Research Group — ZeroDimensional Symmetry 
Our research may be contrasted with theory of connected locally compact groups, which was largely completed in the 1950s with the solution of Hilbert's Fifth Problem. Building on the earlier foundational work of Sophus Lie, Elie Cartan, Emmy Noether and Hermann Weyl, this theory was vital in twentieth century physics because 4dimensional spacetime, the equations of the quantum atom, and the strong nuclear force all have connected symmetry groups. Whereas they are symmetry groups of physical space, the totally disconnected groups we seek to understand are the symmetry groups of networks, or cyberspace.
Experimental calculations with finite groups guide many aspects of this research. Our longer term aim is to convert theorems into algorithms and to develop computational and visualisation tools for infinite groups which will be made available online. Since the groups are topological, using approximation to reduce the calculations to finite groups will be an important aspect of achieving that aim (padic analysis is a particular but restricted case where this approximation is understood).
0dimensional groups have links with combinatorics, number theory, finite and profinite group theory, geometric group theory, Lie groups, harmonic analysis, descriptive set theory and logic. International research on 0dimensional groups has grown rapidly in the past decade or so and much of this new activity has been stimulated by breakthroughs made at the University of Newcastle. Our researchers continue to make groundbreaking advances in collaboration with mathematicians from America, Europe and Asia. This research is being supported by Australian Research Council funds of $2.8 million in the period 201822.
Ben Brawn  Max Carter  Michal Ferov  Roman Gorazd 
João Vitor Pinto E Silva  Stephan Tornier  Colin Reid  George Willis 
November 2020
DECRA success
Stephan Tornier has been awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for his project "Effective classification of closed vertextransitive groups acting on trees". The award funds his position for three years, a Ph.D. scholarship and research cost.
September 2020
Symmetry  A video in the NSW Department of Education's SISP program
The NSW Department of Education's STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program aims to provide an educational model that engages students, inspires them to study STEM and prepares them for STEM careers. Below is a contribution from Stephan Tornier on the topic of Symmetry.
September 2020
Summer Projects 2020/21
The following student research projects are related to the Australian Research Council project on 0Dimensional Symmetry. While they are independent, each one gives a different view on the overall project. Another, more technical, description of this research is that it concerns totally disconnected, locally compact groups. An overview which attempts to explain the broader research project to nonexperts may be seen here. (MFO, CC BYNCSA 3.0 )
The aim of this project is to describe infinite symmetric graphs that admit a rigid colouring. In the case of locally finite graph, the space of all minimal colourings can be naturally seen as a topological space. This project is concerted with the question of to what extent does the topology of the space of colourings correspond to the geometry and symmetries of the graphs. First natural step is to study how far is the space of colourings away from being perfect, i.e. studying the isolated points. In the space of colourings, isolated points correspond to colourings that are rigid, meaning that if any other colouring agrees with it on a large enough finite subgraph, then they have to be the same. The goal of the project is to give some combinatorial of graphs that graphs that admit rigid colourings, or the converse  a combinatorial description of graphs that do not admit rigid colourings. The project is part of a program of research on 0dimensional groups, which includes symmetries of infinite graphs. Students working on this project will further their knowledge of combinatorics and graph theory. Knowledge of pointset topology and group theory is advantageous but not necessary. 
Symmetry is a fundamental organising principle in mathematics, science and and the arts. It is formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. The symmetry groups of infinite networks, or graphs, constitute a current research frontier. It has proven fruitful to study these groups by analysing their 'local actions', i. e. the permutation groups that the fixator of a vertex in the graph induces on spheres of varying radii around that vertex. The primary aim of this project is to make the local actions of several theoretically derived symmetry groups of graphs tractable by implementing them on a computer using computational group theory tools, such as GAP. A second step would be to study the resulting permutation groups and their interdependence using a mix of theoretical and computational tools. A student who takes this project will extend his/her knowledge of algebra and learn how to use computer algebra systems designed for computations in group theory, including coding skills. 
This project aims to find geometries that have socalled selfreplicating, or fractal, groups as their symmetries. The selfreplicating nature of these groups is described by representing them as symmetries of rooted trees but that way of thinking about them hides other patterns that are of interest. The purpose of the project is to see the groups geometrically. Computer algebra software will be used to analyse how the groups act on pairs, triples, etc. of vertices of the trees and then study the polyhedra in which these are edges, faces, etc. Observed patterns in the geometries may be extrapolated to produce new families of selfreplicating groups. The project is part of a program of research on symmetry groups of infinite networks, known as 0dimensional groups. Selfreplicating 0dimensional groups are analogous to eigenvalues and eigenvectors in linear algebra and its applications. It is not necessary to understand this bigger picture in order to do the project however. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, graph theory and mathematical software. 'Group' is an algebraic notion and 'rooted tree' is a combinatorial one which arises in the study of data structures. 
A graph (a network of vertices and edges) is \emph{vertextransitive} if it 'looks' the same at all vertices. In algebraic terms, this means that, for any pair of vertices, there is an automorphism of the graph which maps the first vertex to the second. A necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a graph to be vertextransitive is that all vertices should have the same valency. Analysing graph symmetry therefore involves a deeper study of the relationship between graphs and their automorphism groups than vertex valencies. Vertextransitive graphs need not be edgetransitive, for example, the horizontal edges of a triangular pyramid lie on 3cycles in the graph but the vertical edges do not. The particular question investigated in this project is how its symmetry group changes as edges are added to, or removed from, a graph. For finite graphs, a classical theorem of Burnside is relevant when the graph has prime order and, for infinite graphs, the goal is to reduce the vertex valency since this number controls important features of the symmetry group. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of combinatorics and algebra, and how these two topics interact. The project will be jointly supervised by Brian Alspach. 
The word 'symmetry' brings to mind visual images and geometry. It has a broader meaning in mathematics, where we think of regularly repeating patterns and invariance under transformations as displaying symmetry, and where the language of algebra is used to describe symmetry. Visualising the patterns or the dynamics of the transformations remains an effective tool for understanding the algebra however. This project aims to develop software for visualising various aspects of $0$dimensional symmetry, which is the symmetry of infinite networks and arises in number theory and other parts of algebra as well. The aim is to produce software which may be used by researchers and which will be made available on webpages of the $0$Dimensional Symmetry project. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis, mathematical software and coding skills. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' is an algebraic one; and other concepts will be met in the course of the project. 
August 2020
Simon Marais Mathematics Competition
Do you enjoy solving mathematical problems? Join the UoN team now, either as in individual or as a pair, to compete against students from all over the AsiaPacific region and earn your share of the $100,000 prize pool. See the flyer for registration information and the website for further information.
August 2020
Research Assistant Positions
We are looking to employ research assistants to help with projects to do with graph isomorphisms and groups. The descriptions are given below. These projects would be suitable for mathematics or computer science students. One of the projects requires knowledge of group theory and the other does not.
1. Computations with finite graphs Description: A research assistant is required to work on a project that computes, for small finite graphs, whether the graph can be the 1sphere of a vertextransitive graph. The assistant will work under the supervision of Stephan Tornier and George Willis to implement algorithms that check whether a given graph satisfies compatibility conditions that allow it to be extended to a vertextransitive graph. We aim to build a catalogue of all such graphs up to some size. 

2. Computations with selfreplicating groups Description: A research assistant is required to work on a project that searches for automorphism group of finite rooted trees that are quotients of selfreplicating groups acting on an infinite tree. The assistant will work under the supervision of Stephan Tornier and George Willis to implement algorithms that find such groups incrementally on trees of increasing depth. At first, this work will be verifying previous calculations but we also aim to extend the range of trees for which these groups are known. 
July 2020
Label Refinement for Graphs
A seminar given by George Willis on "Label Refinement for Graphs"
July 2020
Children's University Newcastle
As part of their 2020 CU On Campus Discovery Days, held online due to COVID19, the Children's University Newcastle is showing videos about researchers at The University of Newcastle and their work. Below is a contribution from George Willis on the topic of Symmetry.
March 2020
PhD Scholarship
A PhD scholarship opportunity is available for students to investigate totally disconnected, locally compact groups under the supervision of ARC Laureate Professor George Willis. The students will join a team seeking to bring our understanding of these groups to a level comparable to that of finite.
February 2020
Visiting Researcher
Dr Waltraud Lederle from UC Louvain (Belgium) is visiting the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, specifically the ZeroDimensional Symmetry research group, from February 10 to April 7. Her visit is supported by the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute and the Australian Research Council.
October 2019
FirstYear Summer Projects
We offer six summer project scholarships around the topic "Puzzles, Codes and Groups" for first year students to be conducted in January and February 2020. Apply to juliane.turner@newcastle.edu.au with your student number. A flyer for the project can be found here.
In this summer project you will explore the mathematical formalisation of the everyday notion of symmetry, which is the algebraic concept of a 'group'. Using groups, we are able to state with certainty whether a given puzzle can be solved (the 15puzzle can not!) and, if so, compute how many steps are needed. As an example of the farreaching applicability of this concept, we will look into errorcorrecting codes, such as the Golay code, which are critical in any digital communication, including NASA's Voyager program. Apart from theoretical studies in the area of groups, possible subprojects include the analysis of a given puzzle, the creation of new ones and the formulation of solution algorithms, as well as the design, analysis and implementation of codes. A team of up to six students will work on this project.
September 2019
Summer Projects 2019/20
The following student research projects are related to the Australian Research Council project on 0Dimensional Symmetry. While they are independent, each one gives a different view on the overall project. Another, more technical, description of this research is that it concerns totally disconnected, locally compact groups. An overview which attempts to explain the broader research project to nonexperts may be seen here. (MFO, CC BYNCSA 3.0 )
A graph (a network of vertices and edges) is \emph{vertextransitive} if it 'looks' the same at all vertices. In algebraic terms, this means that, for any pair of vertices, there is an automorphism of the graph which maps the first vertex to the second. A necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a graph to be vertextransitive is that all vertices should have the same valency. Analysing graph symmetry therefore involves a deeper study of the relationship between graphs and their automorphism groups than vertex valencies. Vertextransitive graphs need not be edgetransitive, for example, the horizontal edges of a triangular pyramid lie on 3cycles in the graph but the vertical edges do not. The particular question investigated in this project is how its symmetry group changes as edges are added to, or removed from, a graph. For finite graphs, a classical theorem of Burnside is relevant when the graph has prime order and, for infinite graphs, the goal is to reduce the vertex valency since this number controls important features of the symmetry group. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of combinatorics and algebra, and how these two topics interact. The project will be jointly supervised by Brian Alspach. 
The notion of a solvable group originated with the work of É. Galois (1832), who showed that a polynomial equation has a solution by radicals if and only if its group of symmetries is solvable. For example, the formula $x=b\pm\sqrt{b^{2}4ac}/2a$ is the solution of a quadratic equation by radicals and symmetries of the equation swap the $+$ and $$ signs. (A group that is not solvable has some factors which are simple.) Groups of upper triangular $n\times n$ real matrices are solvable and also have the topological property of being connected. It may be shown that these are essentially all the connected solvable groups. This project investigates solvable totally disconnected, locally compact groups. Our starting point is groups of upper triangular matrices having integer entries. These groups have the property of being nilpotent, which is stronger than solvability. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and number theory. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group', 'solvable and 'nilpotent' are algebraic ones; and the integer matrices embed into matrices over the real numbers as well as over other number fields. 
Selfsimilar symmetry groups of rooted trees contribute to the study of totally disconnected, locally compact (or $0$dimensional) groups in much the same way as eigenvalues and eigenvectors contribute to linear algebra. Whereas eigenvalues are complex numbers and we have a complete picture of what they all are, we are still at the stage of trying to describe selfsimilar symmetry groups of rooted trees. It is not necessary to understand the link with the theory of $0$dimensional symmetry or with eigenvalues in order to describe these groups. This project aims to find an alternative geometric interpretation of some of the symmetry groups of trees. The idea being that describing these geometries might be a more natural approach to describing the groups. Computer algebra software will be used to analyse how the groups act on pairs, triples, etc. of vertices of the trees and then study the polyhedra in which these are edges, faces, etc. Observed patterns in the geometries may be able to be extrapolated to produce new families of groups. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, graph theory and mathematical software. 'Group' is an algebraic notion and 'rooted tree' is a combinatorial one which arises in the study of data structures in computer science. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions which, although relevant to the background, are not needed for this project. 
The word 'symmetry' brings to mind visual images and geometry. It has a broader meaning in mathematics, where we think of regularly repeating patterns and invariance under transformations as displaying symmetry, and where the language of algebra is used to describe symmetry. Visualising the patterns or the dynamics of the transformations remains an effective tool for understanding the algebra however. This project aims to develop software for visualising various aspects of $0$dimensional symmetry, which is the symmetry of infinite networks and arises in number theory and other parts of algebra as well. The aim is to produce software which may be used by researchers and which will be made available on webpages of the $0$Dimensional Symmetry project. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis, mathematical software and coding skills. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' is an algebraic one; and other concepts will be met in the course of the project. 
The concept of symmetry is pervasive in mathematics and formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. It is often natural to equip a group with a 'topology'  a generalisation of distance functions  which, in a sense, gives groups a shape. For example, the symmetry groups of infinite networks, or 'graphs', become zerodimensional. A versatile and accessible class of these groups was defined by BurgerMozes and refined by this project's supervisor: Picture an infinite graph in which every vertex has the same number of neighbours and consider only those symmetries of the graph which in a neighbourhood of every given vertex act like one of finitely many allowed 'local actions'. In order for the resulting family of symmetries to reflect these restrictions accurately, the local actions need to satisfy certain conditions. The aim of this project is to find more general constructions of such local actions and use them to test the sharpness of an existing rigidity theorem. A student who takes this project will extend his/her knowledge of algebra and learn how to use computer algebra systems designed for computations in group theory, including coding skills. 
The concept of symmetry is pervasive in mathematics and formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. It is often natural to equip a group with a 'topology'  a generalisation of distance functions  which, in a sense, gives groups a shape. For example, the symmetry groups of infinite networks, or 'graphs', become zerodimensional. A versatile and accessible class of these groups was defined by BurgerMozes and refined by this project's supervisor: Picture an infinite graph in which every vertex has the same number of neighbours and consider only those symmetries of the graph which in a neighbourhood of every given vertex act like one of finitely many allowed 'local actions'. In order for the resulting family of symmetries to reflect these restrictions accurately, the local actions need to satisfy certain conditions. The aim of this project is to define a new class of groups acting on said graph by restricting the local action on edge neighbourhoods rather than vertex neighbourhoods, and thereby gain a new perspective on existing examples of graph symmetry groups relating to the Weiss conjecture. A student who takes this project will extend his/her knowledge of algebra and topology, and develop proofs intertwining both. 
April 2019
Special Semester at the Bernoulli Center
Our research group was recently awarded a special semester at the Bernoulli Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. The semester entitled "Locally compact groups acting on discrete structures" is to take place in the second half of 2020 and will comprise a summer school, several workshops as well as special lectures, bringing together researchers in the field across all academic levels.
November 2018
PhD Scholarship
A PhD scholarship opportunity is available for students to investigate totally disconnected, locally compact groups under the supervision of ARC Laureate Professor George Willis. The students will join a team seeking to bring our understanding of these groups to a level comparable to that of finite.
October 2018
Summer Projects 2018/19
The following student research projects are related to the Australian Research Council project on 0Dimensional Symmetry. While they are independent, each one gives a different view on the overall project. Another, more technical, description of this research is that it concerns totally disconnected, locally compact groups. An overview which attempts to explain the broader research project to nonexperts may be seen here. (MFO, CC BYNCSA 3.0 )
An essential step towards understanding $0$dimensional symmetry is to describe the totally disconnected, locally compact (t.d.l.c.) groups which are simple. Simple groups are those which cannot be factored into smaller pieces and they are sometimes called the 'atoms of symmetry', or said to be analogues of the prime numbers in number theory. This project investigates t.d.l.c. groups of infinite matrices. It is suspected that these groups will be found to be simple and we will aim to show that by first studying corresponding groups of $n\times n$ matrices which are known to be simple. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and number theory. 'Totally disconnected', 'locally compact' and '$0$dimensional' are topological notions; 'group' and 'simple' are algebraic ones; and the matrix entries are numbers modulo a prime number $p$. 
The notion of a solvable group originated with the work of É. Galois (1832), who showed that a polynomial equation has a solution by radicals if and only if its group of symmetries is solvable. For example, the formula $x=b\pm\sqrt{b^{2}4ac}/2a$ is the solution of a quadratic equation by radicals and symmetries of the equation swap the $+$ and $$ signs. (A group that is not solvable has some factors which are simple.) Groups of upper triangular $n\times n$ real matrices are solvable and also have the topological property of being connected. It may be shown that these are essentially all the connected solvable groups. This project investigates solvable totally disconnected, locally compact groups. Our starting point is groups of upper triangular matrices having integer entries. These groups have the property of being nilpotent, which is stronger than solvability. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and number theory. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group', 'solvable and 'nilpotent' are algebraic ones; and the integer matrices embed into matrices over the real numbers as well as over other number fields. 
Symmetries of networks (or graphs) are '$0$dimensional', and such symmetries are investigated through the algebraic technique of totally disconnected, locally compact groups. We are interested in highly symmetric, infinite graphs and one way to form such graphs is by gluing together infinitely many copies of finite graphs according to some regular instructions. This project investigates the symmetry groups of examples of graphs formed in this way and compares them with the symmetry groups of infinite regular trees, which are the most basic type of infinite regular graph. The aim is to determine whether the symmetry groups obtained in this way are simple and new. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and combinatorics. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' and 'simple' are algebraic ones; and 'graphs' are a combinatorial concept. 
The word 'symmetry' brings to mind visual images and geometry. It has a broader meaning in mathematics, where we think of regularly repeating patterns and invariance under transformations as displaying symmetry, and where the language of algebra is used to describe symmetry. Visualising the patterns or the dynamics of the transformations remains an effective tool for understanding the algebra however. This project aims to develop software for visualising various aspects of $0$dimensional symmetry, which is the symmetry of infinite networks and arises in number theory and other parts of algebra as well. The aim is to produce software which may be used by researchers and which will be made available on webpages of the $0$Dimensional Symmetry project. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis, mathematical software and coding skills. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' is an algebraic one; and other concepts will be met in the course of the project. 
Upcoming Projects
Summer Projects 2020/21
The following student research projects are related to the Australian Research Council project on 0Dimensional Symmetry. While they are independent, each one gives a different view on the overall project. Another, more technical, description of this research is that it concerns totally disconnected, locally compact groups. An overview which attempts to explain the broader research project to nonexperts may be seen here. (MFO, CC BYNCSA 3.0 )
The aim of this project is to describe infinite symmetric graphs that admit a rigid colouring. In the case of locally finite graph, the space of all minimal colourings can be naturally seen as a topological space. This project is concerted with the question of to what extent does the topology of the space of colourings correspond to the geometry and symmetries of the graphs. First natural step is to study how far is the space of colourings away from being perfect, i.e. studying the isolated points. In the space of colourings, isolated points correspond to colourings that are rigid, meaning that if any other colouring agrees with it on a large enough finite subgraph, then they have to be the same. The goal of the project is to give some combinatorial of graphs that graphs that admit rigid colourings, or the converse  a combinatorial description of graphs that do not admit rigid colourings. The project is part of a program of research on 0dimensional groups, which includes symmetries of infinite graphs. Students working on this project will further their knowledge of combinatorics and graph theory. Knowledge of pointset topology and group theory is advantageous but not necessary. 
Symmetry is a fundamental organising principle in mathematics, science and and the arts. It is formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. The symmetry groups of infinite networks, or graphs, constitute a current research frontier. It has proven fruitful to study these groups by analysing their 'local actions', i. e. the permutation groups that the fixator of a vertex in the graph induces on spheres of varying radii around that vertex. The primary aim of this project is to make the local actions of several theoretically derived symmetry groups of graphs tractable by implementing them on a computer using computational group theory tools, such as GAP. A second step would be to study the resulting permutation groups and their interdependence using a mix of theoretical and computational tools. A student who takes this project will extend his/her knowledge of algebra and learn how to use computer algebra systems designed for computations in group theory, including coding skills. 
This project aims to find geometries that have socalled selfreplicating, or fractal, groups as their symmetries. The selfreplicating nature of these groups is described by representing them as symmetries of rooted trees but that way of thinking about them hides other patterns that are of interest. The purpose of the project is to see the groups geometrically. Computer algebra software will be used to analyse how the groups act on pairs, triples, etc. of vertices of the trees and then study the polyhedra in which these are edges, faces, etc. Observed patterns in the geometries may be extrapolated to produce new families of selfreplicating groups. The project is part of a program of research on symmetry groups of infinite networks, known as 0dimensional groups. Selfreplicating 0dimensional groups are analogous to eigenvalues and eigenvectors in linear algebra and its applications. It is not necessary to understand this bigger picture in order to do the project however. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, graph theory and mathematical software. 'Group' is an algebraic notion and 'rooted tree' is a combinatorial one which arises in the study of data structures. 
A graph (a network of vertices and edges) is \emph{vertextransitive} if it 'looks' the same at all vertices. In algebraic terms, this means that, for any pair of vertices, there is an automorphism of the graph which maps the first vertex to the second. A necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a graph to be vertextransitive is that all vertices should have the same valency. Analysing graph symmetry therefore involves a deeper study of the relationship between graphs and their automorphism groups than vertex valencies. Vertextransitive graphs need not be edgetransitive, for example, the horizontal edges of a triangular pyramid lie on 3cycles in the graph but the vertical edges do not. The particular question investigated in this project is how its symmetry group changes as edges are added to, or removed from, a graph. For finite graphs, a classical theorem of Burnside is relevant when the graph has prime order and, for infinite graphs, the goal is to reduce the vertex valency since this number controls important features of the symmetry group. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of combinatorics and algebra, and how these two topics interact. The project will be jointly supervised by Brian Alspach. 
The word 'symmetry' brings to mind visual images and geometry. It has a broader meaning in mathematics, where we think of regularly repeating patterns and invariance under transformations as displaying symmetry, and where the language of algebra is used to describe symmetry. Visualising the patterns or the dynamics of the transformations remains an effective tool for understanding the algebra however. This project aims to develop software for visualising various aspects of $0$dimensional symmetry, which is the symmetry of infinite networks and arises in number theory and other parts of algebra as well. The aim is to produce software which may be used by researchers and which will be made available on webpages of the $0$Dimensional Symmetry project. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis, mathematical software and coding skills. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' is an algebraic one; and other concepts will be met in the course of the project. 
Current and Past Projects
July 2020  August 2020
Local action expansions of $\mathrm{PGL}(2,\mathbb{Q}_{p})$ acting on its BruhatTits tree
Tasman Fell
Supervisors: Michal Ferov, George Willis
The projective linear group over a local field has a transitive action on a highly symmetric combinatorial structure known as BruhatTits building. In the case of 2dimensional projective linear groups, the BruhatTits building is know to be a regular tree. An automorphism of a tree can be fully described by its 'expansion' in terms of local actions. The aim of this project is to develop an algorithm that will, given an invertible matrix over the padic rationals, produce the local action expansion of the corresponding automorphism of the regular tree. The second part of the project is to provide a partial inverse, i.e. an algorithm that will, provided a local action expansion of an automorphism of a regular tree of valency $p+1$, determine to which extent this automorphism can be approximated by a matrix over the padic rationals.
February 2020  November 2020
Work Integrated Learning (COMP3851A): Groups acting on trees: compatible local actions
Khalil Hannouch
Supervisor: Stephan Tornier
The concept of symmetry is pervasive in mathematics and formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. It is often natural to equip a group with a 'topology'  a generalisation of distance functions  which, in a sense, gives groups a shape. For example, the symmetry groups of infinite networks, or 'graphs', become zerodimensional. A versatile and accessible class of these groups was defined by BurgerMozes and refined by this project's supervisor: Picture an infinite graph in which every vertex has the same number of neighbours and consider only those symmetries of the graph which in a neighbourhood of every given vertex act like one of finitely many allowed 'local actions'. In order for the resulting family of symmetries to reflect these restrictions accurately, the local actions need to satisfy a certain compatibility condition. The aim of this project is to find new examples of local actions that satisfy the compatibility condition and to implement routines pertaining to these local actions in GAP.
January 2020  February 2020
Summer Project: Puzzles, Codes and Groups
Jacob Cameron, Marcus Chijoff, Abigail Hall, Zane Marsh, Ellen Wu
Supervisors: Michal Ferov, Colin Reid, Stephan Tornier, George Willis
In this summer project, the above firstyear students explored the mathematical formalisation of the everyday notion of symmetry, which is the algebraic concept of a 'group'. Using groups, we are able to state with certainty whether a given puzzle can be solved (the 15puzzle can not!) and, if so, compute how many steps are needed. As an example of the farreaching applicability of this concept, we look into errorcorrecting codes, such as the Golay code, which are critical in any digital communication, including NASA's Voyager program. Apart from theoretical studies in the area of groups, projects included the design, analysis and implementation of codes.
Try it yourself! 
December 2019  February 2020
AMSI VRS Summer Project: Groups acting on trees without involutive inversions
Jack Berry
Supervisor: Stephan Tornier
The concept of symmetry is pervasive in mathematics and formalised in the algebraic notion of a 'group'. It is often natural to equip a group with a 'topology'  a generalisation of distance functions  which, in a sense, gives groups a shape. For example, the symmetry groups of infinite networks, or 'graphs', become zerodimensional. A versatile and accessible class of these groups was defined by BurgerMozes and refined by this project's supervisor: Picture an infinite graph in which every vertex has the same number of neighbours and consider only those symmetries of the graph which in a neighbourhood of every given vertex act like one of finitely many allowed 'local actions'. In order for the resulting family of symmetries to reflect these restrictions accurately, the local actions need to satisfy certain conditions. The aim of this project is to define a new class of groups acting on said graph by restricting the local action on edge neighbourhoods rather than vertex neighbourhoods, and thereby gain a new perspective on existing examples of graph symmetry groups relating to the Weiss conjecture.
July 2019  November 2019
Project (SCIE3500): Decomposition theorems for automorphism groups of trees
Max Carter
Supervisor: George Willis
We investigated double coset decompositions of automorphism groups of trees that preserve vertex labellings. The idea was to compare with the Bruhat and Cartan decompositions of simple Lie groups and to see whether they could be used to prove results about the groups in a similar way in which the Cartan and Bruhat decompositions are. We were in fact able to prove that every continuous homomorphism from the automorphism group of a labelregular tree has closed range. Moreover, the work suggested problems concerning abstract properties of double coset decompositions that are the subject of further research. An associated article is accepted for publication in the Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society.
July 2019  September 2019Winter Project: Visualisations of buildingsTasman FellSupervisor: Michal Ferov Many groups can be understood by studying objects on which the group acts by symmetries. In fact, every compactly generated totally disconnected locally compact group acts transitively on a locally finite graph. In the case of linear groups over the padics these combinatorial objects are known as the Titsbuildings. In general, the construction of these graphs relies on the axiom of choice and as such cannot really be effectively implemented. However, in the case of linear groups over the padics, we can effectively approximate the padics by rational numbers and construct a finite proportion of the corresponding building. The aim of this project is to visualise finite propositions of buildings associated to to the special linear groups $\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb{Q}_2)$ and $\mathrm{SL}(3,\mathbb{Q}_p)$. 
December 2018  February 2019
AMSI VRS Summer Project: Simple groups of infinite matrices
Peter Groenhout
Supervisors: Colin Reid, George Willis
An essential step towards understanding $0$dimensional symmetry is to describe the totally disconnected, locally compact (t.d.l.c.) groups which are simple. Simple groups are those which cannot be factored into smaller pieces and they are sometimes called the 'atoms of symmetry', or said to be analogues of the prime numbers in number theory. This project investigates t.d.l.c. groups of infinite matrices. It is suspected that these groups will be found to be simple and we will aim to show that by first studying corresponding groups of $n\times n$ matrices which are known to be simple. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and number theory. 'Totally disconnected', 'locally compact' and '$0$dimensional' are topological notions; 'group' and 'simple' are algebraic ones; and the matrix entries are numbers modulo a prime number $p$.
Continuing work on this project resulted in a preprint which can be found here.
December 2018  February 2019
AMSI VRS Summer Project: Free products of graphs
Max Carter
Supervisors: Stephan Tornier, George Willis
Symmetries of networks (or graphs) are '$0$dimensional', and such symmetries are investigated through the algebraic technique of totally disconnected, locally compact groups. We are interested in highly symmetric, infinite graphs and one way to form such graphs is by gluing together infinitely many copies of finite graphs according to some regular instructions. This project investigates the symmetry groups of examples of graphs formed in this way and compares them with the symmetry groups of infinite regular trees, which are the most basic type of infinite regular graph. The aim is to determine whether the symmetry groups obtained in this way are simple and new. Students taking this project will extend their knowledge of algebra, analysis and combinatorics. 'Totally disconnected' and 'locally compact' are topological notions; 'group' and 'simple' are algebraic ones; and 'graphs' are a combinatorial concept.
December 2018  February 2019
AMSI VRS Summer Project: Random Walks on Derived Graphs
Alastair Anderberg
Supervisor: Dave Robertson
A simple random walk through $\mathbb{Z}^{d}$ describes a path taken through a ddimensional integer lattice, where each of the 2d possible directions is chosen with equal probability. In 1921, George Polya proved that $d=1$ or $d=2$ dimensions, such a path will return to its starting position almost surely, but for $d=3$ dimensions or higher, the probability of returning to the the starting position decreases as the number of dimensions increases. In this project, we plan to generalise this idea from the integer lattice to more complicated structures through the idea of derived graphs.
Symmetry in Newcastle This is a series of meetings with the aim of bringing together mathematicians working on Symmetry  broadly understood  that are based around Newcastle  also broadly understood. Topics of interest include all aspects of group theory and connections to computer science, dynamics, graph theory, logic, number theory, operator algebras, topology. Getting there: The venue (search for room) on the Callaghan campus of The University of Newcastle can be reached in at least three ways: By bus, going to "Mathematics Building, Ring Rd"; by train, going to "Warabrook Station" and walking about 1520 minutes across the campus; or by car and parking, e.g., in carpark "P2". 
Upcoming Events 

Date  Time  Room  Speaker  Title  

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Past Events 

23.11.20  18.3019.30  Zoom  William Hautekiet  Automorphism groups of transcendental field extensions  
It is wellknown that the Galois group of an (infinite) algebraic field extension is a profinite group. When the extension is transcendental, the automorphism group is no longer compact, but has a totally disconnected locally compact structure (TDLC for short). The study of TDLC groups was initiated by van Dantzig in 1936 and then restarted by Willis in 1994. In this talk some of Willis' concepts, such as tidy subgroups, the scale function, flat subgroups and directions are introduced and applied to examples of automorphism groups of transcendental field extensions. It remains unknown whether there exist conditions that a TDLC group must satisfy to be a Galois group. A suggestion of such a condition is made.  
20.0021.00  Zoom  Florian Breuer  Realising general linear groups as Galois groups  
I will show how to construct field extensions with Galois groups isomorphic to general linear groups (with entries in various rings and fields) from the torsion of elliptic curves and Drinfeld modules. No prior knowledge of these structures is assumed.  
09.11.20  20.0021.00  Zoom  Henry Bradford  Quantitative LEF and topological full groups  
Topological full groups of minimal subshifts are an important source of exotic examples in geometric group theory, as well as being powerful invariants of symbolic dynamical systems. In 2011, Grigorchuk and Medynets proved that TFGs are LEF, that is, every finite subset of the multiplication table occurs in the multiplication table of some finite group. In this talk we explore some ways in which asymptotic properties of the finite groups which occur reflect asymptotic properties of the associated subshift. Joint work with Daniele Dona.  
16.10.20  10.0011.00  Zoom  Rachel Skipper  Maximal Subgroups of Thompson's group V  
There has been a long interest in embedding and nonembedding results for groups in the Thompson family. One way to get at results of this form is to classify maximal subgroups. In this talk, we will define certain labelings of binary trees and use them to produce a large family of new maximal subgroups of Thompson's group V. We also relate them to a conjecture about Thompson's group T. This is joint, ongoing work with Jim Belk, Collin Bleak, and Martyn Quick at the University of Saint Andrews. 

11.3012.30  Zoom  Lawrence Reeves  Irrationalslope versions of Thompson’s groups T and V  
We consider irrational slope versions of T and V. We give infinite presentations for these groups and show how they can be represented by treepair diagrams. We also show that they have index2 normal subgroups that are simple. This is joint work with Brita Nucinkis and Pep Burillo. 

02.10.20  16.0017.00  Zoom  Alejandra Garrido  When is a piecewise (a.k.a topological) full group locally compact?  
Answer: Only when it's an ample group in the sense of Krieger (in particular, discrete, countable and locally finite) and has a Bratteli diagram satisfying certain conditions. Complaint: Wait, isn't Neretin's group a nondiscrete, locally compact, topological full group? Retort: It is, but you need to use the correct topology! A fleshedout version of the above conversation will be given in the talk. Based on joint work with Colin Reid. 

17.3018.30  Zoom  Feyisayo Olukoya  The group of automorphisms of the shift dynamical system and the HigmanThompson groups  
We give a survey of recent results exploring connections between the HigmanThompson groups and their automorphism groups and the group of autmorphisms of the shift dynamical system. Our survey takes us from dynamical systems to group theory via groups of homeomorphisms with a segue through combinatorics, in particular, de Bruijn graphs. Joint work with Collin Bleak and Peter Cameron. 

