Abstract:
The growing disconnection of the majority of population from mathematics is becoming a phenomenon that is increasingly difficult to ignore. This paper attempts to point to deeper roots of this cultural and social phenomenon. It concentrates on mathematics education, as the most important and better documented area of interaction of mathematics with the rest of human culture. I argue that new patterns of division of labour have dramatically changed the nature and role of mathematical skills needed for the labour force and correspondingly changed the place of mathematics in popular culture and in the mainstream education. The forces that drive these changes come from the tension between the ever deepening specialisation of labour and ever increasing length of specialised training required for jobs at the increasingly sharp cutting edge of technology. Unfortunately these deeper socio-economic origins of the current systemic crisis of mathematics education are not clearly spelt out, neither in cultural studies nor, even more worryingly, in the education policy discourse; at the best, they are only euphemistically hinted at. This paper is an attempt to describe the socio-economic landscape of mathematics education without resorting to euphemisms.

Abstract:
We propose a simple one sided Monte-Carlo algorithm to distinguish, to any given degree of certainty, between certain symplectic and orthogonal groups over fields of odd order. The algorithm does not use an order oracle and works in polynomial time.

Abstract:
We discuss basic structural properties of finite black box groups. A special emphasis is made on the use of centralisers of involutions in probabilistic recognition of black box groups. In particular, we suggest an algorithm for finding the $p$-core of a black box group of odd characteristic. This special role of involutions suggest that the theory of black box groups reproduces, at a non-deterministic level, some important features of the classification of finite simple groups.

Abstract:
We discuss time complexity of The Conjugacy Problem in HNN-extensions of groups, in particular, in Miller's groups. We show that for "almost all", in some explicit sense, elements, the Conjugacy Problem is decidable in cubic time. It is worth noting that the Conjugacy Problem in a Miller group may have be undecidable. Our results show that "hard" instances of the problem comprise a negligibly small part of the group.

Abstract:
The well known Andrews-Curtis Conjecture [2] is still open. In this paper, we establish its finite version by describing precisely the connected components of the Andrews-Curtis graphs of finite groups. This finite version has independent importance for computational group theory. It also resolves a question asked in [5] and shows that a computation in finite groups cannot lead to a counterexample to the classical conjecture, as suggested in [5].

Abstract:
We discuss the time complexity of the word and conjugacy search problems for free products $G = A \star_C B$ of groups $A$ and $B$ with amalgamation over a subgroup $C$. We stratify the set of elements of $G$ with respect to the complexity of the word and conjugacy problems and show that for the generic stratum the conjugacy search problem is decidable under some reasonable assumptions about groups $A,B,C$.

Abstract:
The aim of the paper is to clarify the nature of combinatorial structures associated with maps on closed compact surfaces. We prove that maps give rise to Lagrangian matroids representable in a setting provided by cohomology of the surface with punctured points. Our proof is very elementary. We further observe that the greedy algorithm has a natural interpretation in this setting, as a `peeling' procedure which cuts the (connected) surface into a closed ring-shaped peel, and that this procedure is local.

Abstract:
We are now witnessing a rapid growth of a new part of group theory which has become known as "statistical group theory". A typical result in this area would say something like ``a random element (or a tuple of elements) of a group G has a property P with probability p". The validity of a statement like that does, of course, heavily depend on how one defines probability on groups, or, equivalently, how one measures sets in a group (in particular, in a free group). We hope that new approaches to defining probabilities on groups outlined in this paper create, among other things, an appropriate framework for the study of the "average case" complexity of algorithms on groups.

Abstract:
The paper discusses the Andrews-Curtis graph of a normal subgroup N in a group G. The vertices of the graph are k-tuples of elements in N which generate N as a normal subgroup; two vertices are connected if one them can be obtained from another by certain elementary transformations. This object appears naturally in the theory of black box finite groups and in the Andrews-Curtis conjecture in algebraic topology. We suggest an approach to the Andrews-Curtis conjecture based on the study of Andrews-Curtis graphs of finite groups, discuss properties of Andrews-Curtis graphs of some classes of finite groups and results of computer experiments with generation of random elements of finite groups by random walks on their Andrews-Curtis graphs.

Abstract:
We introduce a family of atomic measures on free groups generated by no-return random walks. These measures are shown to be very convenient for comparing "relative sizes" of subgroups, context-free and regular subsets (that, subsets generated by finite automata) of free groups. Many asymptotic characteristics of subsets and subgroups are naturally expressed as analytic properties of related generating functions. We introduce an hierarchy of asymptotic behaviour "at infinity" of subsets in the free groups, more sensitive than the traditionally used asymptotic density, and apply it to normal subgroups and regular subsets.