Topology & Geometric Group Theory Seminar

Fall 2007

1:30 - 2:30, Malott 253

Tuesday, September 11

Ken Brown, Cornell University

Automorphisms of buildings have infinite displacement

Buildings were introduced by Jacques Tits in order to provide a unified geometric framework for understanding semisimple complex Lie groups and, later, semisimple algebraic groups over an arbitrary field. In this talk, which describes joint work with Peter Abramenko, I will sketch the proof of a geometric theorem about buildings, and I will show how it yields concrete information about groups. The geometric theorem is stated in the title. The group-theoretic consequence is that automorphism groups of buildings typically have trivial center.

I will try to keep the prerequisites to a minimum. In particular, the talk will include an introduction to buildings.

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