People
Richard Weiss William Walker Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Research Professor
Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Mathematics
503 Boston Avenue
BromfieldPearson
Room 213
Medford, MA 02155
Email @tufts.edu:
rweiss
Phone: 6176273802
Expertise:
Group theory, especially buildings and other geometric aspects of group theory
Degrees:
Dr.rer.nat. Technische UniversitÃ¤t Berlin
Major Awards:
 Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham, UK (20052020)
 Humboldt Research Prize (2003)
 86th Kuwait Foundation Lecture, Cambridge (2008)
 Mercator Guest Professor, Giessen (winter
semester 20122013)
 Simons Collaboration Grant (20172022)
Research:
I work in group theory. Group theory is the mathematical theory of symmetry.
Symmetry is a basic notion which plays a unifying role in both mathematics
and theoretical physics. The study of simple groups  those from which all other groups are
assembled  reveals uncanny connections to geometrical structures of various
sorts. In fact, it is impossible for me to say
whether the group theory I study is more a branch of algebra or more a branch of geometry, and
it is precisely this ambiguity that I find particularly fascinating.
My current expertise is in the theory of buildings. Buildings are geometric structures
discovered and studied over a lifetime by the great Jacques Tits at the Collège de France.
Spherical buildings provide a systematic description of a fundamental class of simple groups
which include all the finite simple groups of Lie type. I am especially interested in
the "exceptional groups," whose spherical buildings
are particularly intricate and beautiful objects.
Buildings are made up of of substructures called apartments which are glued together
according to certain algebraic rules.
The apartments of a spherical building, and hence spherical buildings themselves,
are crystallike in nature.
Affine buildings, on the other hand, have apartments
which consist simply of dots spread systematically
across ordinary space, so in some sense they should be more familiar things.
Instead the algebraic rules governing the structure of affine buildings turn out to
depend on properties of the prime numbers! Thus in the study of affine buildings,
we see the intertwining not just of group theory and geometry, but algebra and
number theory as well.
Books:
"Moufang Polygons" (coauthor: Jacques Tits), Springer Monographs in
Mathematics, 2002, pp. 535.
"The Structure of Spherical Buildings," Princeton University Press,
2004, pp. 140.
"Quadrangular Algebras," Mathematical Notes 46, Princeton University
Press, 2005, pp.140.
"The Structure of Affine Buildings," Annals of Mathematics Studies
168, Princeton University Press, 2008, pp.365.
"Descent in Buildings" (coauthors: Holger P. Petersson and Bernhard
Mühlherr), Annals of Mathematics Studies 190, Princeton University
Press, 2015, pp.336.
Recent Articles:
Moufang quadrangles of type E_6 and E_7, J. Reine Angew. Math. (Crelle)
590 (2006), 189226.
Moufang sets and Jordan division algebras (coauthor: Tom De Medts),
Math. Annalen 335 (2006), 415433.
On the action of the Hua group in special Moufang sets (coauthor:
Yoav Segev), Math. Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 144 (2008), 7784.
Nondiscrete Euclidean buildings for the Ree and Suzuki groups
(coauthors: Petra Hitzelberger and Linus Kramer), Amer. J. Math.,
132 (2010), 11131152.
The group E_6(q) and graphs with a locally linear group of
automorphisms (coauthor: Vladimir Trofimov), Math. Proc. Cambridge
Phil. Soc. 148 (2010), 132.
The norm of a Ree group (coauthor: Tom De Medts ), Nagoya Math. J.,
199 (2010), 1541.
On the existence of certain affine buildings of type E_6 and E_7, J.
Reine Angew. Math. (Crelle) 653 (2011), 135147.
The KneserTits conjecture for groups with Titsindex E_{8,2}^{66}
over an arbitrary field (coauthors: R. Parimala and JeanPierre
Tignol), Transf. Groups, 17 (2012), 209231.
Compact totally disconnected Moufang buildings (coauthors: Theo
Grundhöfer, Linus Kramer and Hendrik Van Maldeghem), Tohoku Math. J.
64 (2012), 333360.
Webs of Lagrangian tori in projective symplectic manifolds
(coauthor: JunMuk Hwang), Invent. Math. 192 (2013), 83109.
Local identification of spherical buildings and finite simple groups
of Lie type (coauthors: Ulrich Meierfrankenfeld and Gernot Stroth),
Math. Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 154 (2013), 527547.
Receding polar regions of a spherical building and the center
conjecture (coauthor: Bernhard Mühlherr), Ann. Inst. Fourier 63
(2013), 479513.
Coarse equivalences of Euclidean buildings (coauthor: Linus
Kramer), Adv. Math. 253 (2014) 149.
Galois involutions and exceptional groups (coauthor: Bernhard
Mühlherr), L'Enseign. Math., 62 (2016), 207â€“260.
Rhizospheres in spherical buildings (coauthor: Bernhard Mühlherr),
Math. Annalen 369 (2017), 839868.
Tits endomorphisms and buildings of type F_4 (coauthors:
Tom De Medts and Yoav Segev), Ann. Inst. Fourier, to appear.
