Eric G. Samperton


About me

I am a J. L. Doob Research Assistant Professor in the University of Illinois Math Department and a member of the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST). Recently, I was a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara, and before that I earned my Ph.D. from UC Davis, where my advisor was Greg Kuperberg. I am partly supported by NSF grant DMS #2038020.

My primary research motivation is to answer questions at the intersection of 3-manifold topology and computational complexity. My work occurs at overlaps of the following subjects:

I identify as a mathematician, not a physicist or computer scientist. My interest is typically in applying ideas from physics and CS to better understand topology and TQFT. (Although occasionally—to Hardy's dismay—the arrow of ideas points in both directions.) For example, I have used ideas inspired by topological quantum computing to prove complexity-theoretic lower bounds for problems in 3-manifold topology.

Here's my CV. Here's a very full, loose lamination with \(\mathbb{Z}/4 * \mathbb{Z}/3\) symmetry:

And here's a video of a talk I gave at the University of Warwick related to my dissertation work: YouTube.


Teaching

During the spring 2021 semester I taught MATH 402 - Non-Euclidean Geometry and MATH 595 - Quantum, Complexity, and Topology. If you just want to watch the videos for the latter class you can find them at the Illinois Media Space channel here.


Writing

My papers and preprints are listed below, along with links to co-authors, any published versions, and arXiv preprints. You might also want to check out my arXiv author page, my MathSciNet author profile (subscription required) or my Google Scholar profile.

(6) Coloring invariants of knots and links are often intractable. With Greg Kuperberg. To appear in Algebraic & Geometric Topology. arXiv

(5) Haah codes on general three manifolds. With Kevin Tian and Zhenghan Wang. Annals of Physics (2020), Volume 412, 168014. arXiv

(4) Schur-type invariants of branched G-covers of surfaces. Topological Phases of Matter and Quantum Computation (2020), Contemp. Math., Volume 747, pp.173-197. arXiv

(3) Computational complexity and 3-manifolds and zombies. With Greg Kuperberg. Geometry & Topology (2018), Volume 22, Issue 6, pp. 3623-3670. arXiv

(2) Spaces of invariant circular orders of groups. With Harry Baik. Groups, Geometry, and Dynamics (2018), Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 721-763. arXiv

(1) On laminar groups, Tits alternatives, and convergence group actions on \(S^2\). With Juan Alonso and Harry Baik. Journal of Group Theory (2019), Volume 22, Issue 3, pp. 359-381. arXiv

My Ph.D. dissertation is titled Computational Complexity of Enumerative 3-Manifold Invariants and can be found at the arXiv or ProQuest. It contains the results of items (3), (4) and (6) above.


Contact Information

E-mail: My last name without any vowels, followed by @illinois.edu

Office: 247B Illini Hall

Snail Mail:
Department of Mathematics
1409 West Green Street (MC-382)
Urbana, IL 61801