Strong boundedness and distortion in transformation groups
Location: MSRI: Simons Auditorium
fixed point properties
hyperbolic groups and generalizations
Higman’s embedding theorem says that any countable group can be embedded in a group generated by two elements. The relative version of this asks: given a countable subgroup H of a large group G, does H always lie in a finitely generated subgroup of G? (Of course, the answer should depend on G). This talk will answer this question for some interesting classes of groups, and discuss the related notions of strong boundedness (the property that every action of G by isometries on any metric space has all orbits bounded) and strong distortion. Far from pathological examples, the groups we consider are all groups of homeomorphisms or diffeormophisms of manifolds; where boundedness and distortion of subgroups of homeomorphisms can say something about the dynamics of their actions on the manifold. This is new joint work with F. Le Roux
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