We are starting to think about running another reading series and we have been chatting over lunch about some various topics which might work. Often the success of a reading series depends on the subject itself, supporting resources such as books and survey papers, and its appeal to its audience. We would of course document our experience on this blog, and so we thought it might be a nice idea if we also involve you in the discussion of what we should do and how it should be done. Here are some possible topics and we would be grateful for ideas on supporting texts or whether this reading topic has been tried before at your institution:

- Quantum groups
- Expander graphs
- Locally compact groups and totally disconnected groups (Willis theory)
- The proof of the Bannai-Ito Conjecture

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We had a seminar on Kassel’s Quantum group book. The list of typos was incredible. And it was never clear what what was going on. The book half describes a lot of functorial constructions, but never states it as so. But, we never made it very far in and I had to stop shortly before the book wa were describing the quantum plane.

It made for very opaque reading for my group of undergrad.

I’d like to know more about Markov Chains – Monte Carlo methods for approximation etc.;

Alternatively, some of the work about quantum computing (Nielsen/Chuang) or, perhaps more relevant, quantum information theory, quantum codes etc. David Glynn (yes, the same one) has done some work on connections between geometry and quantum codes.

Or anything on statistical physics – we should maybe reach out to the Melbourne gang and try to get something going together

Another option would be the relationship between representation theory and the hydrogen atom.

I’m just starting to get into the goodness of all this, all those topics sound great for me to dive into.

I’m not sure if you had intended on students joining in but I would be keen to learn a bit about quantum groups. Kassel will probably take a very long time to get through and I’ve heard it’s not the most pleasant book to read but there are plenty of expository papers available online, eg: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/q-alg/pdf/9704/9704002v2.pdf

Yes everyone would be welcome but this has been put on hold while we learn about topological groups.