Abstract:
We calculate the smooth structure set of $S^p \times S^q$, $S(p, q)$, for $p, q \geq 2$ and $p+q \geq 5$. As a consequence we show that in general $S(4j-1, 4k)$ cannot admit a group structure such that the smooth surgery exact sequence is a long exact sequence of groups. We also show that the image of forgetful map $F: S(4j, 4k) --> S^{Top}(4j, 4k)$ is not in general a subgroup of the topological structure set.

Abstract:
For M_r = #_r(S^p \times S^p), p=3, 7, we calculate the group of isotopy classes of orientation preserving diffeomorphisms of $M_r$ modulo isotopy classes with representatives which are the identity outside a 2p-disc and also the group of homotopy classes of orientation preserving homotopy equivalences of M_r.

Abstract:
We generalise the Kreck-Stolz invariants s_2 and s_3 by defining a new invariant, the t-invariant, for quaternionic line bundles E over closed spin-manifolds M of dimension 4k-1 with H^3(M; \Q) = 0 such that c_2(E)\in H^4(M) is torsion. The t-invariant classifies closed smooth oriented 2-connected rational homology 7-spheres up to almost-diffeomorphism, that is, diffeomorphism up to connected sum with an exotic sphere. It also detects exotic homeomorphisms between such manifolds. The t-invariant also gives information about quaternionic line bundles over a fixed manifold and we use it to give a new proof of a theorem of Feder and Gitler about the values of the second Chern classes of quaternionic line bundles over HP^k. The t-invariant for S^{4k-1} is closely related to the Adams e-invariant on the (4k-5)-stem.

Abstract:
A functorial semi-norm on singular homology is a collection of semi-norms on the singular homology groups of spaces such that continuous maps between spaces induce norm-decreasing maps in homology. Functorial semi-norms can be used to give constraints on the possible mapping degrees of maps between oriented manifolds. In this paper, we use information about the degrees of maps between manifolds to construct new functorial semi-norms with interesting properties. In particular, we answer a question of Gromov by providing a functorial semi-norm that takes finite positive values on homology classes of certain simply connected spaces. Our construction relies on the existence of simply connected manifolds that are inflexible in the sense that all their self-maps have degree -1, 0, or 1. The existence of such manifolds was first established by Arkowitz and Lupton; we extend their methods to produce a wide variety of such manifolds.

Abstract:
Let N be a closed, connected, smooth 4-manifold with H_1(N;Z)=0. Our main result is the following classification of the set E^7(N) of smooth embeddings N->R^7 up to smooth isotopy. Haefliger proved that the set E^7(S^4) with the connected sum operation is a group isomorphic to Z_{12}. This group acts on E^7(N) by embedded connected sum. Boechat and Haefliger constructed an invariant BH:E^7(N)->H_2(N;Z) which is injective on the orbit space of this action; they also described im(BH). We determine the orbits of the action: for u in im(BH) the number of elements in BH^{-1}(u) is GCD(u/2,12) if u is divisible by 2, or is GCD(u,3) if u is not divisible by 2. The proof is based on a new approach using modified surgery as developed by Kreck.

Abstract:
For a closed topological manifold M with dim (M) >= 5 the topological structure set S(M) admits an abelian group structure which may be identified with the algebraic structure group of M as defined by Ranicki. If dim (M) = 2d-1, M is oriented and M is equipped with a map to the classifying space of a finite group G, then the reduced rho-invariant defines a function, \wrho : S(M) \to \QQ R_{hat G}^{(-1)^d}, to a certain sub-quotient of the complex representation ring of G. We show that the function \wrho is a homomorphism when 2d-1 >= 5. Along the way we give a detailed proof that a geometrically defined map due to Cappell and Weinberger realises the 8-fold Siebenmann periodicity map in topological surgery.

Abstract:
The (4k+2)-dimensional Kervaire manifold is a closed, piecewise linear (PL) manifold with Kervaire invariant 1 and the same homology as the product of two (2k+1)-dimensional spheres. We show that a finite group of odd order acts freely on a Kervaire manifold if and only if it acts freely on the corresponding product of spheres. If the Kervaire manifold M is smoothable, then each smooth structure on M admits a free smooth involution. If k + 1 is not a 2-power, then the Kervaire manifold in dimension 4k+2 does not admit any free TOP involutions. Free "exotic" (PL) involutions are constructed on the Kervaire manifolds of dimensions 30, 62, and 126. Each smooth structure on the 30-dimensional Kervaire manifold admits a free Z/2 x Z/2 action.

Abstract:
Let X be a closed m-dimensional spin manifold which admits a metric of positive scalar curvature and let Pos(X) be the space of all such metrics. For any g in Pos(X), Hitchin used the KO-valued alpha-invariant to define a homomorphism A_{n-1} from \pi_{n-1}(Pos(X) to KO_{m+n}. He then showed that A_0 is not 0 if m = 8k or 8k+1 and that A_1 is not 0 if m = 8k-1 or 8$. In this paper we use Hitchin's methods and extend these results by proving that A_{8j+1-m} is not 0 whenever m>6 and 8j - m >= 0. The new input are elements with non-trivial alpha-invariant deep down in the Gromoll filtration of the group \Gamma^{n+1} = \pi_0(\Diff(D^n, \del)). We show that \alpha(\Gamma^{8j+2}_{8j-5}) is not 0 for j>0. This information about elements existing deep in the Gromoll filtration is the second main new result of this note.

Abstract:
Let P be a closed smooth (4j-2)-connected 8j-manifold. We complete Wilkens' classification of the manifolds P for j = 1,2 and give an alternative proof to Wall's classification of the manifolds for j > 2. The Hopf-invariant-one dimensions (j=1,2) are characteristed by the fact that the quadratic linking functions which classify may be inhomogeneous. Hence we also extend the classification of (homogeneous) quadratic linking forms on finite abelian groups (due to Nikulin) to the inhomogeneous case.

Abstract:
We define a Z/48-valued homotopy invariant nu of a G_2-structure on the tangent bundle of a closed 7-manifold in terms of the signature and Euler characteristic of a coboundary with a Spin(7)-structure. For manifolds of holonomy G_2 obtained by the twisted connected sum construction, the associated torsion-free G_2-structure always has nu = 24. Some holonomy G_2 examples constructed by Joyce by desingularising orbifolds have odd nu. We define a further homotopy invariant xi of G_2-structures such that if M is 2-connected then the pair (nu, xi) determines a G_2-structure up to homotopy and diffeomorphism. The class of a G_2-structure is determined by nu on its own when the greatest divisor of p_1(M) modulo torsion divides 224; this sufficient condition holds for many twisted connected sum G_2-manifolds. We also prove that the parametric h-principle holds for coclosed G_2-structures.