Mathematical Research Letters

Volume 17 (2010)

Number 5

Virtually geometric words and Whitehead’s algorithm

Pages: 917 – 925



Jason Fox Manning (Department of Mathematics, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260)


Motivated by a question of Gordon and Wilton, we consider the question of which collections of words are “virtually geometric”. In particular, we prove that some words (e.g. $bbaaccabc$) are not virtually geometric.

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