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AT Postdoc Seminar: Uses of commutative rings in homotopy theory March 31, 2014 (11:00 AM PDT - 12:00 PM PDT)
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Location: MSRI: Simons Auditorium
Speaker(s) Sean Tilson (Universität Osnabrück)
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Homotopy theorists try to gain geometric information and insight through the use of algebraic invariants. Specifically, these invariants are useful in determining whether or not two spaces can be equivalent. We will begin with an example to demonstrate the usefulness of cohomology and some of the extra structure it possesses, such as cup products and power operations. This extra structure provides a very strong invariant of the space. As these invariants are representable functors, this extra structure is coming from the representing object. Indeed, cohomology theories possess products and power operations when they are represented by objects called commutative ring spectra. We then shift focus to studying commutative ring spectra on their own and try to detect what maps of commutative ring spectra might look like.

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