Groups 2012

A conference in honour of the 75th birthday of Bernd Fischer

Bielefeld University, March 12-16, 2012

Conference Poster

Conference Photos


Dave Benson (Aberdeen) Abstract          Carles Broto (Barcelona) Abstract
Pierre-Emmanuel Caprace (Louvain) Abstract          Andrew Chermak (Kansas State) Abstract
Persi Diaconis (Stanford) Abstract          Bernd Fischer (Bielefeld) Abstract
Paul Flavell (Birmingham) Abstract          Terry Gannon (Edmonton) Abstract
Ellen Henke (Copenhagen) Abstract          Marcel Herzog (Tel Aviv) Abstract
Martin Kassabov (Southampton) Abstract          Radha Kessar (Aberdeen) Abstract
Olga Kharlampovich (McGill) Abstract          Ian Leary (Ohio State) Abstract
Gunter Malle (Kaiserslautern) Abstract          Ulrich Meierfrankenfeld (Michigan State) Abstract
Bernhard Mühlherr (Gießen) Abstract          Andrei Rapinchuk (Charlottesville) Abstract
Aner Shalev (Jerusalem) Abstract          Bernd Stellmacher (Kiel) Abstract
Jakob Stix (Heidelberg) Abstract          Gernot Stroth (Halle) Abstract
John G. Thompson (Cambridge) Abstract          Franz G. Timmesfeld (Gießen) Abstract
Karen Vogtmann (Cornell) Abstract          Richard M. Weiss (Tufts) Abstract
Robert A. Wilson (Queen Mary) Abstract         

Abstracts  –  Talks

List of Participants


March 12
March 13
March 14
March 15
March 16
09:00-09:50 Diaconis Shalev Vogtmann Kessar Caprace
10:10-11:00 Stroth Kassabov Herzog Broto Timmesfeld
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:20 Meierfrankenfeld Rapinchuk Kharlampovich Henke Leary
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-14:50 Gannon Mühlherr Excursion * Malle Flavell
14:50-15:20 Coffee Break Coffee Break
15:20-16:10 Wilson Weiss * Stix Benson
16:30-17:20 Fischer Thompson * Chermak  
17:30-18:45 Reception    
18:45-19:35 Stellmacher Dinner
(starts at 18:30)

* The Thursday afternoon session will start at 14:00 with an address of the Rector of Bielefeld University,
and the three lectures will be shifted by 10 minutes.

The lectures will take place in the lecture hall H7 in the (main) building of Bielefeld University.

Aim and Scope

The aim of the conference is to outline the use of groups in different parts of mathematics, as well as to present some highlights of the structure theory of groups. The conference will focus the attention to topics which are important in the various projects of the Bielefeld Collaborative Research Center, namely finite and algebraic groups, representation theory of groups, Galois groups, homological and topological methods, geometrical group theory, as well as probabilistic group theory.

Clearly, the interest lies in actions of groups on various kinds of objects, thus also in geometrical questions. Some of the lectures shall be devoted to the classification of the finite simple groups and the relevance of the monster group.

The theme is an algebraic one, but we want to attract also mathematicians with different background. Thus, the lectures will address a broader mathematical audience, in particular including also graduate students.


Everyone is invited to participate, but participants are asked to register beforehand. There will be no conference fee, but actually we want to ask every participant for a contribution of 20 Euro (10 Euro for students) towards the running costs of the conference, which will be collected at the Welcome Desk. The Welcome Desk, located in the main hall of the university building, in front of lecture hall H7, will be open (at least) on

Monday and Tuesday, from 8:00 to 9:00 and 11:00 to 11:30

The conference takes place in the (main) building of Bielefeld University. See here for campus maps and travel directions. From the city center (as well as from the train station) the university can be reached by tram line 4 (direction "Lohmannshof", leave at stop "Universität"). The tram stops directly in front of the building.

Every participant is invited to the reception on Monday, the excursion on Wednesday, and the conference dinner on Thursday. The excursion will be a tour to Schloss Bückeburg. To join the excursion (highly recommended), you should sign up on Monday or Tuesday at the Welcome Desk. A more detailed program can be found on this excursion flyer.

There will be a break for lunch each day from 12:30 to 14:00. Lunch will not be provided, but there are several options for where to go. Details will be found in the information package distributed at the Welcome Desk.

For posters with recent results, we will provide some board space in the vicinity of the lecture hall. Participants who would like to present a poster, should inform the organizers in advance. They should give the poster to the staff at the Welcome Desk.

We have also prepared a page with hotel information.

Financial Support for Ph.D. Students and Postdocs

We are able to support Ph.D. students and postdocs for local expenses and travel expenses inside Germany. In order to apply for support, please send an e-mail to indicating your present status, with a short outline why you think that the participation may be helpful for your scientific work. In addition, we need a short letter of support of your supervisor, again to be sent to If possible, both documents should reach us before November 30, 2011, or, in exceptional cases (please give reasons) not later than February 28, 2012. We will provide the possibility to present posters with recent result.

Organised by:

Bielefeld Collaborative Research Center 701 / Sonderforschungsbereich 701
"Spectral Structures and Topological Methods in Mathematics",
in collaboration with the Faculty of Mathematics of Bielefeld University.

Organising Committee:

Barbara Baumeister   Kai-Uwe Bux   Henning Krause   Claus Michael Ringel (chair)  

Scientific Advisors:

Herbert Abels   Michael Baake   Franz Gähler   Friedrich Götze   Markus Rost   Thomas Zink  

last modified on 12 April 2012