3:00 p.m., Friday (October 14, 2005)
Math Annex 1100
Topological Quantum Field Theory and its applications ancient and modern
Topological Quantum Field Theory (TQFT), as formulated by Atiyah,
has provided a general framework for understanding topological
invariants of manifolds. The structure of TQFTs in dimension 1+1
(i.e. surfaces with boundaries) is completely understood by
elementary means -- yet they can still yield surprising results.
We present a famous example of a 1+1 dimensional TQFT that results
in a beautiful old formula that counts covers of a genus g Riemann
surface. Finally, we sketch how a deformation of this TQFT encodes
the Gromov-Witten invariants of curves in Calabi-Yau 3-folds, and
provides insight into the structure of Gromov-Witten invariants.
Refreshments will be served at 2:45 p.m. (MATX 1115, Math Faculty Lounge).