Abstract:
We characterize when the reduced C*-algebra of a group has unique tracial state, respectively, is simple, in terms of Dixmier-type properties of the group C*-algebra. We also give a simple proof of the recent result by Breuillard, Kalantar, Kennedy and Ozawa that the reduced C*-algebra of a group has unique tracial state if and only if the amenable radical of the group is trivial.

Abstract:
Random matrices have their roots in multivariate analysis in statistics, and since Wigner's pioneering work in 1955, they have been a very important tool in mathematical physics. In functional analysis, random matrices and random structures have in the last two decades been used to construct Banach spaces with surprising properties. After Voiculescu in 1990--1991 used random matrices to classification problems for von Neumann algebras, they have played a key role in von Neumann algebra theory. In this lecture we will discuss some new applications of random matrices to operator algebra theory, namely applications to classification problems for $C^*$-algebras and to the invariant subspace problem relative to a von Neumann algebra.

Abstract:
In this paper it is proved, that for every prime number p, the set of cyclic p-roots in C^p is finite. Moreover the number of cyclic p-roots counted with multiplicity is equal to (2p-2)!/(p-1)!^2. In particular, the number of complex circulant Hadamard matrices of size p, with diagonal entries equal to 1, is less or equal to (2p-2)!/(p-1)!^2.

Abstract:
It is shown that all 2-quasitraces on a unital exact C*-algebra are traces. As consequences one gets: (1) Every stably finite exact unital C*-algebra has a tracial state, and (2) if an AW*-factor of type II_1 is generated (as an AW*-algebra) by an exact C*-subalgebra, then it is a von Neumann II_1-factor. This is a partial solution to a well known problem of Kaplansky. The present result was used by Blackadar, Kumjian and R{\o}rdam to prove that RR(A)=0 for every simple non-commutative torus of any dimension.

Abstract:
We previously introduced the class of DT--operators, which are modeled by certain upper triangular random matrices, and showed that if the spectrum of a DT-operator is not reduced to a single point, then it has a nontrivial, closed, hyperinvariant subspace. In this paper, we prove that also every DT-operator whose spectrum is concentrated on a single point has a nontrivial, closed, hyperinvariant subspace. In fact, each such operator has a one-parameter family of them. It follows that every DT-operator generates the von Neumann algebra L(F_2) of the free group on two generators.

Abstract:
In this paper we generalize Brown's spectral distribution measure to a large class of unbounded operators affiliated with a finite von Neumann algebra. Moreover, we compute the Brown measure of all unbounded R-diagonal operators in this class. As a particular case, we determine the Brown measure of z=xy^{-1}, where (x,y) is a circular system in the sense of Voiculescu, and we prove that for all positive integers n, z^n is in L^p(M) iff 0

Abstract:
In this paper we consider the following problem: When are the preduals of two hyperfinite (=injective) factors $\M$ and $\N$ (on separable Hilbert spaces) cb-isomorphic (i.e., isomorphic as operator spaces)? We show that if $\M$ is semifinite and $\N$ is type III, then their preduals are not cb-isomorphic. Moreover, we construct a one-parameter family of hyperfinite type III$_0$-factors with mutually non cb-isomorphic preduals, and we give a characterization of those hyperfinite factors $\M$ whose preduals are cb-isomorphic to the predual of the unique hyperfinite type III$_1$-factor. In contrast, Christensen and Sinclair proved in 1989 that all infinite dimensional hyperfinite factors with separable preduals are cb-isomorphic. More recently Rosenthal, Sukochev and the first-named author proved that all hyperfinite type III$_\lambda$-factors, where $0< \lambda\leq 1$, have cb-isomorphic preduals.

Abstract:
In 1991 Effros and Ruan conjectured that a certain Grothendieck-type inequality for a bilinear form on C$^*$-algebras holds if (and only if) the bilinear form is jointly completely bounded. In 2002 Pisier and Shlyakhtenko proved that this inequality holds in the more general setting of operator spaces, provided that the operator spaces in question are exact. Moreover, they proved that the conjecture of Effros and Ruan holds for pairs of C$^*$-algebras, of which at least one is exact. In this paper we prove that the Effros-Ruan conjecture holds for general C$^*$-algebras, with constant one. More precisely, we show that for every jointly completely bounded (for short, j.c.b.) bilinear form on a pair of C$^*$-algebras $A$ and $B$, there exist states $f_1$, $f_2$ on $A$ and $g_1$, $g_2$ on $B$ such that for all $a\in A$ and $b\in B$, |u(a, b)| \leq ||u||_{jcb}(f_1(aa^*)^{1/2}g_1(b^*b)^{1/2} + f_2(a^*a)^{1/2}g_2(bb^*)^{1/2}) . While the approach by Pisier and Shlyakhtenko relies on free probability techniques, our proof uses more classical operator algebra theory, namely, Tomita-Takesaki theory and special properties of the Powers factors of type III$_\lambda$, $0< \lambda< 1$ .

Abstract:
We find new presentations for the Thompson's groups $F$, the derived group $F^{'}$ and the intermediate group $D$. These presentations have a common ground in that their relators are the same and only the generating sets differ. As an application of these presentations we extract the following consequences: the cost of the group $F^{'}$ is 1 hence the cost cannot decide the (non)amenability question of $F$; the $II_1$ factor $L(F^{'})$ is inner asymptotically abelian and the reduced $C^*$-algebra of $F$ is not residually finite dimensional.

Abstract:
We study factorization and dilation properties of Markov maps between von Neumann algebras equipped with normal faithful states, i.e., completely positive unital maps which preserve the given states and also intertwine their automorphism groups. The starting point for our investigation has been the question of existence of non-factorizable Markov maps, as formulated by C. Anantharaman-Delaroche. We provide simple examples of non-factorizable Markov maps on M_n(C) for all n\geq 3, as well as an example of a one-parameter semigroup (T(t))_{t\geq 0} of Markov maps on M_4(C) such that T(t) fails to be factorizable for all small values of t > 0. As applications, we solve in the negative an open problem in quantum information theory concerning an asymptotic version of the quantum Birkhoff conjecture, as well as we sharpen the existing lower bound estimate for the best constant in the noncommutative little Grothendieck inequality.