John Wilson

Memorial University of Newfoundland 

Atlantic Association for Research  in the Mathematical  Sciences 

Atlantic Algebra Centre


Mini course and Distinguished Colloquium 


Professor John Wilson

Oxford University, UK

From September 13 – 19, 2014 Professor John Wilson of Oxford University, United Kingdom, will be visiting the Atlantic Algebra Centre at the St. John ’ s campus of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Professor Wilson will deliver a mini-course entitled “Branch groups: theory and practice” (see abstract below). He will also give a Distinguished Colloquium “Non-standard finite simple groups” (see abstract below). The lectures of the mini-course will be accessible to graduate and honours undergraduate students. The Distinguished Colloquium is designed for a general mathematical audience.

Professor John Wilson is a celebrated mathematician working primarily in the Theory of Groups. He is a founder and Editor-in-Chief of De Gruyter “Journal of Group Theory”.

From 1994 to 2003 he held the Mason Chair of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. He holds an Honorary Visiting Professorship at Aston University. Professor Wilson has held visiting professorships and other appointments for various periods at a number of other universities around the globe, most recently the Université de Genève (January -- June 2002), the University of California at San Diego (January -- March 2004), ETH Zürich (April -- June 2007, May -- June 2009), Berlin (September 2011). From October 2014 -- March 2015 he will be the Leibnitz Professor at the University of Leipzig.

From 2004 to 2010, he was Professor of Mathematics, Oxford University. On retirement from this position, he became a Departmental Research Fellow in the Mathematical Institute, Oxford. He is also a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge.

Research interests of Professor John Wilson include profinite groups, finite and infinite soluble groups, model theory of groups, branch groups, word growth of groups, finitely presented groups, generation problems for finite simple groups.

Everyone is invited! We plan to provide partial support for students from Atlantic Canada. Please email a recommendation letter from your supervisor at aac(at)

Abstract of the mini course

Branch groups have attracted great attention in the last 30 years, after the appearance of examples with exotic properties answering a number of quite diverse open problems. Associated with them there a rich structure theory. These lectures will describe some of the principal examples, and recent developments in the structure theory.

Abstract of the Distinguished Colloquium

Metric ultraproducts of structures have arisen in a variety of contexts. The study of the case when the structures are finite groups is recent and motivated partly by the connection with sofic groups. We report on current joint work with Andreas Thom on the topological and algebraic properties of metric ultraproducts of finite simple groups.


All lectures and colloquium are being held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 3 - 4:30 pm in the room A-1049 of Arts and Administration building.