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Physics Learning Seminar

Title: Thinking categorically
Speaker: Arthur Parzygnat (University of Connecticut)
Time: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Place: MONT 214Abstract: This will be an introductory talk on category theory. Certain familiar concepts will be phrased categorically. We will explain how the chain rule is encoded as a certain functor from manifolds to vector spaces. As another example, a group is a one object category and a functor from this category to the category of vector spaces is a representation. A natural transformation of such functors is an intertwiner. We will also give an example of a category where the morphisms are not functions---this is the category of topological cobordisms prevalent in knot theory and topological field theories. The idea of the talk is to give many examples, possibly more than those mentioned here, to instill categorical thinking.