**32**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### orders of products of permutations

Let $p$ be a prime, $n\gg p$ not divisible by $p$ (say, $n>2^{2^p}$). Are there two permutations $a, b$ of the set $\{1,...,n\}$ which together act transitively on $\{1,2,...,n\}$ and such that all ...

**31**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Is there a simple proof that a group of linear growth is quasi-isometric to Z?

I proposed to a master's student to work, from the exercise in Ghys-de la Harpe's book, on the proof that a finitely generated group $G$ that is quasi-isometric to $\mathbb{Z}$ is virtually $\mathbb{Z}...

**27**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### Introductory text on geometric group theory?

Can someone indicate me a good introductory text on geometric group theory?

**25**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Trees in groups of exponential growth

Question: Let $G$ be a finitely generated group with exponential growth.
Is there a finite generating set $S \subset G$, such that the associated Cayley graph $Cay(G,S)$ contains a binary tree?
...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Invertible matrices satisfying $[x,y,y]=x$.

I have been thinking about this question for quite some time but now this question by Denis Serre revived some hope.
Question. Let $x,y$ be invertible matrices (say, over $\mathbb C$) and $[x,y,...

**21**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Residual finiteness: why do we care?

Residually finite groups have been studied for a long time. However, I am struggling to work out why we care, or perhaps, why they continue to be of interest. Let me explain.
Magnus, in his 1968 ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

943 views

### Is there a non-Hopfian lacunary hyperbolic group?

The question's in the title and is easily stated, but let me try to give some details and explain why I'm interested. First, a disclaimer: if the answer's not already somewhere in the literature then ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

956 views

### Asymptotics of the growth rate of a group

Let $\Gamma$ be a finitely generated group of exponential growth and $gr(S)=\lim_{k\rightarrow \infty} \sqrt[k]{|B_k(S)|}$ be the growth rate of $\Gamma$ with respect to the generating set $S$. I am ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

518 views

### Group with finite outer automorphism group and large center

Does there exist a finitely generated group $G$ with outer automorphism group $\mathrm{Out}(G)$ finite, whose center contains infinitely many elements of order $p$ for some prime $p$?
A motivation is ...

**19**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### An example of a non-amenable exact group without free subgroups.

A countable discrete group $\Gamma$ is said to be exact if it admits an amenable action on some compact space.
So clearly amenable groups are exact, but large familes of non-amenable groups are as ...

**18**

votes

**4**answers

960 views

### Free splittings of one-relator groups

Roughly speaking, I want to know whether one-relator groups only have 'obvious' free splittings.
Consider a one-relator group $G=F/\langle\langle r\rangle\rangle$, where $F$ is a free group. Is ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

563 views

### Reference request: Parallel processor theorem of William Thurston

Sometime in the 1980's or 1990's, Bill Thurston proved a theorem regarding the existence of a universal parallel processing machine, using a certain class for such machines having finite deterministic ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

874 views

### When is a extension of $\mathbb{Z}$ by a free group a CAT(0) group?

The question has an easy answer, if one replaces free by free abelian: Then the resulting group is always solvable and a solvable subgroup of a CAT(0) group is virtually abelian.
If the resulting was ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

484 views

### Is the property of not containing $\mathbb{F}_2$ invariant under quasi-isometry?

Is the property of not containing the free group on two generators invariant under quasi-isometry? Amenability is, so if there is a counterexample it is also a solution to the von Neumann-Day ...

**16**

votes

**9**answers

4k views

### The free group $F_2$ has index 12 in SL(2,$\mathbb{Z}$)

Is there someone who can give me some hints/references to the proof of this fact?

**16**

votes

**1**answer

764 views

### Amenable groups of deficiency $1$

Let $G=\langle X;R\rangle$ be a finitely presented group. The rank of $G$ is defined to be the size of smallest generating set of $G$. The deficiency ${\rm def}(G)$ of $G$ is defined to be the maximum ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

387 views

### Asymmetric metrics and cohomology

If $(X,d)$ is a metric space and $f : X \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is a Lipschitz function with Lipschitz constant $k < 1$, then the function
$$
D(x,y) := d(x,y) + f(y) - f(x)
$$
defines an asymmetric ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

