the mapping class group of a surface.  We will describe a set of generators for this group, verifying a conjecture of Hain with applications in algebraic geometry.  In the process, we will describe a new method for finding presentations of finite-index subgroups of finitely presented groups. 

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