30 years of tight-spans and still going strong!

  • Vincent Moulton (University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom)
E1 05 (Leibniz-Saal)


In 1984 Andreas Dress published a paper entitled "Trees, tight extensions of metric spaces, and the cohomological dimension of certain groups" in response to a question raised in the late 1970's by Manfred Eigen. At that time Manfred Eigen was trying to fit 20 distinct t-RNA sequences of the E.coli bacterium onto a tree. He realized that there was an obstruction to finding such a tree even for four sequences and wondered:

What could be used as a substitute for a tree if no globally fitting tree existed? In this talk, we will explore some consequences of Andreas Dress' response, which has led to a surprising number of new theorems, unsuspected applications, and unforseen relationships with other subjects in mathematics, a few of which we will present.

Antje Vandenberg

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences Contact via Mail

Jürgen Jost

Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften

Peter Stadler

Leipzig University