Conferences, Research Colloquia & Seminars, Defenses, and other events

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Geometry Seminar

This is the research seminar of the group and focuses on recent research in (differential) geometry; during the semester the seminar is usually scheduled to take place on Wednesdays at 15:30 in the Dissertantenzimmer (or, during times of a pandemic, online). If you are interested in giving a talk, please contact the organizers: Ivan Izmestiev and Gudrun Szewieczek

Student Seminars

These seminars are usually part of the assessment and are open to the public, in particular, to interested students; topics typically focus on geometry but cover a wider range of areas, depending on the students' and the advisor's interests. Presentations are often delivered in German.

Summer term 2021

Talks in the geometry seminar

(hover/tap name or title to view more information)

18 Jun 2021 (Fri!): Geometry seminar
Graham Andrew Smith (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro): On the Weyl problem in Minkowski space


We show how the work of Trapani & Valli may be applied to solve the Weyl problem in Minkowski space.

This work is available on arXiv at

02 Jun 2021: Geometry seminar
Sergey Tabachnikov (Penn State University): Variations on the Tait-Kneser theorem


The Tait-Kneser theorem, first demonstrated by Peter G. Tait in 1896, states that the osculating circles along a plane curve with monotone non-vanishing curvature are pairwise disjoint and nested. I shall present Tait's proof and discuss variations on this result. For example, the osculating circles can be replaced by the osculating Hooke and Kepler conics along a plane curve; the proof uses the Lorentzian geometry of the space of these conics. I shall also present a version of this theorem for the graphs of Taylor polynomials of even degrees of a smooth function.
12 May 2021: Geometry seminar
Hana Kourimska (IST Austria): Uniformization with a new discrete Gaussian curvature


The angle defect - $2\pi$ minus the cone angle at a vertex - is the commonly used discretization of the Gaussian curvature for piecewise flat surfaces. However, it does not possess one of the principal features of its smooth counterpart - upon scaling the surface by a factor $r$, the smooth Gaussian curvature is scaled by the factor of ${1\over r^2}$, whereas the angle defect is invariant under global scaling.

In my talk, I will introduce a new discretization of the Gaussian curvature, that preserves the properties of the angle defect and, in addition, reflects the scaling behavior of the smooth Gaussian curvature. I will also answer the accompanying Uniformization question: Does every discrete conformal class of a piecewise flat surface contain a metric with constant discrete Gaussian curvature? And if so, is this metric unique?

The results I will present in this talk constitute a part of my PhD re-search, which was supervised by Prof. Boris Springborn.

05 May 2021: Geometry seminar
Matteo Raffaelli (TU Wien): Nonrigidity of flat ribbons


Developable, or flat, surfaces are classical objects in differential geometry, with lots of real-world applications within fields such as architecture or industrial design. In this talk I will discuss the problem of constructing a developable surface that contains a given space curve. The natural question here is the following. Given a curve, how many locally distinct developables can be defined along it? It turns out that, for any suitable choice of ruling angle (function measuring the angle between the ruling line and the curve's tangent vector), there exists a full circle of flat ribbons.

In the second part of the talk we will examine the set of flat ribbons along a fixed curve in terms of energy. In particular, we will see that the classical rectifying developable of a curve maximizes the bending energy among all infinitely narrow flat ribbons having the same ruling angle.

I will conclude by presenting some important open questions.

28 Apr 2021: Geometry seminar
Gudrun Szewieczek (TU Wien): Smooth and discrete cyclic circle congruences


A 2-dimensional congruence of circles in 3-space is called cyclic if it admits a 1-parameter family of smooth orthogonal surfaces. By imposing further (geometric) conditions on such circle congruences, those can be employed to construct families of surfaces of various special types, as for example, pseudospherical surfaces, Guichard surfaces and flat fronts in hyperbolic space.

In this talk we shall give an integrable discretization of cyclic circle con-gruences and characterize them by the existence of a flat connection comprised of "reflections" of the underlying ambient geometry. These explicit flat connections will then provide an efficient way to construct the orthogonal discrete surfaces and could be used to reveal geometric properties of them. As an application of the developed theory, we will construct parallel families of discrete flat fronts in hyperbolic space.

Furthermore, we will discuss how the concept of those discrete flat connections can be carried over to the smooth case.

24 Mar 2021: Geometry seminar
Felix Dellinger (TU Wien): A checkerboard pattern approach to discrete differential geometry


Given a quad mesh of regular combinatorics one can obtain a checkerboard pattern by performing a midpoint subdivision, i.e., by connecting all midpoints of neighbouring edges. Such a checkerboard pattern has the property hat every second face is a parallelogram, compare Figure. image It turns out, that this checkerboard pattern is very well suited numerically as well as theoretically to define discrete differential geometric properties.

In particular, discrete versions of the shape operator, conjugate nets, principal nets, Koenigs nets and isothermic nets can be consistently defined via this checkerboard pattern approach. Some nice results from the smooth theory also hold for their discrete counter parts:

  1. Trace and determinant of the shape operator fit a discrete version of the Steiner formula for offset surfaces.
  2. The parameter lines of a principal mesh follow the eigenvectors of the shape operator.
  3. Conjugate meshes/Koenigs meshes are mapped to conjugate meshes/Koenigs meshes under projective transformations.
  4. Isothermic meshes and in general Koenigs meshes are dualizable.
  5. Isothermic meshes/principal meshes are mapped to isothermic meshes/principal meshes under Moebius transformations.
10 Mar 2021: Geometry seminar
Efilena Baseta (TU Wien): TBA

Winter term 2020/2021

Talks in the geometry seminar

Events in former years

External Links

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