## Prof. Dr. Dawid Kielak

### Project leader

University of Oxford

E-mail: kielak(at)maths.ox.ac.uk

Homepage: https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/kielak/#co…

## Project

**8**Parabolics and invariants
**60**Property (T)

## Publications within SPP2026

The Surface Group Conjectures are statements about recognising surface groups among one-relator groups, using either the structure of their finite-index subgroups, or all subgroups. We resolve these conjectures in the two generator case. More generally, we prove that every two-generator one-relator group with every infinite-index subgroup free is itself either free or a surface group.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We introduce the classes of TAP groups, in which various types of algebraic fibring are detected by the non-vanishing of twisted Alexander polynomials. We show that finitely presented LERF groups lie in the class TAP1(R) for every integral domain R, and deduce that algebraic fibring is a profinite property for such groups. We offer stronger results for algebraic fibring of products of limit groups, as well as applications to profinite rigidity of Poincaré duality groups in dimension 3 and RFRS groups.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We introduce the notion of quasi-BNS invariants, where we replace homomorphism to R by homogenous quasimorphisms to R in the theory of Bieri-Neumann-Strebel invariants. We prove that the quasi-BNS invariant QΣ(G) of a finitely generated group G is open; we connect it to approximate finite generation of almost kernels of homogenous quasimorphisms; finally we prove a Sikorav-style theorem connecting QΣ(G) to the vanishing of the suitably defined Novikov homology.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We provide a direct connection between the Zmax (or essential) JSJ decomposition and the Friedl--Tillmann polytope of a hyperbolic two-generator one-relator group with abelianisation of rank 2.

We deduce various structural and algorithmic properties, like the existence of a quadratic-time algorithm computing the Zmax-JSJ decomposition of such groups.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We initiate the study of torsion-free algebraically hyperbolic groups; these groups generalise, and are intricately related to, groups with no Baumslag-Solitar subgroups. Indeed, for groups of cohomological dimension 2 we prove that algebraic hyperbolicity is equivalent to containing no Baumslag-Solitar subgroups. This links algebraically hyperbolic groups to two famous questions of Gromov; recent work has shown these questions to have negative answers in general, but they remain open for groups of cohomological dimension 2.

We also prove that algebraically hyperbolic groups are CSA, and so have canonical abelian JSJ-decompositions. In the two-generated case we give a precise description of the form of these decompositions.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We prove that twisted ℓ2-Betti numbers of locally indicable groups are equal to the usual ℓ2-Betti numbers rescaled by the dimension of the twisting representation; this answers a question of Lück for this class of groups. It also leads to two formulae: given a fibration E with base space B having locally indicable fundamental group, and with a simply-connected fibre F, the first formula bounds ℓ2-Betti numbers b(2)i(E) of E in terms of ℓ2-Betti numbers of B and usual Betti numbers of F; the second formula computes b(2)i(E) exactly in terms of the same data, provided that F is a high-dimensional sphere.

We also present an inequality between twisted Alexander and Thurston norms for free-by-cyclic groups and 3-manifolds. The technical tools we use come from the theory of generalised agrarian invariants, whose study we initiate in this paper.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We construct a new type of expanders, from measure-preserving affine actions with spectral gap on origami surfaces, in each genus g⩾1. These actions are the first examples of actions with spectral gap on surfaces of genus g>1. We prove that the new expanders are coarsely distinct from the classical expanders obtained via the Laplacian as Cayley graphs of finite quotients of a group. In genus g=1, this implies that the Margulis expander, and hence the Gabber--Galil expander, is coarsely distinct from the Selberg expander. For the proof, we use the concept of piecewise asymptotic dimension and show a coarse rigidity result: A coarse embedding of either R2 or H2 into either R2 or H2 is a quasi-isometry.

**Related project(s):****60**Property (T)

We study $\ell^2$ Betti numbers, coherence, and virtual fibring of random groups in the few-relator model. In particular, random groups with negative Euler characteristic are coherent, have $\ell^2$ homology concentrated in dimension 1, and embed in a virtually free-by-cyclic group with high probability. Similar results are shown with positive probability in the zero Euler characteristic case.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We show that a finitely generated residually finite rationally solvable (or RFRS) group *G* is virtually fibred, in the sense that it admits a virtual surjection to $\mathbb Z$ with a finitely generated kernel, if and only if the first $L^2$-Betti number of *G* vanishes. This generalises (and gives a new proof of) the analogous result of Ian Agol for fundamental groups of 3-manifolds.

Journal | J. Amer. Math. Soc |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We study the Newton polytopes of determinants of square matrices defined over rings of twisted Laurent polynomials. We prove that such Newton polytopes are single polytopes (rather than formal differences of two polytopes); this result can be seen as analogous to the fact that determinants of matrices over commutative Laurent polynomial rings are themselves polynomials, rather than rational functions. We also exhibit a relationship between the Newton polytopes and invertibility of the matrices over Novikov rings, thus establishing a connection with the invariants of Bieri-Neumann-Strebel (BNS) via a theorem of Sikorav.