537 views

### How boundedly generated is $SL_3(\mathbb{Z})$?

The group $G = \mathrm{SL}_3(\mathbb{Z})$ is known to be boundedly generated, that is, there exists some $m \in \mathbb{N}$, and $g_1, \dots, g_m \in G$ such that we have the following equality of ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

691 views

### Failure of Mostow rigidity in dimension 2

I am trying to understand why Mostow rigidity fails in dimension 2. More concretely, I have the following question:
(1) What is an example of a quasiisometry $f$ of the hyperbolic plane $\mathbb H^2$ ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

274 views

### Does the injection $\text{Aut}(F_n) \hookrightarrow \text{Aut}(F_{n+1})$ split?

Let $F_n$ be the free group on $n$ letters.
The question is as in the title: letting $i:\text{Aut}(F_n) \hookrightarrow \text{Aut}(F_{n+1})$ be the natural injection, does there exist a homomorphism $...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

565 views

### The kernel of the map from the handlebody group to Outer automorphisms of a free group

Let $K$ be a compact oriented 3-dimensional handlebody of genus $g$. The group $H_g$ of isotopy classes of diffeomorphisms of $K$ is called the handlebody group. (It embeds as a subgroup of the ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The second homotopy group of a simple CW-complex

Let $X$ be a CW-complex with
one 0-cell
two 1-cells
three 2-cells
no cells in dimensions 3 or higher.
Is it always true that $\pi_2(X)\ne 1$?

**15**

votes

**0**answers

272 views

### Groups whose finite index subgroups of fixed index are isomorphic

I am interested in finitely generated groups $G$ that are residually finite and have the following property: For each $d \geq 1$, $G$ has subgroups of finite index $d$, and all such subgroups are ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Braid groups acting on CAT(0)-complexes

Does the braid group $B_n, n\ge 3$, act properly by isometries on a CAT(0) cube complex?
Update 1. During a recent talk of Nigel Higson in Pennstate Dmitri Burago asked whether the braid groups are ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

683 views

### Normal subgroups of finite index in free groups

Hi all,
This is a question about the groups $H_{n,s}$ introduced by Völklein in his book "Groups as Galois groups", §7.1, and defined as follows: let $N$ be the intersection of all normal subgroups ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

477 views

### Mapping class group and CAT(0) spaces

I hope the questions are not too vague.
Is the mapping class group of an orientable punctured surface $CAT(0)$ ?
Is any of the remarkable simplicial complexes (curve complex, arc complex...) built ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

605 views

### Loop spaces and infinite braids

The Artin braid groups $B_n$ and the symmetric groups $S_n$ are closely related by the maps $1 \to P_n \to B_n \to S_n \to 1$. The infinite symmetric group has interesting interactions with homotopy ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

584 views

### Is it true that every f.g. infinite simple group has exponential growth?

Is it true that every finitely generated infinite simple group has
exponential (word-)growth?
Remark: As Mark Sapir has pointed out, the question whether
every finitely generated group of ...

**13**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Understanding groups that are not linear

I have a really hard time "feeling" what it means for a group to fail to be linear. Vaguely, I'd like to know how one should think about such groups. More precisely:
What are some interesting ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

610 views

### Minimal number of generators for $GL(n,\mathbb{Z})$

$\DeclareMathOperator{\gl}{GL}\DeclareMathOperator{\sl}{SL}$From de la Harpe's book "Topics in Geometric Group Theory" I learnt that $\gl(n,\mathbb{Z})$ is generated by the matrices $$s_1 = \begin{...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

835 views

### Dehn's algorithm for word problem for surface groups

For some $g \geq 2$, let $\Gamma_g$ be the fundamental group of a closed genus $g$ surface and let $S_g=\{a_1,b_1,\ldots,a_g,b_g\}$ be the usual generating set for $\Gamma_g$ satisfying the surface ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The fundamental group of a closed surface without classification of surfaces?

