From walls to cube complexes by Abdul Zalloum

Geometry Topology Seminar Pre-talk
Monday, September 19, 2022 - 1:00pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Abdalrazzaq (Abdul) Zalloum – University of Toronto
Roberta Shapiro

A geodesic metric space is said to be CAT(0) if triangles are at most as fat as triangles in the Euclidean plane. A CAT(0) cube complex is a CAT(0) space which is built by gluing Euclidean cubes isometrically along faces. Due to their fundamental role in the resolution of the virtual Haken's conjecture, CAT(0) cube complexes have since been a central object of study in geometric group theory and their study has led to ground-breaking advances in 3–manifold theory. The class of groups admitting proper cocompact actions on CAT(0) cube complexes is very broad and it includes hyperbolic 3-manifolds, most non-geometric 3 manifold groups, small cancelation groups and many others. 


A revolutionary work of Sageev shows that the entire structure of a CAT(0) cube complexes is encoded in its hyperplanes and the way they interact with one another. I will discuss Sageev's theorem which provides a recipe for constructing group actions on CAT(0) cube complexes using some very simple and purely set theoretical data.