**Date & Time:** Friday, December 24, 2010 at 3 pm

**Venue:** Ramanujan Hall

**Title:** On arrangements of complex hyperplanes whose fundamental group
is a direct product of free groups.

**Speaker:** Prof. Kwai-Man Fan, National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan

**Abstract:**
We shall discuss a theorem and a conjecture on the fundamental
group of the complement of a union of complex hyperplane that was given by
myself in 1997, and the solution of the conjecture given by
Meital Eliyahu, Eran Liberman, Malka Schaps, Mina Teicher in a joint
paper that was published this year. Now we know exactly when this
fundamental group is a direct product of free groups. We shall
also discuss a very recent result by K. Williams on the topology
of the complement. The results given in this lecture follows
from an accumulation of works by many authors in the past 30 years.