North British Geometric Group Theory Network 2016-17

The next meeting of the North British Geometric Group Theory network will be held on Friday 17 March 2017 in the Newhaven Lecture Theatre of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS), 15 South College Street, Edinburgh.



Please make your own arrangements for lunch. ICMS is close to the main campus of Edinburgh University.
There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and sandwich shops in the vicinity, for example in George IV Bridge, Potter Row and Nicholson Street.


1.45 Ana Khukhro (Neuchatel): Geometry of finite quotients of groups

Geometric properties of a collection of finite quotients of a group can provide information about the group if the set of finite quotients is sufficiently rich. Using a metric space constructed using Cayley graphs of these finite quotients, one can exploit the connections between the world of group theory and graph theory to give examples of metric spaces with interesting and often surprising properties. In this talk, we will describe some results in this direction, and then give recent results concerning geometric rigidity of finite quotients of a group (joint work with Thiebout Delabie).

3:00 Andrew Duncan (Newcastle): The transvection subgroup

of automorphisms of partially commutative groups

The automorphism group of a partially commutative group (RAAG) decomposes naturally into graph isomorphisms, basis conjugations and transvections. In this talk the structure of the part of the group generated by transvections is described

4:00 Tea/Coffee Break

4.30 Tullia Dymarz (Wisconsin): A model for random nilpotent groups

In Gromov's density model, a random group is either trivial or hyperbolic and in particular never nilpotent. We use the fact that every torsion free nilpotent group can be realized as a subgroup of the group of all upper triangular matrices with integer entries to present a model for random nilpotent groups. Our random nilpotent groups are subgroups of this group of matrices generated by elements given by random walks on a fixed generating set. By varying the size of the matrices and the length of the subgroup generators we prove results on the 'step' (i.e. the length of the lower central series) of a random nilpotent group. This is joint work with K. Delp and A. Schaffer-Cohen.


There will be an early evening meal in Edinburgh, for all who are able to stay. Please let us know by Wednesday 15 March if you wish to come to the meal: email


Click here for a map and directions to ICMS. Waverley Station is towards the top of this map, adjacent to Waverley Bridge. It is about 10 minutes walk from the station to ICMS.

This meeting is the 39th in the (now renamed) North British Geometric Group Theory Network, organized by group theorists at the Universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, York, and Heriot-Watt University.

It is partially supported by a Scheme 3 grant from the London Mathematical Society, and by grants from the Edinburgh Mathematical Society Research Support Fund and the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Learning and Research Support Fund.

The Mastermind is Sarah Rees.

The local organiser for this meeting is Laura Ciobanu.

Webpage designed by Nick Gilbert