Cobordisms, Strings, and Thom Spectra (22w5045)



(University of Glasgow)

(Max Planck Institute)

Ulrike Tillmann (University of Oxford and University of Cambridge)


The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) will host the "Cobordisms, Strings, and Thom Spectra" workshop in Oaxaca, from October 9 - October 14, 2022.

Topology studies geometric properties of shapes which are unchanged by continuous deformations. Of essential importance in the subject is the concept of manifold, a notion of space which turns out to play an important role both in pure mathematics as well as in theoretical physics. Cobordisms provide a way to understand manifolds that was pioneered by Pontryagin and Thom in the middle of the last century, and they also form the basic building block in Atiyah and Segal's axiomatic approach to quantum field theories. Through subsequent extensive and often surprising developments in the last few decades, cobordisms now provide a deep link of manifolds to geometry, representation theory, and physics.

This workshop will provide a timely opportunity to bring together leading researchers and younger mathematicians interested in topics related to the topology of manifolds, cobordism, and Thom spectra. In particular, there will be introductory and overview talks on the frontier of research in this subject as well as contributed talks by other participants.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT