Adam Clay

An Introduction To The Braid Groups

Date Monday, February 3, 2014

This talk will provide an introduction to the braid groups from several different perspectives. I will show how they can be defined by generators and relations, as isotopy classes of arcs or surface homeomorphisms, or as fundamental groups. Each perspective allows for different geometric or algebraic intuition, which often allows for straightforward insight into complex proofs. For each approach introduced I will highlight some of the results that intuitively (though perhaps not easily) follow from the definitions.