
The $\mathbb{F}_1$ World Seminar
For some time I knew it was in the making, now they are ready to launch it: The $\mathbb{F}_1$ World Seminar, an online seminar dedicated to the “field with one element”, and its many connections to areas in mathematics such as arithmetic, geometry, representation theory and combinatorics. The organisers are Jaiung Jun, Oliver Lorscheid, Yuri […]

de Bruijn’s pentagrids (2)
Last time we’ve seen that de Bruijn’s pentagrids determined the vertices of Penrose’s P3aperiodic tilings. These vertices can also be obtained by projecting a window of the standard hypercubic lattice $\mathbb{Z}^5$ by the cutandprojectmethod. We’ll bring in representation theory by forcing this projection to be compatible with a $D_5$subgroup of the symmetries of $\mathbb{Z}^5$, which…

Kashaeating dragons
This semester I’m teaching a first course in representation theory. On campus, IRL! It’s a bit strange, using a big lecture room for a handful of students, everyone wearing masks, keeping distances, etc. So far, this is their only course on campus, so it has primarily a social function. The breaks in between are infinitely…

GoV 2 : Viruses and quasicrystals
If you look around for mathematical theories of the structure of viruses, you quickly end up with the work of Raidun Twarock and her group at the University of York. We’ve seen her proposal to extend the CasparKlug classification of viruses. Her novel idea to distribute proteins on the viral capsid along Penroselike tilings shouldn’t…

The symmetries of Covid19
A natural question these days might be: “what are the rotational symmetries of the Covid19 virus?” Most illustrations show a highly symmetric object, suggesting it might have icosahedral symmetry. In fact, many viruses do have icosahedral symmetry as a result of the ‘genetic economy principle’ proposed by Watson and Crick in 1956, resulting in the…

Extending McKay’s E8 graph?
If you take two Fischer involutions in the monster (elements of conjugacy class 2A) and multiply them, the resulting element surprisingly belongs to one of just 9 conjugacy classes: 1A,2A,2B,3A,3C,4A,4B,5A or 6A The orders of these elements are exactly the dimensions of the fundamental root for the extended $E_8$ Dynkin diagram. This is the content…

Moonshine for everyone
Today, Samuel Dehority, Xavier Gonzalez, Neekon Vafa and Roger Van Peski arXived their paper Moonshine for all finite groups. Originally, Moonshine was thought to be connected to the Monster group. McKay and Thompson observed that the first coefficients of the normalized elliptic modular invariant \[ J(\tau) = q^{1} + 196884 q + 21493760 q^2 +…

Stirring a cup of coffee
Please allow for a couple of endofsemester bluesy ramblings. I just finished grading the final test of the last of five courses I lectured this semester. Most of them went, I believe, rather well. As always, it was fun to teach an introductory group theory course to second year physics students. Personally, I did enjoy…

let’s spend 3K on (math)books
Santa gave me 3000 Euros to spend on books. One downside: I have to give him my wishlist before monday. So, I’d better get started. Clearly, any further suggestions you might have will be much appreciated, either in the comments below or more directly via email. Today I’ll focus on my own interests: algebraic geometry,…

Quiver Grassmannians can be anything
A standard Grassmannian $Gr(m,V)$ is the manifold having as its points all possible $m$dimensional subspaces of a given vectorspace $V$. As an example, $Gr(1,V)$ is the set of lines through the origin in $V$ and therefore is the projective space $\mathbb{P}(V)$. Grassmannians are among the nicest projective varieties, they are smooth and allow a cell…