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Topics on Groups and their Representations


Colva Roney-Dougal attended the conference “Topics on Groups and their Representations” at the Palazzo Feltrinelli, Gargnano sul Garda, Italy on October 9th – 11th, 2017. She gave an invited talk “Generation of finite groups, with applications to computing normalisers” (see abstract and slides).

 

Computing with Transformations: Groups and Semigroups


Markus Pfeiffer will speak at the York Semigroup Seminar on 8th November 2017.  The title of his talk is “Computing with Transformations: Groups and Semigroups”, and the abstract can be seen here.

Workshop on groups, generalisations and applications


There will be a workshop on Groups, Generalisations and Applications at the ICMS in Edinburgh on the afternoon of Wednesday 8 November. Organisers are Jim Howie (Heriot-Watt), Ben Martin (Aberdeen) and Colva Roney-Dougal (St Andrews). Further details are available here.

CIRCA Lunchtime seminar


The next CIRCA lunchtime seminar will be on Thursday 26th October 2917 at 1pm today in Theatre A of Maths. Nayab Khalid and Mun See Chang will be speaking.

Joint EMS-SCM meeting at ICMS


Martyn Quick attended the joint meeting of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and Societat Catalana de Matemàtiques (27-29 September 2017) held at the ICMS in Edinburgh.  He was invited to speak at the special session on Geometric Group Theory at this meeting and delivered a talk titled “Presentations for Thompson’s group V and its generalisations”Colva Roney-Dougal and Colin Campbell also attended.

Permutation Groups in Marienheide


Peter Cameron spoke at a summer school for PhD students on Permutation Groups in Marienheide, Germany, run by the Experimental and Constructive Algebra Group at RWTH Aachen. He gave an introduction to permutation groups and applications to semigroups, and also ran the problem session (which was held outdoors, as the weather was warm).

n-Queens Completion is NP-Complete


Ian Gent, Chris Jefferson and Peter Nightingale have shown that the n-Queens puzzle (given a chessboard of size n x n, place n queens so that no two queens attack each other) is NP-Complete. Their paper “Complexity of n-Queens Completion” was published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research on August 30. See these two articles: “Simple” chess puzzle holds key to $1m prize and n-Queens Completion is NP-Complete for further details.

Groups St Andrews 2017 in Birmingham


Groups St Andrews 2017 in Birmingham took place on August 5th-13th. This is the tenth in the series of Groups St Andrews Conferences which have been held every four years from 1981. The main speakers were Michael Aschbacher (Caltech), Pierre-Emmanuel Caprace (Université Catholique de Louvain), Radha Kessar (City, University of London) and Gunter Malle (TU Kaiserlautern). One hour speakers were Tim Burness (Bristol), Vincent Guirardel (Université de Rennes 1), Harald Helfgott (Göttingen), Andrei Jaikin-Zapirain (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Donna Testerman (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The organisers are Colin Campbell, Martyn Quick, Edmund Robertson and Colva Roney-Dougal together with Chris Parker from Birmingham.

The conference has been followed by a satellite event – a tutorial on the computational algebra system GAP on August 13th-14th. It has been organised by Alexander Konovalov together with Sergey Shpectorov from Birmingham. On Sunday Alexander Konovalov taught the Software Carpentry lesson “Programming with GAP”, and on Monday Markus Pfeiffer explained various aspects of using GAP effectively and demonstrated the GAP Jupyter interface being developed in the OpenDreamKit project.

 

All kinds of mathematics


A conference “All Kinds of Mathematics Remind me of You” to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Peter Cameron took place in Lisbon on 24-27 July 2017. It was followed by a one-day workshop “Symmetry in Finite and Infinite Structures“. Both events took place at the University of Lisbon and were organised by mathematicians from Universidade Aberta and the Universities of Aveiro, Coimbra and Lisbon, led by João Araújo.

Quoting the School newsletter, participants ranged in academic age from Peter’s own DPhil supervisor Peter Neumann to recent St Andrews undergraduate Scott Harper. They included more than twenty co-authors including three with nine or more joint publications with him. The other participants from St Andrews were Rosemary Bailey (who spoke on “Circular designs with weak neighbour balance”), Collin Bleak, Julius Jonusas (“Universal words and sequences”), James Mitchell (“Semigroups from digraphs”), Shayo Olukoya (“Growth rates of automata groups generated by reset automaton”) and Wilf Wilson (“Maximal subsemigroups of monoids of partial order-(anti)endomorphisms”).

The final talk has been given by Peter himself and was entitled “Perchance to dream …”. It mentioned several outstanding problems, and Peter hopes that participants will solve many of these before the next conference!

In a series of five blog posts, Peter gave a detailed account of each day: see those for day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4 and the workshop.

Peter Cameron awarded the 2017 LMS Senior Whitehead Prize


Congratulations to Peter Cameron on being awarded the 2017 Senior Whitehead Prize of the London Mathematical Society! The prize is awarded for ‘exceptional research contributions across combinatorics and group theory, his fertile imagination and encouragement of others having sparked activity in many fields’. He became the third person to win both a Junior and Senior Whitehead Prize. Please read further details in the LMS announcement and in this post in Peter Cameron’s blog.