SEMINAR: Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium
|Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : Colloquium: The Discovery of Janko's Sporadic Simple Groups
Everyone is warmly invited to our Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium.
Talk title: The Discovery of Janko's Sporadic Simple Groups.
In 1966, Zvonimir Janko published a paper which revolutionised finite group
theory. The previous year, working as a Research Fellow at the Institute of
Advanced Study within the Australian National University, Janko constructed
a new simple group which was neither an alternating group nor a group of Lie
type. The 1966 paper contains the complete details.
Before 1965 only five sporadic simple groups were known. They had been
discovered almost exactly one hundred years prior (1861 and 1873) by
Émile Mathieu but it was not until 1900 that G. A. Miller proved their
By 1976 the number of new sporadic simple groups had risen to 21 and Janko
had found four of them, including the first and the last. This talk
recounts some of the history of those exciting times.
About our speaker:
In 1968 Don Taylor graduated from Monash University with an MSc
supervised by Professor Zvonimir Janko. He then travelled to the University of
Oxford where he completed a DPhil with Professor Graham Higman FRS.
In 1972 Don took up a lectureship at La Trobe University and in 1975
he moved to Sydney where he has been ever since. He has written several
books on group theory, the most recent (with Gus Lehrer) on complex
Since 2007 Don has been an Honorary Associate Professor at the University
of Sydney, working on reflection groups and algorithms for groups of Lie type.
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