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Matthew Kennedy: Operator algebras and group theory

Time: Wed 2022-09-28 15.15 - 17.00

Location: Albanova, FR4

Participating: Matthew Kennedy (University of Waterloo, KAW guest professor at SU)

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FR4, Albanova (directions available here ).


14:15–15:00 Pre-colloquium by Sanaz Pooya (room FD41).
15:15–16:15 Colloquium lecture by Matthew Kennedy.
16:15–17:00 SMC social get together with refreshments.


Since the work of von Neumann, the theory of operator algebras has been inextricably linked to the theory of groups. On the one hand, operator algebras constructed from groups provide an important source of examples and insight. On the other hand, many problems about the groups are most naturally studied within an operator-algebraic framework. In this talk I will give an overview of some problems relating the structure of a group to the structure of a corresponding operator algebra, and describe some recent developments. In particular, I will discuss the recent solution of the following very natural problem: For which groups is the algebra simple?