18.09.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Gabriel Verret  Local actions in vertextransitive graphs  
A graph is vertextransitive if its group of automorphism acts transitively on its vertices. A very important concept in the study of these graphs is that of local action, that is, the permutation group induced by a vertexstabiliser on the corresponding neighbourhood. I will explain some of its importance and discuss some attempts to generalise it to the case of directed graphs.  
16.3017.30  Zoom  Michael Giudici  The synchronisation hierarchy for permutation groups  
The concept of a synchronising permutation group was introduced nearly 15 years ago as a possible way of approaching The Černý Conjecture. Such groups must be primitive. In an attempt to understand synchronising groups, a whole hierarchy of properties for a permutation group has been developed, namely, 2transitive groups, $\mathbb{Q}$Igroups, spreading, separating, synchronsing, almost synchronising and primitive. Many surprising connections with other areas of mathematics such as finite geometry, graph theory, and design theory have arisen in the study of these properties. In this survey talk I will give an overview of the hierarchy and discuss what is known about which groups lie where.  
04.09.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Murray Elder  Rewriting systems and geodetic graphs (Slides)  
I will describe a new proof, joint with Adam Piggott (UQ), that groups presented by finite convergent lengthreducing rewriting systems where each rule has lefthand side of length 3 are exactly the plain groups (free products of finite and infinite cyclic groups). Our proof relies on a new result about properties of embedded circuits in geodetic graphs, which may be of independent interest in graph theory.  
16.3017.30  Zoom  Ana Khukhro  A new characterisation of virtually free groups (Notes)  
A finite graph that can be obtained from a given graph by contracting edges and removing vertices and edges is said to be a minor of this graph. Minors have played an important role in graph theory, ever since the wellknown result of Kuratowski that characterised planar graphs as those that do not admit the complete graph on 5 vertices nor the complete bipartite graph on (3,3) vertices as minors. In this talk, we will explore how this concept interacts with some notions from geometric group theory, and describe a new characterisation of virtually free groups in terms of minors of their Cayley graphs.  
21.08.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Kasia Jankiewicz  Residual finiteness of certain 2dimensional Artin groups  
We show that many 2dimensional Artin groups are residually finite. This includes Artin groups on three generators with labels at least 3, where either at least one label is even, or at most one label is equal 3. The result relies on decomposition of these Artin groups as graphs of finite rank free groups.  
16.3017.30  Zoom  Simon Smith  Infinite primitive permutation groups, cartesian decompositions, and topologically simple locally compact groups (Slides)  
A noncompact, compactly generated, locally compact group whose proper quotients are all compact is called justnoncompact. Discrete justnoncompact groups are John Wilson’s famous just infinite groups. In this talk, I’ll describe an ongoing project to use permutation groups to better understand the class of justnoncompact groups that are totally disconnected. An important step for this project has recently been completed: there is now a structure theorem for noncompact tdlc groups G that have a compact open subgroup that is maximal. Using this structure theorem, together with Cheryl Praeger and Csaba Schneider’s recent work on homogeneous cartesian decompositions, one can deduce a neat test for whether the monolith of such a group G is a oneended group in the class S of nondiscrete, topologically simple, compactly generated, tdlc groups. This class S plays a fundamental role in the structure theory of compactly generated tdlc groups, and few types of groups in S are known.  
07.08.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Tony Guttmann  On the amenability of Thompson's Group $F$  
In 1967 Richard Thompson introduced the group $F$, hoping that it was nonamenable, since then it would disprove the von Neumann conjecture. Though the conjecture has subsequently been disproved, the question of the amenability of Thompson's group F has still not been rigorously settled. In this talk I will present the most comprehensive numerical attack on this problem that has yet been mounted. I will first give a history of the problem, including mention of the many incorrect "proofs" of amenability or nonamenability. Then I will give details of a new, efficient algorithm for obtaining terms of the cogrowth sequence. Finally I will describe a number of numerical methods to analyse the cogrowth sequences of a number of infinite, finitelygenerated groups, and show how these methods provide compelling evidence (though of course not a proof) that Thompson's group F is not amenable. I will also describe an alternative route to a rigorous proof. (This is joint work with Andrew Elvey Price).  
16.3017.30  Zoom  Collin Bleak  On the complexity of elementary amenable subgroups of R. Thompson's group $F$  
The theory of EG, the class of elementary amenable groups, has developed steadily since the class was introduced constructively by Day in 1957. At that time, it was unclear whether or not EG was equal to the class AG of all amenable groups. Highlights of this development certainly include Chou's article in 1980 which develops much of the basic structure theory of the class EG, and Grigorchuk's 1985 result showing that the first Grigorchuk group $\Gamma$ is amenable but not elementary amenable. In this talk we report on work where we demonstrate the existence of a family of finitely generated subgroups of Richard Thompson’s group $F$ which is strictly wellordered by the embeddability relation in type $\varepsilon_{0}+1$. All except the maximum element of this family (which is $F$ itself) are elementary amenable groups. In this way, for each $\alpha<\varepsilon_{0}$, we obtain a ﬁnitely generated elementary amenable subgroup of F whose EAclass is $\alpha+2$. The talk will be pitched for an algebraically inclined audience, but little background knowledge will be assumed. Joint work with Matthew Brin and Justin Moore.  
17.07.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Harry Hyungryul Baik  Normal generators for mapping class groups are abundant in the fibered cone (Notes)  
We show that for almost all primitive integral cohomology classes in the fibered cone of a closed fibered hyperbolic 3manifold, the monodromy normally generates the mapping class group of the fiber. The key idea of the proof is to use Fried’s theory of suspension flow and dynamic blowup of Mosher. If the time permits, we also discuss the nonexistence of the analog of Fried’s continuous extension of the normalized entropy over the fibered face in the case of asymptotic translation lengths on the curve complex. This talk is based on joint work with Eiko Kin, Hyunshik Shin and Chenxi Wu.  
16.3017.30  Zoom  Federico Vigolo  Asymptotic expander graphs (Slides)  
A sequence of expanders is a family of finite graphs that are sparse yet highly connected. Such families of graphs are fundamental object that found a wealth of applications throughout mathematics and computer science. This talk is centred around an "asymptotic" weakening of the notion of expansion. The original motivation for this asymptotic notion comes from the study of operator algebras associated with metric spaces. Further motivation comes from some recent works which established a connection between asymptotic expansion and strongly ergodic actions. I will give a nontechnical introduction to this topic, highlighting the relations with usual expanders and group actions.  
26.06.2020  14.0015.00  Zoom  Tianyi Zheng  Neretin groups admit no nontrivial invariant random subgroups (Slides)  
We explain the proof that Neretin groups have no nontrivial ergodic invariant random subgroups (IRS). Equivalently, any nontrivial ergodic p.m.p. action of Neretin’s group is essentially free. This property can be thought of as simplicity in the sense of measurable dynamics; while Neretin groups were known to be abstractly simple by a result of Kapoudjian. The heart of the proof is a “double commutator” lemma for IRSs of elliptic subgroups.  
16.0017.00  Zoom  Hiroki Matui  Various examples of topological full groups (Slides)  
I will begin with the definition of topological full groups and explain various examples of them. The topological full group arising from a minimal homeomorphism on a Cantor set gave the first example of finitely generated simple groups that are amenable and infinite. The topological full groups of onesided shifts of finite type are viewed as generalization of the HigmanThompson groups. Based on these two fundamental examples, I will discuss recent development of the study around topological full groups.  
05.06.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Federico Berlai  From hyperbolicity to hierarchical hyperbolicity  
Hierarchically hyperbolic groups (HHGs) and spaces are recentlyintroduced generalisations of (Gromov) hyperbolic groups and spaces. Other examples of HHGs include mapping class groups, rightangled Artin/Coxeter groups, and many groups acting properly and cocompactly on CAT(0) cube complexes. After a substantial introduction and motivation, I will present a combination theorem for hierarchically hyperbolic groups. As a corollary, any graph product of finitely many HHGs is itself a HHG. Joint work with B. Robbio.  
16.3017.00  Zoom  Mark Hagen  Hierarchical hyperbolicity from actions on simplicial complexes  
The notion of a "hierarchically hyperbolic space/group" grows out of geometric similarities between CAT(0) cubical groups and mapping class groups. Hierarchical hyperbolicity is a "coarse nonpositive curvature" property that is more restrictive than acylindrical hyperbolicity but general enough to include many of the usual suspects in geometric group theory. The class of hierarchically hyperbolic groups is also closed under various procedures for constructing new groups from old, and the theory can be used, for example, to bound the asymptotic dimension and to study quasiisometric rigidity for various groups. One disadvantage of the theory is that the definition  which is coarsegeometric and just an abstraction of properties of mapping class groups and cube complexes  is complicated. We therefore present a comparatively simple sufficient condition for a group to be hierarchically hyperbolic, in terms of an action on a hyperbolic simplicial complex. I will discuss some applications of this criterion to mapping class groups and (nonrightangled) Artin groups. This is joint work with Jason Behrstock, Alexandre Martin, and Alessandro Sisto.  
15.05.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Alex Bishop  Geodesic Growth in Virtually Abelian Groups  
Bridson, Burillo, Elder and Šunić asked if there exists a group with intermediate geodesic growth and if there is a characterisation of groups with polynomial geodesic growth. Towards these questions, they showed that there is no nilpotent group with intermediate geodesic growth, and they provided a sufficient condition for a virtually abelian group to have polynomial geodesic growth. In this talk, we take the next step in this study and show that the geodesic growth for a finitely generated virtually abelian group is either polynomial or exponential; and that the generating function of this geodesic growth series is holonomic, and rational in the polynomial growth case. To obtain this result, we will make use of the combinatorial properties of the class of linearly constrained language as studied by Massazza. In addition, we show that the language of geodesics of a virtually abelian group is blind multicounter.  
16.3017.00  Zoom  James East  Presentations for tensor categories  
Many wellknown families of groups and semigroups have natural categorical analogues: e.g., full transformation categories, symmetric inverse categories, as well as categories of partitions, Brauer/TemperleyLieb diagrams, braids and vines. This talk discusses presentations (by generators and relations) for such categories, utilising additional tensor/monoidal operations. The methods are quite general, and apply to a wide class of (strict) tensor categories with onesided units.  
01.05.2020  15.0016.00  Zoom  Yeeka Yau  Minimal automata for Coxeter groups  
In their celebrated 1993 paper, Brink and Howlett proved that all finitely generated Coxeter groups are automatic. In particular, they constructed a finite state automaton recognising the language of reduced words in a Coxeter group. This automaton is not minimal in general, and recently Christophe Hohlweg, Philippe Nadeau and Nathan Williams stated a conjectural criteria for the minimality. In this talk we will explain these concepts, and outline the proof of the conjecture of Hohlweg, Nadeau, and Williams. We will also describe an alternative algorithm to minimise any finite state automaton recognising the language of reduced words in a Coxeter group, which utilises the associated root system of the group. This work is joint with James Parkinson. 

16.3017.30  Zoom  Adam Piggott  The automorphism groups of the easiest infinite groups still present many mysteries (Slides)  
Free groups, and free products of finite groups, are the easiest nonabelian infinite groups to think about. Yet the automorphism groups of such groups still present significant mysteries. We discuss a program of research concerning automorphisms of easily understood infinite groups.  
06.03.2020  10.0011.00  V 107  Waltraud Lederle  Conjugacy and dynamics in the almost automorphism group of a tree  
We define the almost automorphism group of a regular tree, also known as Neretin's group, and determine when two elements are conjugate. (joint work with Gil Goffer)  
11.3012.30  V 107  Mark Pengitore  Translationlike actions on nilpotent groups  
Whyte introduced translationlike actions of groups as a geometric generalization of subgroup containment. He then proved a geometric reformulation of the von Neumann conjecture by demonstrating that a finitely generated group is non amenable if and only it admits a translationlike action by a nonabelian free group. This provides motivation for the study of what groups can act translationlike on other groups. As a consequence of Gromov’s polynomial growth theorem, virtually nilpotent groups can act translationlike on other nilpotent groups. We demonstrate that if two nilpotent groups have the same growth, but nonisomorphic Carnot completions, then they can't act translationlike on each other. (joint work with David Cohen)  
14.0015.00  V 107  Jeroen Schillewaert  Fixed points for group actions on $2$dimensional affine buildings  
We prove a localtoglobal result for fixed points of groups acting on $2$dimensional affine buildings (possibly nondiscrete, and not of type $\tilde{G}_{2}$). In the discrete case, our theorem establishes two conjectures by Marquis. (joint work with Koen Struyve and Anne Thomas)  
15.3016.30  V 107  Francois Thilmany  Lattices of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_n$  
A classical result of Siegel asserts that the (2,3,7)triangle group attains the smallest covolume among lattices of $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{R})$. In general, given a semisimple Lie group $G$ over some local field $F$, one may ask which lattices in $G$ attain the smallest covolume. A complete answer to this question seems out of reach at the moment; nevertheless, many steps have been made in the last decades. Inspired by Siegel's result, Lubotzky determined that a lattice of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_2(F)$ with $F=\mathbb{F}_q((t))$ is given by the socalled characteristic $p$ modular group $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{F}_q[1/t])$. He noted that, in contrast with Siegel’s lattice, the quotient by $\mathrm{SL}_2(\mathbb{F}_q[1/t])$ was not compact, and asked what the typical situation should be: "for a semisimple Lie group over a local field, is a lattice of minimal covolume a cocompact or nonuniform lattice?". In the talk, we will review some of the known results, and then discuss the case of $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{R})$ for $n > 2$. It turns out that, up to automorphism, the unique lattice of minimal covolume in $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{R})$ ($n > 2$) is $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb{Z})$. In particular, it is not uniform, giving a partial answer to Lubotzky’s question in this case. 

