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Groups in Galway 2018

May 18-19, 2018

Groups in Galway has been running on an annual basis since 1978. The scope of the conference covers all areas of group theory, applications, and related fields. All who are interested are invited to attend.


A tentative roster of speakers is


Below is a tentative schedule. All talks will be in AC201 on the concourse of the Arts/Science Building (number 14 on this map).

Move the cursor over a title for a short abstract.

Friday 18 May

10.00‒10.45 John Sheekey TBA TBA

10.45‒11.30 Coffee/tea

11.30‒12.15 Eoin Long TBA TBA

12.30‒13.15 Maura Paterson TBA TBA

13.15‒14.30 Lunch

14.30‒15.15 Daniel Horsley Symmetric coverings and the Bruck-Ryser-Chowla theorem A $(v,k,\lambda)$-block design is a collection of $k$-element subsets, called blocks, of a $v$-set of points such that each pair of points appears together in exactly $\lambda$ blocks. A block design is symmetric if it has exactly as many blocks as points. The Bruck-Ryser-Chowla theorem famously establishes the nonexistence of various symmetric block designs, including projective planes. In this talk I will discuss generalisations of the Bruck-Ryser-Chowla theorem to the setting of coverings where, instead of demanding that each pair of points appears together in exactly some fixed number of blocks, we only require that each pair of points appear together in at least some fixed number of blocks. The proofs of these generalisations exploit the structure of $XX^T$, where $X$ is the incidence matrix of a putative covering. In some cases it is sufficient to examine the determinants of these matrices. In others, arguments concerning rational congruence of matrices and making use of Hasse-Minkowski invariants are required.

15.30‒16.15 Bettina Eick The groups of order $p^n q$ The talk shows how the number $f_n(p,q)$ of groups of order $p^n q$ for different primes $p$ and $q$ can be determined (for fixed $n$ as a function in $p$ and $q$). Explicit functions for $f_n$ for $n \leq 5$ are exhibited.

16.15‒17.00 Coffee/tea

17.00‒17.45 Götz Pfeiffer TBA TBA

19.00 Conference Dinner

Saturday 19 May

10.00‒10.45 Ronan Egan Using groups to construct combinatorial structures and codes In this talk I will discuss methods of constructing combinatorial structures such as block designs from finite groups and using orbit matrices. I will also describe recent and ongoing work where generalized versions of orbit matrices are constructed from Hadamard matrices and weighing matrices using their permutation automorphism groups. This leads to the construction of self-orthogonal, self-dual, optimal and near optimal codes over finite fields.

10.45‒11.15 Coffee/tea

11.15‒12.00 Rob Craigen TBA TBA

12.15‒13.00 Ann Trenk TBA TBA


There is no registration fee. However, if you intend to participate in the conference, please send an email to the organizers Kevin Jennings and Dane Flannery, stating your full name, affiliation, and whether you will attend the Dinner.


Galway can be reached by public transportation from Dublin, Shannon, and Knock airports. There are direct buses from Dublin airport to Galway city operated by Citylink and GoBus. You can also take a train from Dublin city. Bus Eireann runs buses from Dublin, Shannon, and Knock airports to Galway. Directions to NUI Galway by road can be found here.

Galway is a small city. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the Coach Station or Railway Station to the university (Google maps direction).

NUI Galway has a number of pay-and-display parking places for visitors. Cars parked in other spaces on the NUI Galway campus and not displaying a valid parking permit will be clamped.


The following hotels and guest houses are convenient for the NUI Galway campus:

See also Discover Ireland.

For further information, contact Kevin Jennings or Dane Flannery.

Groups in Galway 2018 is supported by