CMSA Math Science Literature Lecture Series


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September 28, 2020 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Michael Freedman - Microsoft - Station Q

TITLE: A personal story of the 4D Poincare conjecture.

ABSTRACT: The proof of PC4 involved the convergence of several historical streams.  To get started: high dimensional manifold topology (Smale), a new idea on how to study 4-manifolds (Casson), wild “Texas” topology (Bing). Once inside the proof: there are three submodules: Casson towers come to life (in the sense of reproduction), a very intricate explicit shrinking argument (provided by Edwards), and the “blind fold” shrinking argument (which in retrospect is in the linage of Brown’s proof of the Schoenflies theorem). Beyond those mentioned: Kirby, Cannon, Ancel, Quinn, and Starbird helped me understand my proof. I will discuss the main points and how they fit together. It will be a “black board” talk in the sense that I will write on the wall behind my laptop – no PowerPoint. I’ve tried this out and it seems to worked.

Talk Chair: Peter Kronheimer

Written articles will accompany each lecture in this series and be available as part of the publication “History and Literature of Mathematical Science.”

For more information, please visit the event page.

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