The Unapologetic Mathematician

Mathematics for the interested outsider

Progress from the Atlas

A team of 18 mathematicians working on the Atlas of Lie Groups and Representations have completed computing the Kazhdan-Lusztig-Vogan polynomial for the exceptional Lie group E_8. There’s a good explanation by John Baez at The n-Category Café (warning: technical).

I feel a sort of connection to this project, mostly socially. For one thing, it may seem odd but my advisor does a Lie algebra representations — not knot theory like I do — which is very closely related to the theory of Lie groups. His first graduate student, Jeff Adams, led the charge for E_8. Dr. Adams was one of the best professors I had as an undergrad, and I probably owe my category-friendliness to his style in teaching the year-long graduate abstract algebra course I took, as well as his course on the classical groups. That approach of his probably has something to do with his being a student of Zuckerman’s. And around we go.


March 19, 2007 - Posted by | Atlas of Lie Groups


  1. […] had “solved E8″, but had no idea what it meant. Mostly he was asking if I knew Adams (I do), but I responded with a high-level overview of what they were doing and why. I’m going to […]

    Pingback by A rough overview « The Unapologetic Mathematician | March 22, 2007 | Reply

  2. […] over a given field to the double-dual functor, and going back to Jeff Adams’ office (yes, the same Jeff Adams) again and again for more back in the spring of 1999. I hope now to say what it is that I saw then […]

    Pingback by Future directions « The Unapologetic Mathematician | May 20, 2007 | Reply

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