Fernando Codá Marques

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Motivated by a foundational question of Poincaré, Birkhoff used min-max methods to prove the existence of a closed geodesic in any Riemannian two-sphere. This has inspired great developments in the field, like the Three Geodesics Theorem of Lusternik-Schnirelmann and the Almgren-Pitts min-max theory of minimal surfaces.

In this talk I will give an overview of these ideas and of applications to geometry, including recent results in collaboration with Andre Neves that lead to the existence of infinitely many minimal hypersurfaces in positive Ricci curvature.