Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Mathematics

Major Professor

James Conant

Committee Members

Robert Daverman, Morwen Thistlethwaite, Michael Berry

Abstract

Following the work of Conant and Vogtmann on determining the homology of the group of outer automorphisms of a free group, a new nontrivial class in the rational homology of Outer space is established for the free group of rank eight. The methods started in [8] are heavily exploited and used to create a new graph complex called the space of good chord diagrams. This complex carries with it significant computational advantages in determining possible nontrivial homology classes.
Next, we create a basepointed version of the Lie operad and explore some of it proper- ties. In particular, we prove a Kontsevich-type theorem that relates the Lie homology of a particular space to the cohomology of the group of automorphisms of the free group.

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