The universal Lie algebra


Pierre Vogel

Université Paris 7

Northeastern University

Thursday, October 5, 2006


Talk at 4:30 p.m. in 315 Shillman Hall (NOTE UNUSUAL PLACE)

Tea at 4:00 p.m., 544 Nightingale Hall

This is also the first of two Maurice Auslander Distinguished Lectures ( The lecture will be followed by reception at 5:45 - 7:00 p.m. in 340 Egan Hall


Abstract:   The properties of simple Lie algebras or simple Lie superalgebras can be globalized in a categorical way in order to produce an object called the universal Lie algebra. This object is an R-linear tensor category where R is a commutative ring. It is useful for understanding many properties of Lie algebras and representations of Lie algebras. It is also useful for producing finite type invariants of knots, links, and 3-dimensional manifolds. The coefficient ring R is highly unknown but a complete description of it is conjectured.

Nightingale Hall is shown as No. 31 and Shillman Hall as No. 30 on the campus map at

There is free parking available for people coming to the Colloquium at Northeastern's visitor parking (Rennaisance Garage). The entrance is from Columbus Avenue. If coming by car, you should park there and take the parking talon. After the lecture, you may pick up the payment coupon from Andrei Zelevinsky.

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Posted:: September 18, 2006    URL: