IIIème Cycle Romand de Mathématiques

Spring School at Les Diablerets

Groups and Dynamics

9 - 14 March 2008

Hôtel les Sources, Les Diablerets, Switzerland



Opening Lecture

Etienne Ghys (ENS Lyon)     Groups acting on the circle: a selection of open problems


Miklos Abert (University of Chicago)     On dynamics of profinite actions.
Mladen Bestvina (University of Utah)     PL Morse theory and applications to group theory.
Alex Furman (University of Chicago)     Measurable group theory. Abstract.
François Ledrappier (Notre Dame University)     Average drift for random products.


Anders Karlsson (KTH Stockholm)     Interrelations between a few ergodic theorems. Abstract.
David Kerr (Texas A&M)     Independence and dichotomies in dynamics.
Nicolas Monod (EPFL & University of Geneva)     TBA
Andrès Navas (University of Santiago de Chile)     Dynamics and left-orderable groups.
Volodymyr Nekrashevych (Texas A&M)     Self-similar families of groups. Abstract.


The arrival day is Sunday, March 9. Dinner will be served in the hotel at about 7 p.m.
The scientific program begins on Monday, March 10, at 9 a.m.
The conference ends at lunchtime on Friday, March 14.

There will be four lectures per day: three morning lectures from 9 a.m. till noon, and one afternoon lecture at 6 p.m.
Coffee and tea will be served at 9.50 a.m. in the conference center and at 5 p.m. in the hotel.
Lunch time is 12.15 (with a possibility to order a picnic: orders have to be placed before 9 a.m. the same day). Dinner time is 7 p.m.

Your stay

Rooms have been booked for all participants at Hôtel les Sources.
The talks take place in the conference center 5 minutes walk from the hotel.

The price of accommodation and full board at the Hôtel Les Sources (to be paid at the conference site)
for participants from EPFL, Uni-Fribourg, Uni-Genève, Uni-Neuchâtel, Uni-Bern:
in a double room: CHF 75 for the whole period
in a single room: CHF 150 for the whole period
for other participants:
in a double room: CHF 123 per person per night
in a single room: CHF 143 per person per night

How to get there

How to get to Les Diablerets

Swiss Railroad
You can view a small map of the hotel surroundings, including the railway station in Les Diablerets and the conference center, under "Situation" on the hotel Les Sources website.

Preparation for the School

Séminaire du Lièvre 2007-2008,
in particular the the forthcoming talk by Nicolas Monod on March 6.
A talk by Rostislav Grigorchuk on March 4.


Rostislav Grigorchuk, Texas A&M and University of Geneva (grigorch@math.tamu.edu);
Tatiana Smirnova-Nagnibeda, University of Geneva (Tatiana.Smirnova-Nagnibeda@math.unige.ch)




Alex Furman. "Measurable group theory". Abstract: In the course I will give a survey of results involving infinite discrete groups and topics involving: Ergodic theory, super-rigidity phenomena, rigidity vs. deformation techniques, and actions on manifolds.

Anders Karlsson. "Interrelations between a few ergodic theorems." Abstract: I will explain the relationship of the noncommutative ergodic theorem in Ledrappier's first lecture with various previous ergodic theoretic results. Theorems of von Neumann, Birkhoff, Oseledec, Beck-Schwartz, Pazy, Kaimanovich, Marcinkiewicz-Zygmund, Aaronson, and Karlsson-Margulis will be mentioned. I will probably also state a few open questions.

Volodymyr Nekrashevych. "Self-similar families of groups". Abstract: We will talk about different self-similar families of groups acting on rooted trees, which appear in group theory and dynamics. In particular, we will talk about the family related to the quadratic polynomial z^2+i and show its remarkable properties, like density of isomorphism classes and existence of groups of non-uniform exponential growth.