Quasi-isometric of fattened trees and the classification of 3-manifold groups

Any finitely generated group can be endowed with a natural metric which is unique up to maps of bounded distortion (quasi-isometries). A fundamental question is to classify finitely generated groups up to quasi-isometry. Considered from this point of view, fundamental groups of 3-manifolds provide a rich source of examples. Surprisingly, a concise way to describe the quasi-isometric classification of 3-manifolds is in terms of a concept in computer science called "bisimulation." We will focus on describing this classification and a geometric interpretation of bisimulation. (Joint work with Walter Neumann.)

Jason Behrstock