Organizers: Aaron Lauve, Peter Tingley
February  
3 
No talk 

10 
Organizational meeting 
(at Ireland's pub) 
17 
Asilata Bapat (U. of Chicago) 
The BernsteinSato polynomial and the Strong Monodromy Conjecture 
24 
Travis Scrimshaw (Minnesota) 
Star crystal structure on rigged configurations 
March  
2  Seckin Adali (UIC)  
9 
No talk (spring break) 

16 


23 
Vasily Dolgushev (Temple) 
A manifestation of the GrothendieckTeichmueller group in geometry 
30 

April  
6  
13 


20 


27 


Directions 

IES (the institute for environmental sustainability) is located at the corner of W. Sheridan and N. Kenmore Avenues, Chicago, IL (map)
Parking is available oncampus for $7 in the Parking Garage (building P1 on the Lake shore campus map). To get to the Parking Garage, enter campus at the corner of West Sheridan Road and North Kenmore Avenue.
Abstracts 

Feb 17: Asilata Bapat, The BernsteinSato polynomial and the Strong Monodromy Conjecture
To a singularity of an algebraic hypersurface, one can associate an invariant called the BernsteinSato polynomial or the bfunction. Although the bfunction is important and interesting, it is usually difficult to compute. It is conjectured (Strong Monodromy Conjecture or SMC) that some roots of the bfunction can be obtained from the poles of another singularity invariant, the topological zeta function. I will sketch the proof of the SMC for the case of Weyl hyperplane arrangements, via the "n/d conjecture" of Budur, Mustaţă, and Teitler. I will also describe some results towards computing the bfunction of these arrangements, focusing on a special case (the Vandermonde determinant). This is joint work with Robin Walters.
Feb 24: Travis Scrimshaw. Star crystal structure on rigged configurations We describe the crystal structure and *crystal structure on the crystal B(\infty) using rigged configurations. This is joint work with Ben Salisbury.
March 23: A manifestation of the GrothendieckTeichmueller group in geometry Inspired by Grothendieck's legogame, Vladimir Drinfeld introduced, in 1990, the GrothendieckTeichmueller group GRT. This group has interesting links to the absolute Galois group of rationals, finite type invariants of tangles, deformation quantization and theory of motives. My talk will be devoted to the manifestation of GRT in the extended moduli of algebraic varieties, which was conjectured by Maxim Kontsevich in 1999. My talk is partially based on the joint paper with Chris Rogers and Thomas Willwacher which can be found here.