01.11.2019  12.0013.00  V 109  Anthony Dooley  Classification of nonsingular systems and critical dimension  
A nonsingular measurable dynamical system is a measure space $X$ whose measure $\mu$ has the property that $\mu $ and $\mu \circ T$ are equivalent measures (in the sense that they have the same sets of measure zero). Here $T$ is a bimeasurable invertible transformation of $X$. The basic building blocks are the \emph{ergodic} measures. Von Neumann proposed a classification of nonsingular ergodic dynamical systems, and this has been elaborated subsequently by Krieger, Connes and others. This work has deep connections with C*algebras. I will describe some work of myself, collaborators and students which explore the classification of dynamical systems from the point of view of measure theory. In particular, we have recently been exploring the notion of critical dimension, a study of the rate of growth of sums of RadonNikodym derivatives $\Sigma_{k=1}^n \frac{d\mu \circ T^k}{d\mu}$. Recently, we have been replacing the single transformation $T$ with a group acting on the space $X$.  
14.0015.00  V 109  Colin Reid  Piecewise powers of a minimal homeomorphism of the Cantor set  
Let $X$ be the Cantor set and let $g$ be a minimal homeomorphism of $X$ (that is, every orbit is dense). Then the topological full group $\tau[g]$ of $g$ consists of all homeomorphisms $h$ of $X$ that act 'piecewise' as powers of $g$, in other words, $X$ can be partitioned into finitely many clopen pieces $X_1,...,X_n$ such that for each $i$, $h$ acts on $X_i$ as a constant power of $g$. Such groups have attracted considerable interest in dynamical systems and group theory, for instance they characterize the homeomorphism up to flip conjugacy (GiordanoPutnamSkau) and they provided the first known examples of infinite finitely generated simple amenable groups (JuschenkoMonod). My talk is motivated by the following question: given $h\in\tau[g]$ for some minimal homeomorphism $g$, what can the closures of orbits of $h$ look like? Certainly $h\in\tau[g]$ is not minimal in general, but it turns out to be quite close to being minimal, in the following sense: there is a decomposition of $X$ into finitely many clopen invariant pieces, such that on each piece $h$ acts a homeomorphism that is either minimal or of finite order. Moreover, on each of the minimal parts of $h$, then either $h$ or $h^{1}$ has a 'positive drift' with respect to the orbits of $g$; in fact, it can be written in a canonical way as a conjugate of a product of induced transformations (aka first return maps) of $g$. No background knowledge of topological full groups is required; I will introduce all the necessary concepts in the talk.  
15.3016.30  V 109  Michael Barnsley  Dynamics on Fractals  
I will outline a new theory of fractal tilings. The approach uses graph iterated function systems (IFS) and centers on underlying symbolic shift spaces. These provide a zero dimensional representation of the intricate relationship between shift dynamics on fractals and renormalization dynamics on spaces of tilings. The ideas I will describe unify, simplify, and substantially extend key concepts in foundational papers by Solomyak, Anderson and Putnam, and others. In effect, IFS theory on the one hand, and selfsimilar tiling theory on the other, are unified. The work presented is largely new and has not yet been submitted for publication. It is joint work with Andrew Vince (UFL) and Louisa Barnsley. The presentation will include links to detailed notes. The figures illustrate 2d fractal tilings. By way of recommended background reading I mention the following awardwinning paper: M. F. Barnsley, A. Vince, Selfsimilar polygonal tilings, Amer. Math. Monthly 124 (1017) 905921. 

06.09.2019  14.3015.30  V 109  Sasha Fish  Patterns in sets of positive density in trees and buildings  
We will discuss what are the patterns that necessarily occur in sets of positive density in homogeneous trees and certain affine buildings. Based on joint work with Michael Bjorklund (Chalmers) and James Parkinson (University of Sydney).  
16.0017.00  V 109  Michael Coons  Integer sequences, asymptotics and diffraction  
For some time now, I have been trying to understand the intricacy and complexity of integer sequences from a variety of different viewpoints and at least at some level trying to reconcile these viewpoints. However vague that sounds  and it certainly is vague to me  in this talk I hope to explain this sentiment a bit. While a variety of results will be considered, I will focus closely on two examples of wider interest, the ThueMorse sequence and the set of $k$free integers.  
02.08.2019  12.0013.00  V 109  Brian Alspach  Honeycomb Toroidal Graphs  
The honeycomb toroidal graphs are a family of graphs I have been looking at now and then for thirty years. I shall discuss an ongoing project dealing with hamiltonicity as well as some of their properties which have recently interested the computer architecture community.  
14.0015.00  V 109  John Bamberg  Symmetric finite generalised polygons  
Finite generalised polygons are the rank 2 irreducible spherical buildings, and include projective planes and the generalised quadrangles, hexagons, and octagons. Since the early work of Ostrom and Wagner on the automorphism groups of finite projective planes, there has been great interest in what the automorphism groups of generalised polygons can be, and in particular, whether it is possible to classify generalised polygons with a prescribed symmetry condition. For example, the finite Moufang polygons are the 'classical' examples by a theorem of Fong and Seitz (19731974) (and the infinite examples were classified in the work of Tits and Weiss (2002)). In this talk, we give an overview of some recent results on the study of symmetric finite generalised polygons, and in particular, on the work of the speaker with Cai Heng Li and Eric Swartz.  
15.3016.30  V 109  Marston Conder  Edgetransitive graphs and maps  
In this talk I'll describe some recent discoveries about edgetransitive graphs and edgetransitive maps. These are objects that have received relatively little attention compared with their vertextransitive and arctransitive siblings. First I will explain a new approach (taken in joint work with Gabriel Verret) to finding all edgetransitive graphs of small order, using single and double actions of transitive permutation groups. This has resulted in the determination of all edgetransitive graphs of order up to 47 (the best possible just now, because the transitive groups of degree 48 are not known), and bipartite edgetransitive graphs of order up to 63. It also led us to the answer to a 1967 question by Folkman about the valencytoorder ratio for regular graphs that are edge but not vertextransitive. Then I'll describe some recent work on edgetransitive maps, helped along by workshops at Oaxaca and Banff in 2017. I'll explain how such maps fall into 14 natural classes (two of which are the classes of regular and chiral maps), and how graphs in each class may be constructed and analysed. This will include the answers to some 18yearold questions by Širáň, Tucker and Watkins about the existence of particular kinds of such maps on orientable and nonorientable surfaces. 

03.05.2019  14.0015.00  W 238  Heiko Dietrich  Quotient algorithms (a.k.a. how to compute with finitely presented groups)  
In this talk, I will survey some of the famous quotient algorithms that can be used to compute efficiently with finitely presented groups. The last part of the talk will be about joint work with Alexander Hulpke (Colorado State University): we have looked at quotient algorithms for nonsolvable groups, and I will report on the findings so far.  
15.3016.30  W 238  Youming Qiao  Isomorphism testing problems: in light of Babai's graph isomorphism breakthrough  
In computer science, an isomorphism testing problem asks whether two objects are in the same orbit under a group action. The most famous problem of this type has been the graph isomorphism problem. In late 2015, L. Babai announced a quasipolynomialtime algorithm for the graph isomorphism problem, which is widely regarded as a breakthrough in theoretical computer science. This leads to a natural question, that is, which isomorphism testing problems should naturally draw our attention for further exploration?  
12.0013.00  W 238  Nicole Sutherland  Computations of Galois groups and splitting fields  
The Galois group of a polynomial is the automorphism group of its splitting field. These automorphisms act by permuting the roots of the polynomial so that a Galois group will be a subgroup of a symmetric group. Using the Galois group the splitting field of a polynomial can be computed more efficiently than otherwise, using the knowledge of the symmetries of the roots. I will present an algorithm developed by Fieker and Klueners, which I have extended, for computing Galois groups of polynomials over arithmetic fields as well as approaches to computing splitting fields using the symmetries of the roots.  
05.04.2019  12.0013.00  W 238  Arnaud Brothier  Jones' actions of the Thompson's groups: applications to group theory and mathematical physics  
Motivating in constructing conformal field theories Jones recently discovered a very general process that produces actions of the Thompson groups $F$,$T$ and $V$ such as unitary representations or actions on $C^{\ast}$algebras. I will give a general panorama of this construction along with many examples and present various applications regarding analytical properties of groups and, if time permits, in lattice theory (e.g. quantum field theory).  
14.0015.00  W 238  Lawrence Reeves  An irrationalslope Thompson's group  
Let $t$ be the the multiplicative inverse of the golden mean. In 1995 Sean Cleary introduced the irrationalslope Thompson's group $F_t$, which is the group of piecewiselinear maps of the interval $[0,1]$ with breaks in $Z[t]$ and slopes powers of $t$. In this talk we describe this group using treepair diagrams, and then demonstrate a finite presentation, a normal form, and prove that its commutator subgroup is simple. This group is the first example of a group of piecewiselinear maps of the interval whose abelianisation has torsion, and it is an open problem whether this group is a subgroup of Thompson's group $F$.  
15.3016.30  W 238  Richard Garner  Topostheoretic aspects of selfsimilarity  
A JonssonTarski algebra is a set $X$ endowed with an isomorphism $X\to XxX$. As observed by Freyd, the category of JonssonTarski algebras is a Grothendieck topos  a highly structured mathematical object which is at once a generalised topological space, and a generalised universe of sets. In particular, one can do algebra, topology and functional analysis inside the JonssonTarski topos, and on doing so, the following objects simply pop out: Cantor space; Thompson's group V; the Leavitt algebra L2; the Cuntz semigroup S2; and the reduced $C^{\ast}$algebra of S2. The first objective of this talk is to explain how this happens. The second objective is to describe other "selfsimilar toposes" associated to, for example, selfsimilar group actions, directed graphs and higherrank graphs; and again, each such topos contains within it a familiar menagerie of algebraicanalytic objects. If time permits, I will also explain a further intriguing example which gives rise to Thompson's group F and, I suspect, the Farey AF algebra. No expertise in topos theory is required; such background as is necessary will be developed in the talk. 

In this edition, three 2017 ARC Laureate Fellows in mathematics outline their projects. Descriptions of these projects are given as abstracts below. 