We offer several applications: we reprove Thurston's theorem on the existence of a polytope controlling the BNS invariants of a 3-manifold group; we extend this result to free-by-cyclic groups, and the more general descending HNN extensions of free groups. We also show that the BNS invariants of Poincare duality groups of type F in dimension 3 and groups of deficiency one are determined by a polytope, when the groups are assumed to be agrarian, that is their integral group rings embed in skew-fields. The latter result partially confirms a conjecture of Friedl.

We also deduce the vanishing of the Newton polytopes associated to elements of the Whitehead groups of many groups satisfying the Atiyah conjecture. We use this to show that the *L*2-torsion polytope of Friedl-Lueck is invariant under homotopy. We prove the vanishing of this polytope in the presence of amenability, thus proving a conjecture of Friedl-Lueck-Tillmann.

Journal | Invent. Math. |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

Relying on the theory of agrarian invariants introduced in previous work, we solve a conjecture of Friedl-Tillmann: we show that the marked polytopes they constructed for two-generator one-relator groups with nice presentations are independent of the presentations used. We also show that, when the groups are additionally torsion-free, the agrarian polytope encodes the splitting complexity of the group. This generalises theorems of Friedl-Tillmann and Friedl-Lück-Tillmann.

Journal | To appear in J. Lond. Math. Soc. |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We prove the K- and L-theoretic Farrell-Jones Conjecture with coefficients in an additive category for every normally poly-free group, in particular for even Artin groups of FC-type, and for all groups of the form A⋊Z where A is a right-angled Artin group. Our proof relies on the work of Bestvina-Fujiwara-Wigglesworth on the Farrell-Jones Conjecture for free-by-cyclic groups.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We construct examples of fibered three-manifolds with fibered faces all of whose monodromies extend to a handlebody.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We prove that $\mathrm{Aut}(F_n)$ has Kazhdan's property (T) for every $n \geqslant 6$. Together with a previous result of Kaluba, Nowak, and Ozawa, this gives the same statement for $n\geqslant 5$.

We also provide explicit lower bounds for the Kazhdan constants of $\mathrm{SAut}(F_n)$ (with $n \geqslant 6$) and of $\mathrm{SL}_n(\mathbb Z)$ (with $n \geqslant 3$) with respect to natural generating sets.

In the latter case, these bounds improve upon previously known lower bounds whenever $n> 6$.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We develop the theory of agrarian invariants, which are algebraic counterparts to $L^2$-invariants. Specifically, we introduce the notions of agrarian Betti numbers, agrarian acyclicity, agrarian torsion and agrarian polytope.

We use the agrarian invariants to solve the torsion-free case of a conjecture of Friedl--Tillmann: we show that the marked polytopes they constructed for two-generator one-relator groups with nice presentations are independent of the presentations used. We also show that, for such groups, the agrarian polytope encodes the splitting complexity of the group. This generalises theorems of Friedl--Tillmann and Friedl--Lück--Tillmann. Finally, we prove that for agrarian groups of deficiency $1$, the agrarian polytope admits a marking of its vertices which controls the Bieri--Neumann--Strebel invariant of the group, improving a result of the second author and partially answering a question of Friedl--Tillmann.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We prove that if a quasi-isometry of warped cones is induced by a map between the base spaces of the cones, the actions must be conjugate by this map. The converse is false in general, conjugacy of actions is not sufficient for quasi-isometry of the respective warped cones. For a general quasi-isometry of warped cones, using the asymptotically faithful covering constructed in a previous work with Jianchao Wu, we deduce that the two groups are quasi-isometric after taking Cartesian products with suitable powers of the integers.

Secondly, we characterise geometric properties of a group (coarse embeddability into Banach spaces, asymptotic dimension, property A) by properties of the warped cone over an action of this group. These results apply to arbitrary asymptotically faithful coverings, in particular to box spaces. As an application, we calculate the asymptotic dimension of a warped cone and improve bounds by Szabo, Wu, and Zacharias and by Bartels on the amenability dimension of actions of virtually nilpotent groups.

In the appendix, we justify optimality of our result on general quasi-isometries by showing that quasi-isometric warped cones need not come from quasi-isometric groups, contrary to the case of box spaces.

Journal | Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. |

Publisher | Wiley |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We prove that the smallest non-trivial quotient of the mapping class group of a connected orientable surface of genus at least 3 without punctures is Sp_2*g*(2), thus confirming a conjecture of Zimmermann. In the process, we generalise Korkmaz's results on C-linear representations of mapping class groups to projective representations over any field.

Journal | To appear in Groups Geom. Dyn. |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants