Workshop on

Symplectic and Contact Topology

6-17 August 2001

Coordinators: Y. Eliashberg (Stanford, U.S.A., and Leiden),
H. Geiges (Leiden)

Description of the workshop:

This workshop was one of the central activities during Yakov Eliashberg's
visit (15 July - 15 September) to the Mathematical Institute of Leiden
University as Kloosterman hoogleraar.

Symplectic and contact geometry, originally motivated by questions in
classical mechanics, thermodynamics, and other areas of physics, have
established themselves within the past 10 to 15 years as seminal areas
of mathematical research. Ideas from physics continue to stimulate
developments in this area, as is perhaps most noticeable in the
emerging symplectic field theory, which is the result of a collaborative
effort of Eliashberg, Hofer, Givental, and several other mathematicians.

The workshop focused particularly on connections of symplectic and
contact geometry with differential topology, low-dimensional geometric
topology, and algebraic geometry. The emphasis was meant to lie on

- classification questions in 3-dimensional contact geometry,

- topology of symplectic, contact, and Poisson manifolds,

- topology of structure-preserving diffeomorphism groups,

- contact homology and symplectic field theory.

The schedule of talks during the 2-week workshop was deliberately light,
to allow for plenty of interaction between participants. In this spirit,
we strove to bring together mathematicians with established or developing
(but usually long-distance) collaborations.

List of participants:

P. Biran, D. Castelvecchi, T. Ekholm, D. Gay, V. Ginzburg, B. Gurel, E. Kerman, V. Kharlamov, K. Kiso, F. Lalonde, K. Mohnke, L. Polterovich, F. Presas, D. Salamon, K.F. Siburg, A. Stipsicz, C.B. Thomas.

The workshop took place at the Lorentz centre in Leiden.