15.03.2019  12.0013.00  Purdue Room  Mathai Varghese  Advances in Index Theory  
The project aims to develop novel techniques to investigate Geometric analysis on infinite dimensional bundles, as well as Geometric analysis of pathological spaces with Cantor set as fibre, that arise in models for the fractional quantum Hall effect and topological matter, areas recognised with the 1998 and 2016 Nobel Prizes. Building on the applicant's expertise in the area, the project will involve postgraduate and postdoctoral training in order to enhance Australia's position at the forefront of international research in Geometric Analysis. Ultimately, the project will enhance Australia's leading position in the area of Index Theory by developing novel techniques to solve challenging conjectures, and mentoring HDR students and ECRs.  
14.0015.00  Purdue Room  Fedor Sukochev  Breakthrough methods for noncommutative calculus  
This project aims to solve hard, outstanding problems which have impeded our ability to progress in the area of quantum or noncommutative calculus. Calculus has provided an invaluable tool to science, enabling scientific and technological revolutions throughout the past two centuries. The project will initiate a program of collaboration among top mathematical researchers from around the world and bring together two separate mathematical areas into a powerful new set of tools. The outcomes from the project will impact research at the forefront of mathematical physics and other sciences and enhance Australia's reputation and standing.  
15.3016.30  Purdue Room  George Willis  ZeroDimensional Symmetry and its Ramifications  
This project aims to investigate algebraic objects known as 0dimensional groups, which are a mathematical tool for analysing the symmetry of infinite networks. Group theory has been used to classify possible types of symmetry in various contexts for nearly two centuries now, and 0dimensional groups are the current frontier of knowledge. The expected outcome of the project is that the understanding of the abstract groups will be substantially advanced, and that this understanding will shed light on structures possessing 0dimensional symmetry. In addition to being cultural achievements in their own right, advances in group theory such as this also often have significant translational benefits. This will provide benefits such as the creation of tools relevant to information science and researchers trained in the use of these tools.  
01.03.2019  12.0013.00  W 104  Marcelo Laca  An introduction to KMS states and two suprising examples  
The KMS condition for equilibrium states of C*dynamical systems has been around since the 1960's. With the introduction of systems arising from number theory and from semigroup dynamics following pioneering work of Bost and Connes, their study has accelerated significantly in the last 25 years. I will give a brief introduction to C*dynamical systems and their KMS states and discuss two constructions that exhibit fascinating connections with key open questions in mathematics such as Hilbert's 12th problem on explicit class field theory and Furstenberg's x2 x3 conjecture.  
14.0015.00  W 104  Zahra Afsar  KMS states of $C^*$algebras of $*$commuting local homeomorphisms and applications in $k$graph algebras  
In this talk, I will show how to build $C^*$algebras using a family of local homeomorphisms. Then we will compute the KMS states of the resulted algebras using LacaNeshveyev machinery. Then I will apply this result to $C^*$algebras of $K$graphs and obtain interesting $C^*$algebraic information about $k$graph algebras. This talk is based on a joint work with Astrid an Huef and Iain Raeburn.  
15.3016.30  W 104  Aidan Sims  What equilibrium states KMS states for selfsimilar actions have to do with fixedpoint theory  
Using a variant of the LacaRaeburn program for calculating KMS states, Laca, Raeburn, Ramagge and Whittaker showed that, at any inverse temperature above a critical value, the KMS states arising from selfsimilar actions of groups (or groupoids) $G$ are parameterised by traces on C*(G). The parameterisation takes the form of a selfmapping $\chi$ of the trace space of C*(G) that is built from the structure of the stabilisers of the selfsimilar action. I will outline how this works, and then sketch how to see that $\chi$ has a unique fixedpoint, which picks out the ``preferred" trace of C*(G) corresponding to the only KMS state that persists at the critical inverse temperature. The first part of this will be an exposition of results of LacaRaeburnRamaggeWhittaker. The second part is joint work with Joan Claramunt. 
Date  Time  Room  Speaker  Title 

05.11.2020  11.00  Zoom  George Willis (at Texas A&M)  Scale Groups 
Scale groups are closed, vertextransitive groups of automorphisms of a regular tree that fix an end of the tree. These concrete groups emerge from the structure theory of abstract totally disconnected, locally compact groups. There is also a very close correspondence between scale groups and closed selfreplicating groups, which are groups of automorphisms of a rooted tree. The role of scale groups in the study of general totally disconnected, locally compact groups and their connection with selfreplicating groups will be explained in the talk.  
30.10.2020  17.00  Zoom  Michal Ferov  The conjugacy depth function of wreath products of abelian groups 
Informally speaking, the conjugacy depth function of a conjugacy separable group measures how deep in the lattice of normal finite index subgroups one needs to go in order to find a finite quotient witnessing that two elements are not conjugate. The study of conjugacy depth functions is quite new and precise asymptotic bounds are only known for several classes of groups. We study the case when the group in question is a restricted wreath product of finitely generated abelian group. As a consequence we show that the conjugacy depth function for the lamplighter group is exponential. (Ongoing joint work with Mark Pengitore)  
23.10.2020  12.15  Zoom  Ben Brawn  On 1balls in vertextransitive graphs 
16.10.2020  10.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
09.10.2020  15.00  Zoom  Brian Alspach  Recent Progress On FactorInvariant Graphs 
A trivalent vertextransitive graph X is F(1,2)invariant if its edge set has a partition into a 2factor and a 1factor such that the full automorphism group of X preserves the partition. I shall discuss what we currently know about these graphs. This is joint work with Ted Dobson, Afsaneh Khodadadpour and Don Kreher.  
02.10.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
25.09.2020  15.00  Zoom  George Willis  Flat groups of automorphisms 
18.09.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
11.09.2020  15.00  Zoom  Stephan Tornier  Computational discrete algebra with GAP 
04.09.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
28.08.2020  15.00  Zoom  João Vitor Pinto e Silva  Elementary groups 
21.08.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
14.08.2020  15.00  Zoom  Colin Reid  Pseudoelementary groups 
07.08.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
31.07.2020  15.00  Zoom  George Willis  Totally disconnected, locally compact groups and the scale 
The scale is a positive, integervalued function defined on any totally disconnected, locally compact (t.d.l.c.) group that reflects the structure of the group. Following a brief overview of the main directions of current research on t.d.l.c. groups, the talk will introduce the scale and describe aspects of group structure that it reveals. In particular, the notions of tidy subgroup, contraction subgroup and flat subgroup of a t.d.l.c. will be explained and illustrated with examples.  
24.07.2020  15.00  Zoom  Max Carter  Cartan decompositions of tdlc groups and two related properties 
I will talk about some recent work involving studying Cartan decompositions of tdlc groups. Two closely related properties, the contraction group property and the closed range property will be discussed, along with some applications concerning groups acting on trees.  
17.07.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
10.07.2020  15.00  Zoom  Michal Ferov  Graph automorphisms and colourings 
I would like to discuss some ideas I had regarding groups acting on graphs and edge colouring of the said graphs. I will not present any results, but I will point out some questions I have found along the way and I find interesting. Discussion with tips and suggestions will be appreciated.  
03.07.2020  15.00  Zoom  No seminar  
26.06.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
19.06.2020  15.00  Zoom  No seminar  
12.06.2020  15.00  Zoom  George Willis  Scale groups 
05.06.2020  15.00  Zoom  Symmetry in Newcastle  
29.05.2020  15.00  Zoom  Colin Reid  Abelian chief factors of locally compact groups 
22.05.2020  15.00  Zoom  Stephan Tornier  On boundary2transitive groups acting on trees 
16.01.2020  11.00  SR 202  George Willis  Scale groups, selfsimilar groups and selfreplicating groups 
04.11.2019  10.00  V 108  Max Carter  Project Presentation Rehearsal 
29.07.2019  11.00  MC LG17  George Willis  Computing in automorphism groups of trees 
20.05.2019  13.00  W 243  Ben Brawn  Automorphisms of forests of quasilabelregular rooted trees 
We investigate when the automorphism group of a quasilabelregular rooted tree (QLRRT) is trivial or nontrival. We determine when a QLRRT has a finite domain and use this to write its automorphism group as an iterated wreath product. When a QLRRT doesn't have a finite domain, sometimes we can still write its automorphism group as an iterated wreath product and other times we are unlucky and need some number of coupled selfreferential equations to describe the group.  
08.05.2019  10.00  W 243  Ben Brawn  Forests of quasilabelregular rooted trees and their almost isomorphism classes 
We introduce almost isomorphisms of locallyfinite graphs and in particular, trees. We introduce a type of infinite tree, dubbed labelregular, and consider trees that are labelregular except at a finite number of vertices, which we call quasilabelregular trees. We show how to determine if two quasilabelregular trees are almost isomorphic or not. We count the number of equivalence classes of quasilabelregular trees under almost isomorphisms and find this number ranges from finite to infinite. When there are a finite number we show how to determine it and suggest a way to choose representatives for the equivalence classes.  
27.03.2019  10.00  W 243  Yossi Bokor  What doughnuts tell us about data 
The old joke is that a topologist can't distinguish between a coffee cup and a doughnut. A recent variant of Homology, called Persistent Homology, can be used in data analysis to understand the shape of data. I will give an introduction to persistent Homology and describe two example applications of this tool.  
05.02.2019  12.00  MC G29  Alastair Anderberg, Max Carter, Peter Groenhout William RolandBatty, Chloe Wilkins 
Summer Projects Dress Rehearsal 
18.12.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Max Carter, Peter Groenhout  Summer Projects 
11.12.2018  14.00  MC G29  Davide Spriano  Convexity and generalization of hyperbolicity 
Almost by definition, the main tool and goal of Geometric Group Theory is to find and exploit correspondences between geometric and algebraic features of groups. Following this philosophy, I will focus on the question: what does it mean for a sub(space/group) to "sit nicely" inside a bigger (space/group)? Focusing on groups, for a subgroup H of a group G, possible answers for the above question are when the subgroup H is: quasiisometrically embedded, undistorted, normal/malnormal, finitely generated, geometrically separated... Many of the above are equivalent when H is a quasiconvex subgroup of a hyperbolic group G, providing very successful correspondences between geometric and algebraic properties of subgroups. The goal of this talk is to review quasiconvexity in hyperbolic spaces and try to generalize several of those features in a broader setting, namely the class of hierarchically hyperbolic groups (HHG). This is a joint work with Hung C. Tran and Jacob Russell. 

04.12.2018  all week  Adelaide  AustMS Meeting  
27.11.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Alejandra Garrido  Hausdorff dimension and normal subgroups of freelike pro$p$ groups 
Hausdorff dimension has become a standard tool to measure the "size" of fractals in real space. However, it can be defined on any metric space and therefore can be used to measure the "size" of subgroups of, say, pro$p$ groups (with respect to a chosen metric). This line of investigation was started 20 years ago by Barnea and Shalev, who showed that $p$adic analytic groups do not have any "fractal" subgroups, and asked whether this characterises them among finitely generated pro$p$ groups. I will explain what all of this means and report on joint work with Oihana Garaialde and Benjamin Klopsch in which, while trying to solve this problem, we ended up showing an analogue of a theorem of Schreier in the context of pro$p$ groups of positive rank gradient: any finitely generated infinite normal subgroup of a pro$p$ group of positive rank gradient is of finite index. I will also explain what "positive rank gradient" means, and why pro$p$ groups with such a property are "freelike". 

20.11.2018  14.00  MC 110  Thibaut Dumont  Cocycles on trees and piecewise translation action on locally compact groups 
In the first part of this seminar, I will present some geometric cocycles associated to trees and ways to compute their norms. Similar construction exists for Euclidean buildings but no satisfactory estimates of the norm is currently known. In the second part, I will discuss some ongoing research with Thibaut Pillon on actions the infinite cyclic group by piecewise translations on locally compact group. Piecewise translation actions have been well studied for finitely generated groups, e.g. by Whyte, and provide positive answers to the vonNeumannDay problem or the Burnside problem. The generalization to LCgroups was introduced by Schneider. The topic seems to have interesting implications for tdlcgroups.  
13.11.2018  all day  X 602  EViMS Workshop  
12.11.2018  14.00  MC G29  Anne Thomas  Divergence in rightangled Coxeter groups 
The divergence of a pair of geodesics in a metric space measures how fast they spread apart. For example, in Euclidean space all pairs of geodesics diverge linearly, while in hyperbolic space all pairs of geodesics diverge exponentially. In the 1980s Gromov proved that in symmetric spaces of noncompact type, the only possible divergence rates are linear or exponential, and he asked whether the same dichotomy holds in CAT(0) spaces. Soon afterwards, Gersten used these ideas to define a quasiisometry invariant, also called divergence, which measures the "worst" rate of divergence. Gersten and others have since found many examples of finitely generated groups with quadratic divergence. We study divergence in rightangled Coxeter groups with trianglefree defining graphs. Using the structure of certain flats in the associated Davis complex, which is a CAT(0) square complex, we characterise such groups with linear and quadratic divergence, and construct examples of rightangled Coxeter groups with divergence polynomial of arbitrary degree. This is joint work with Pallavi Dani (Louisiana State University).  
06.11.2018  all day  U Sydney  Group Actions Seminar held at the University of Sydney  
30.10.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Reading Group  
23.10.2018  all day  U Sydney  Group Actions Seminar held at the University of Sydney  
16.10.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Alejandra Garrido  Maximal subgroups of some groups of intermediate growth 
Given a group one of the most natural things one can study about it is its subgroup lattice, and the maximal subgroups take a prominent role. If the group is infinite, one can ask whether all maximal subgroups have finite index or whether there are some (and how many) of infinite index. After telling some historical developments on this question, I will motivate the study of maximal subgroups of groups of intermediate growth and report on joint work with Dominik Francoeur where we give a complete description of all maximal subgroups of some "siblings" of Grigorchuk's group.  
09.10.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Dave Robertson  Algebraic theory of selfsimilar groups 
I will describe the relationship between selfsimilar groups, permutational bimodules and virtual group endomorphisms. Based on chapter 2 of Nekrashevych’s book.  
02.10.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Alex Bishop  The Group CoWord Problem 
In this talk, we will introduce a class of tree automorphism groups known as bounded automata. From this definition, we will see that many of the interesting examples of selfsimilar groups in the literature are members of this class. A problem in group theory is classifying groups based on the difficulty of solving their coword problems, that is, classifying them by the computational difficulty to decide if a word is not equivalent to the identity. Some wellknown results in this study are that a group has a coword problem given by a regular language if and only if it is finite, a deterministic contextfree language if and only if it is virtually free, and a deterministic onecounter machine if and only if it is virtually cyclic. Each of these language classes corresponds to a natural and wellstudied model of computation. We will show that the class of bounded automata groups has a coword problem given by an ET0L language – a class of formal language which has recently gained popularity in areas of group theory. This strengthens a recent result of Holt and Röver (who showed this result for a less restrictive class of language) and extends a result of CiobanuElderFerov (who proved this result for the first Grigorchuk group). 

25.09.2018  14.00  MC LG17  Timothy Bywaters  Spaces at infinity for hyperbolic totally disconnected locally compact groups 
Every compactly generated t.d.l.c. group acts vertex transitively on a locally finite graph with compact open vertex stabilisers. Such a graph is called a rough Cayley graph and, up to quasiisometry, is an invariant for the group. This allows us to define Gromov hyperbolic t.d.l.c. groups and their Gromov boundary in a way analogous to the finitely generated case. The space of directions of a t.d.l.c. group is a metric space 'at infinity' obtained by analysing the action of the group on the set of compact open subgroups. It is particularly useful for detecting flat subgroups, think subgroups that look like $\mathbb{Z}^n$. In my talk, I will introduce these two concepts of boundary and give some new results which relate them. Time permitting, I may also give details about the proofs. 

10.09.2018  14.00  MC G29  Colin Reid  Endomorphisms of profinite groups 
Given a profinite group $G$, we can consider the semigroup $\mathrm{End}(G)$ of continuous homomorphisms from $G$ to itself. In general $\lambda \in\mathrm{End}(G)$ can be injective but not surjective, or vice versa: consider for instance the case when $G$ is the group $F_p[[t]$ of formal power series over a finite field, $n$ is an integer, and $\lambda_n$ is the continuous endomorphism that sends $t^k$ to $t^{k+n}$ if $k+n \ge 0$ and $0$ otherwise. However, when $G$ has only finitely many open subgroups of each index (for instance, if $G$ is finitely generated), the structure of endomorphisms is much more restricted: given $\lambda \in\mathrm{End}(G)$, then $G$ can be written as a semidirect product $N \rtimes H$ of closed subgroups, where $\lambda$ acts as an automorphism on $H$ and a contracting endomorphism on $N$. When $\lambda$ is open and injective, the structure of $N$ can be restricted further using results of Glöckner and Willis (including the very recent progress that George told us about a few weeks ago). This puts some restrictions on the profinite groups that can appear as a '$V_+$' group for an automorphism of a t.d.l.c. group.  
03.09.2018  14.00  MC G29  Stephan Tornier  An introduction to selfsimilar groups 
We introduce the notion of selfsimilarity for groups acting on regular rooted trees as well as their description using automata and wreath iteration. Following the definition of Grigorchuk's group we show that it is an infinite, finitely generated $2$group. The proof illustrates the use of selfsimilarity.  
27.08.2018  14.00  MC G29  George Willis  The tree representation theorem and automorphism groups of rooted trees 
(joint work with R. Grigorchuk ad D. Horadam) The tree representation theorem represents a certain group associated with the scale of an automorphism of a t.d.l.c. group as acting by symmetries of a regular (unrooted) tree. It shows that groups acting on regular trees are a fundamental part of the theory of t.d.l.c. groups. There is also an extensive theory of selfsimilar and selfreplicating groups of symmetries of rooted trees which has developed from the discovery (or creation) of examples such as the Grigorchuk groups. It will be seen in this talk that these two branches of research are studying essentially the same groups. 

20.08.2018  14.00  MC G29  George Willis  Locally prop contraction groups are nilpotent 
A contraction group is a pair $(G,\alpha)$ in which $G$ is a locally compact group and $\alpha$ is an automorphism of $G$ such that $\alpha^n(x)\to 1$ as $n\to\infty$. In joint work with H. Glöckner, it is shown that every contraction group is the direct sum of closed subgroups $$G = D\oplus T$$ with $D$ divisible, i.e. for every $x\in D$ and $n>0$ there is $y\in D$ with $y^n =x$ and $T$ torsion, i.e. there is $n>0$ such that $x^n = 1$ for every $x\in T$. Furthermore, $D$ is the direct sum $$D = \bigoplus_{i=1}^k D_{p_i}$$ of $p_i$adic analytic nilpotent contraction groups for some prime numbers $p_1,\ldots, p_k$. The torsion subgroup $T$ may also be written as a composition series of simple contraction groups. In the case when all the composition factors are of the form $\mathbb{F}_p(\!(t)\!), \alpha$ with $\alpha$ being the automorphism of multiplication by $p$, it follows easily that $G$ is a solvable group. These ideas will be explained in the talk and a sketch will be presented of a proof that $G$ is in fact nilpotent in this case.  
13.08.2018  14.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  Separating cyclic subgroups in graph products of groups 
(joint work with Federico Berlai) A natural way to study infinite groups is via looking at their finite quotients. A subset S of a group G is then said to be (finitely) separable in G if we can recognise it in some finite quotient of G, meaning that for every g outside of S there is a finite quotient of G such that the image of g under the canonical projection does not belong to the image of S. We can then describe classes of groups by specifying which types of subsets do we require to be separable: residually finite groups have separable singletons, conjugacy separable groups have separable conjugacy classes of elements, cyclic subgroup separable groups have separable cyclic subgroups and so on... We could also restrict our attention only to some class of quotients, such as finite pgroups, solvable, alternating... Properties of this type are called separability properties. In case when the class of admissible quotients has reasonable closure properties we can use topological methods. We prove that the property of being cyclic subgroup separable, that is having all cyclic subgroups closed in the profinite topology, is preserved under forming graph products. Furthermore, we develop the tools to study the analogous question in the prop case. For a wide class of groups we show that the relevant cyclic subgroups  which are called pisolated  are closed in the prop topology of the graph product. In particular, we show that every pisolated cyclic subgroup of a rightangled Artin group is closed in the prop topology and, consequently, we show that maximal cyclic subgroups of a rightangled Artin group are pseparable for every p. 

06.08.2018  14.00  MC G29  Stephan Tornier  Totally disconnected, locally compact groups from transcendental field extensions 
(joint work with Timothy Bywaters) Let E over K be field extension. Then the group of automorphisms of E which pointwise fix K is totally disconnected Hausdorff when equipped with the permutation topology. We study examples, aiming to establish criteria for this group to be locally compact, nondiscrete and compactly generated.  
30.07.2018  14.00  MC G29  Ben Brawn  Voltage and derived graphs and their relation to the free product of graphs 
We look at a classical construction known as ordinary voltage graphs and their derived graphs. We show how to construct the free product of graphs as the derived graph of a voltage graph whose base graph is the Cartesian product of the given graphs with a specific voltage assignment. We find that the voltage group is always a free group and give the number of generators needed.  
23.07.2018  14.00  MC G29  Colin Reid  A lemma for group actions on zerodimensional spaces 
I present a lemma concerning a group action on a locally compact zerodimensional spaces, where the group has a 'small' (compact, say) generating set, relating invariant compact sets with orbit closures. A typical example to have in mind is a compactly generated tdlc group acting on itself by conjugation, where we use conditions on closures of conjugacy classes to deduce the existence of compact normal subgroups. The idea of the lemma has appeared several times in the literature but does not appear to have been given explicitly in this form. I will discuss various applications depending on time.  
12.06.2018  14.00  V 206  Dave Robertson  Topological full groups  Part II 
For an action of a group G on the Cantor set, we can construct a group of transformations of the Cantor set that are constructed 'piecewise' from elements of G. This is called the topological full group of G. Examples include the topological full groups associated to a minimal homeomorphism of the Cantor set considered by Giordano, Putnam and Skau, and Neretin's group of spheromorphisms. I will describe the construction using groupoids, and show how certain examples admit a totally disconnected locally compact topology. This is based on work in progress with Alejandra Garrido and Colin Reid.\  
06.06.2018  14.00  V 206  George Willis  Free products of graphs  Part II 
05.06.2018  14.00  V 206  Dave Robertson  Topological full groups  Part I 
For an action of a group G on the Cantor set, we can construct a group of transformations of the Cantor set that are constructed 'piecewise' from elements of G. This is called the topological full group of G. Examples include the topological full groups associated to a minimal homeomorphism of the Cantor set considered by Giordano, Putnam and Skau, and Neretin's group of spheromorphisms. I will describe the construction using groupoids, and show how certain examples admit a totally disconnected locally compact topology. This is based on work in progress with Alejandra Garrido and Colin Reid.  
30.05.2018  14.00  V 206  George Willis  Free products of graphs  Part I 
29.05.2018  14.00  V 206  Michal Ferov  Profinite words and inverse limits of finite state automata 
In the case of finitely generated discrete groups, the problem of deciding whether a product of a sequence of generators and their inverses represents the trivial element is known as the word problem. Somewhat surprisingly, the complexity of word problem is tightly connected to the structure and geometry of the group: a classical result of Anisimov states that a group has word problem decidable by finitestate automaton if and only if the group is finite; similarly, result of Muller and Shupp states that a group has word problem is decidable by pushdown automaton if and only if the group is virtuallyfree. In my talk, I will define inverse limits of finitestate automata and discuss how it might be useful for studying totallydisconnected locallycompact groups.  
22.05.2018  14.00  V 206  Thomas Murray  On automorphism groups of regular rooted groups 
Starting with the automorphism group of a regular, locally finite tree the tree representation theorem leads us to groups acting on a regular, rooted tree. Furthermore these groups satisfy a property called R and are profinite. As a result, the study of these groups may be reduced to those that act on a finite depth regular rooted tree with corresponding finite version of property R. We introduce the idea of studying such groups with geometric objects in order to study trees of higher valency and investigate conjectures made for the binary rooted tree.  
15.05.2018  14.00  LSTH 100  George Willis  School Seminar — ZeroDimensional Symmetry 
The pleasure and utility of observing symmetry in nature may be found in the mathematics of symmetry, which is known as group theory. Zerodimensional symmetry is the symmetry of networks and relationships, such as a family tree. In contrast, physical objects, such as a sphere, have positivedimensional symmetry. While positivedimensional symmetry has been well understood for more than a century (and is applied in physics) it is only in the last 25 years that our understanding of zerodimensional symmetry has begun to catch up. Even though great progress is being made, we still aren’t sure how close we are to having the full picture.  
08.05.2018  14.00  V 206  Thomas Taylor  Automorphisms of Cayley graphs for rightangled Artin groups 
01.05.2018  14.00  V 126  George Willis  Project — ZeroDimesional Symmetry 
The project on 0dimensional symmetry, that is, totally disconnected locally compact groups, is organised around four themes, namely, ‘Structure theory’, ‘Geometries’, ‘Local structure and commensurators’ and ‘Representations and computation’. These themes relate to the scale function on a t.d.l.c. group as follows. The scale itself is defined directly in terms of commensuration and the tidying procedure enables computation of the scale. Tidy subgroups can also be characterised geometrically, and the scale behaves naturally under structural decompositions of groups.  
24.04.2018  14.00  V 205  Ben Brawn  On quasilabelregular trees and their classification 
We introduce almost isomorphisms of locallyfinite infinite graphs and in particular trees. We introduce a type of infinite tree, dubbed labelregular, and consider trees that are labelregular except at a finite number of vertices, which we call quasilabelregular trees. We show how to determine if two quasilabelregular trees are almost isomorphic or not. We count the number of equivalence classes of quasilabelregular trees under almost isomorphisms and find this number ranges from finite to infinite.  
17.04.2018  14.00  V 205  Stephan Tornier  Groups acting on trees with nontrivial quasicenter 
We highlight the role of the quasicenter of a t.d.l.c. group in BurgerMozes theory and present new results concerning the types of automorphisms that the quasicenter of a nondiscrete subgroup of the automorphism group of a regular tree may contain in terms of its local action. A theorem which shows that said result is sharp is also presented. We include a proof of the fact that a nondiscrete, locally transitive subgroup of the automorphism group of a regular tree does not contain a quasicentral involution.  
10.04.2018  14.00  V 205  Stephan Tornier  An introduction to BurgerMozes theory 
We recall the types of automorphisms of trees and introduce the notion of local action. After an excursion into permutation group theory, specifically the notions of transitivity, semiprimitivity, quasiprimitivity, primitivity and 2transitivity, we give an introduction to BurgerMozes theory of closed, nondiscrete subgroups of the automorphism group of a (regular) tree which are locally quasiprimitive.  
05.04.2018  14.00  V 205  Colin Reid  Totally disconnected, locally compact groups 
I give an overview of totally disconnected, locally compact (t.d.l.c.) groups: what they are and in what contexts they arise. In particular, t.d.l.c. groups encompass many classes of automorphism groups of structures, and also occur as completions of groups that have commensurated subgroups. I then discuss some techniques and approaches for studying them, particularly with an eye to general structural questions, and the recent progress that has been made. 
Date  Time  Room  Speaker  Title 

