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

Description and aim of the workshop:

This workshop is 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.

This workshop will focus particularly on connections of symplectic and contact geometry with differential topology, low-dimensional geometric topology, and algebraic geometry. The emphasis is 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 this 2-week workshop is deliberately light, to allow for plenty of interaction between participants. In this spirit, we strive to bring together mathematicians with established or developing (but usually long-distance) collaborations.