The fundamental group of a closed oriented surface of genus $g$ has the well-known presentation
$$
\langle x_1,\ldots, x_g,y_1,\ldots ,y_g\vert \prod_{i=1}^{g} [x_i,y_i]\rangle.
$$
The proof I know ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

603 views

### Distortion of malnormal subgroup of hyperbolic groups

Let $G$ be a countable, Gromov-hyperbolic group.
We say that $H$ is hyperbolically embedded in $G$ if $G$ is relatively hyperbolic to {$H$} (in the strong sense). This definition is due to Osin.
A ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

319 views

### Linear groups which don't contain products of free groups

Let $G \subset GL(n, \Bbb Z)$ be a f.g. linear group. The Tits alternative says that $G$ is either virtually solvable (i.e. has a solvable subgroup of finite index), or contains a free group $F_2$. ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

240 views

### Bounding the lengths of the conjugators in the word problem for finite group presentations

Let $G = \langle X \mid R \rangle$ be a group defined by a finite presentation, and let $F$ be the free group on $X$. If $w \in F$ represents the identity in $G$, then $w$ is equal in $F$ to (the free ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The role of the Automatic Groups in the history of Geometric Group Theory

What is the role of the theory of Automatic Groups in the history of Geometric Group Theory?
Motivation:
When I read through the "Word Processing in Groups" I was amazed by the supreme beauty and ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

470 views

### Algorithms in hyperbolic groups

I'm stuck in some algorithms in hyperbolic groups, which may be rather simple.
Let $G$ be a hyperbolic group given by a finite presentation. It is known that the hyperbolicity constant $\delta$ can ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

319 views

### When are growth series rational?

For a finitely generated group $G$ with generating set $S$, one can define the word metric. Using this, we are able to define the sequence $\sigma(n)$ by
$ \sigma(n) = |\mathcal{S}(e,n)| $, which is ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

329 views

### Is the Thompson group F locally indicable?

A group $G$ is called locally indicable if for any finitely generated subgroup $H \subset G$, there is a non-trivial homomorphism from $H$ to the real additive group $(\mathbb{R},+)$.
Is the Thompson ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

531 views

### Does every group grow either polynomially or superpolynomially?

I am reading an introduction to growth of groups. The notions of polynomial and superpolynomial growth are introduced, as are exponential and subexponential growth.
I can prove that the growth of a ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

837 views

### How can I tell if a group is linear?

The basic question is in the title, but I am interested in both necessary and sufficient conditions.
I know the Tits' alternative and Malcev's result that finitely generated linear groups are ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

265 views

### Are finitely generated amenable groups positively finitely generated?

Let $G$ be a finitely generated amenable group.
Is there a positive integer $n$ such that $n$ random elements of $G$ generate it with positive probability?
Being more formal, note that $G^n$ is ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

136 views

### The finiteness criterium $F$ under quasi-isometry

A group $G$ is defined to have $F$ if there exists a finite $K(G,1)$.
This property is clearly not invariant under quasi-isometry as one can see from the trivial group and $\mathbb{Z}_2$.
My question:...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

263 views

### Hyperbolic 3-manifold groups acting on the plane

Can the fundamental group of a closed hyperbolic 3-manifold act freely on the plane by homeomorphisms? Freely and cocompactly? Freely, cocompactly, and preserving orientation?

**12**

votes

**0**answers

326 views

### What is an example of a word hyperbolic group without a finite complete rewriting system?

I believe that it was an open question back when I was a graduate student whether every word hyperbolic group admits a finite complete (=Church-Rosser=Noetherian+confluent) rewriting system for some ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

351 views

### Splay trees and Thompson's group $F$

( I apologize for only indicating some easy to find references, but new users are not allowed to link more than five). This is very speculative, but:
Question: Is there a reformulation of the Dynamic ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

498 views

### Conjugating a subgroup of a group into a proper subgroup of itself

The following question came up in the class I'm teaching right now. There definitely exist groups $G$ with subgroups $H$ such that there exists some $g \in G$ such that $g H g^{-1}$ is a proper ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

268 views

### Growth of Poincaré duality groups

Can one prove that Poincaré duality groups cannot have intermediate growth?

**11**

votes

**1**answer

335 views

### Isometries of some simple Cayley graphs

Consider a Cayley graph of a group $G$ with respect to a symmetric finite generating set $S$.
There are some obvious candidates to isometries of this graph - for example, translation by elements of $G$...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

357 views

### What are smallest finite images of triangle groups?

Given integers $a, b, c$ all at least 2, I would like to identify the smallest group with an element $x$ of order $a$, element $y$ of order $b$ such that the product $yx$ has order $c$. For example, ...