19.11.2020  18.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Basic Properties of Free ProC Products  
12.11.2020  18.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Free ProC Products: The Internal Viewpoint  
22.10.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Subgroups Continuously Indexed by a Space  
13.10.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Free ProC Products: The External Viewpoint  
06.10.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Free ProC Products: The External Viewpoint  
30.09.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Faithful and Irreducible Actions  
15.09.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups: Faithful and Irreducible Actions  
08.09.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
01.09.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
18.08.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
11.08.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
04.08.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
28.07.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
21.07.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
14.07.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
07.07.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
02.07.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
23.06.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
17.06.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
09.06.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
02.06.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
26.05.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
19.05.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
12.05.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
05.05.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
28.04.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
07.04.2020  17.00  Zoom  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
10.03.2020  10.00  SR 211  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
03.03.2020  10.00  SR 211  Profinite Graphs and Groups  
18.11.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: BNpairs  
11.11.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Strongly transitive automorphism groups  
04.11.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Strongly transitive automorphism groups  
28.10.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Retractions and apartment systems  
21.10.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Flag complexes of incidence geometries  
14.10.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Definition and First Properties  
08.10.2019  10.00  SR 118  Buildings: Thin chamber complexes  
30.09.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Endomorphisms of Coxeter Complexes  
23.09.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Coxeter Complexes  
16.09.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Abstract Reflection Groups: Equivalent Conditions  
02.09.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Examples of Abstract Reflection Groups  
29.08.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Abstract Reflection Groups: In Search of Axioms  
26.08.2019  10.00  V 102  Buildings: The simplicial complex associated to a reflection groups  
22.08.2019  10.00  V 108  Buildings: Cell decomposition  
12.08.2019  10.00  V 108  Alejandra Garrido  Buildings: Root systems 
08.08.2019  10.00  V 102  Alejandra Garrido  Buildings:Root systems and Dynkin diagrams 
05.08.2019  11.00  V 108  Alejandra Garrido  Buildings: Root systems and finite reflection groups 
22.05.2019  10.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
06.05.2019  13.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
01.05.2019  10.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
29.04.2019  13.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
10.04.2019  10.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
08.04.2019  13.00  W 243  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Essentially Chief Series 
01.04.2019  13.00  W 243  Stephan Tornier  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
20.03.2019  10.00  W 243  Stephan Tornier  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
18.03.2019  13.00  W 243  Alejandra Garrido  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
13.03.2019  10.00  W 243  Alejandra Garrido  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
11.03.2019  13.00  W 243  Alejandra Garrido  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
06.03.2019  10.00  W 243  Alejandra Garrido  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
04.03.2019  13.00  W 243  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
27.02.2019  10.00  W 243  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
25.02.2019  13.00  W 243  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
20.02.2019  13.00  SR 118  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: CayleyAbels graphs 
17.12.2018  14.00  MC G29  Stephan Tornier  TDLC Groups: Haar measures 
10.12.2018  14.00  MC G29  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Haar measures 
04.12.2018  all week  Adelaide  AustMS Meeting  
03.12.2018  all week  Adelaide  AustMS Meeting  
27.11.2018  9.00  MC G29  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Haar measures 
26.11.2018  14.00  MC G29  CARMA Retreat  
20.11.2018  9.00  MC G29  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Haar measures 
19.11.2018  14.00  MC G29  Dave Robertson  TDLC Groups: Haar measures 
13.11.2018  all day  NeW Space  EViMS Workshop  
12.11.2018  Seminar  
06.11.2018  all day  Sydney  Group Actions Seminar held at the University of Sydney  
05.11.2018  14.00  MC G29  TDLC Groups: Exercise Session  
30.10.2018  14.00  MC G29  Stephan Tornier  TDLC Groups: Semidirect products and restricted direct products 
30.10.2018  9.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: Locally finite graphs 
29.10.2018  14.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: Locally finite graphs 
22.10.2018  14.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: Topological Isomorphism Theorems 
16.10.2018  9.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: Topological structure of t.d.l.c. Polish groups 
15.10.2018  14.00  MC G29  Michal Ferov  TDLC Groups: Van Dantzig's theorem 
Upcoming Events 

Dates  Place  Event  Participants  

December 811, 2020  Virtual  Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society  
August 1520, 2021  Banff, Canda 
Totally Disconnected Locally Compact Groups via Group Actions  
December 710, 2021  Newcastle, Australia 
Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society  
Past Events 

July 610, 2020  Virtual  Groups with geometrical and topological flavours  Colin Reid  
June 2127, 2020  Oberwolfach, Germany 
Geometric Structures in Group Theory  George Willis  
February 1014, 2020  Rotorua, New Zealand 
Symmetries of Discrete Objects  
December 36, 2019  Melbourne, Australia 
Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society  Michal Ferov, Alejandra Garrido, Colin Reid  
November 30  December 1, 2019  Melbourne, Australia 
Australian Algebra Conference  Michal Ferov, Colin Reid  
October 2125, 2019  Providence RI, United States of America 
Illustrating Number Theory and Algebra  Michal Ferov  
September 30  October 4, 2019  Adelaide, Australia 
Analysis on Manifolds  George Willis  
August 59, 2019  Sydney, Australia 
Flags, Galleries and Reflection Groups  
May 2630, 2019  Tel Aviv, Israel 
Geometric and Asymptotic Group Theory with Applications 
Alejandra Garrido, Stephan Tornier  
AprilJuly, 2019  Będlewo, Poland 
Geometric and Analytic Group Theory  Alejandra Garrido  
March 2429, 2019  Dagstuhl, Germany 
Algorithmic Problems in Group Theory  Michal Ferov  
January 2225, 2019  Zurich, Switzerland 
Groups, spaces, and geometries on the occasion of Alessandra Iozzi's 60th birthday 
Colin Reid, Stephan Tornier  
January 2125, 2019  Sydney, Australia 
The AsiaAustralia Algebra Conference 2019  Michal Ferov, Alejandra Garrido, George Willis  
January 1618, 2019  Auckland, New Zealand 
Groups and Geometries  
January 11, 2019  London, England 
Geometric Group Theory meeting at Royal Holloway  Colin Reid  
December 47, 2018  Adelaide, Australia 
Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society  Alejandra Garrido, Colin Reid, Dave Robertson, Stephan Tornier, George Willis  
November 1416, 2018  Newcastle, Australia 
AMSICARMA workshop on Mathematical Thinking  George Willis  
November 13, 2018  Newcastle, Australia 
Effective Visualisation in the Mathematical Sciences  Alejandra Garrido, Colin Reid, Dave Robertson, Stephan Tornier, George Willis  
November 911, 2018  Newcastle, Australia 
Diagrammatic Reasoning in Higher Education  Dave Robertson, Stephan Tornier  
SeptemberDecember, 2018  Bonn, Germany 
Logic and Algorithms in Group Theory  Michal Ferov, George Willis  
September 21, 2018  London, England 
Hausdorff Dimension  Alejandra Garrido  
September 1113, 2018  Geneva, Switzerland 
Spectra and L^{2}  invariants  Alejandra Garrido  
September 37, 2018  Oxford, England 
Groups, Geometry and Representations  Alejandra Garrido  
June 2529, 2018  Düsseldorf, Germany 
Trees, dynamics and locally compact groups  Michal Ferov, Alejandra Garrido, Colin Reid, Stephan Tornier, George Willis  
June 1114, 2018  St. Andrews, England 
British Mathematical Colloquium  Colin Reid  
January 2326, 2018  Auckland, New Zealand 
Groups and Geometry  Michal Ferov, Colin Reid, George Willis 
Tools
A treedrawing tool with various focus models
Coding Theory: Hamming and Golay codes with Huffman Optimisation
Other Events
The Group Actions Seminar held regularly at The University of Sydney.
The Geometry and Topology Seminar held regularly at The University of Sydney.
The Topological Groups Seminar (online) hosted regularly by the Univerity of Hawai'i.
Videos
Symmetry in Newcastle
Other Videos
A seminar talk by George Willis at Text A&M on "Scale Groups".
Symmetry  A video in the NSW Department of Education's SISP program by Stephan Tornier.
An introduction the research assistant project "Computations with selfreplicating groups" by George Willis.
An introduction to the research assistant project "Computations with finite graphs" by George Willis.
A seminar by George Willis on "Label Refinement for Graphs".
An introduction to symmetry created for the 2020 Children's University On Campus Discovery Days.
Symmetry in Newcastle
Other Videos
A seminar talk by George Willis at Text A&M on "Scale Groups".
Symmetry  A video in the NSW Department of Education's SISP program by Stephan Tornier.
An introduction the research assistant project "Computations with selfreplicating groups" by George Willis.
An introduction to the research assistant project "Computations with finite graphs" by George Willis.
A seminar talk by George Willis on "Label Refinement for Graphs".
An introduction to symmetry created for the 2020 Children's University On Campus Discovery Days.
Contact us at contact[at]zerodimensional[.]group 