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Groupoid extensions of mapping class representations for bordered surfaces

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  • Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen, Denmark
  • Alex Bene, Denmark
  • Robert Penner, Denmark

The mapping class group of a surface with one boundary component admits numerous interesting representations including a representation as a group of automorphisms of a free group and as a group of symplectic transformations. Insofar as the mapping class group can be identified with the fundamental group of Riemann's moduli space, it is furthermore identified with a subgroup of the fundamental path groupoid upon choosing a basepoint. A combinatorial model for this, the mapping class groupoid, arises from the invariant cell decomposition of Teichmüller space, whose fundamental path groupoid is called the Ptolemy groupoid. It is natural to try to extend representations of the mapping class group to the mapping class groupoid, i.e., to construct a homomorphism from the mapping class groupoid to the same target that extends the given representations arising from various choices of basepoint.

Among others, we extend both aforementioned representations to the groupoid level in this sense, where the symplectic representation is lifted both rationally and integrally. The techniques of proof include several algorithms involving fatgraphs and chord diagrams. The former extension is given by explicit formulae depending upon six essential cases, and the kernel and image of the groupoid representation are computed. Furthermore, this provides groupoid extensions of any representation of the mapping class group that factors through its action on the fundamental group of the surface including, for instance, the Magnus representation and representations on the moduli spaces of flat connections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTopology and Its Applications
Pages (from-to)2713-2725
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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