A groupoid (in the sense of category theory) is a small category in which every morphism is an isomorphism. Groupoids arise throughout mathematics, e.g. in guise of fundamental groupoids in the theory of covering spaces, holonomy groupoids in the theory of foliations or Lie groupoids in mathematical ...

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12
votes
2answers
463 views

A comparison between the fundamental groupoid and the fundamental group

Are there two path connected topological spaces $X,Y$ such that the fundamental groupoid of $X$ is not isomorphic to the fundamental groupoid of $Y$ but the fundamental group of $X$ is isomorphic to ...
26
votes
1answer
952 views

Purely combinatorial proof that$ (e^x)' = e^x$

At the beginning of Week 300 of John Baez's blog, Baez gives a proof that the "number" of finite sets (more specifically, the cardinality of the groupoid of all finite sets, where an object in the ...
40
votes
5answers
2k views

What structure does the alternating group preserve?

A common way to define a group is as the group of structure-preserving transformations on some structured set. For example, the symmetric group on a set $X$ preserves no structure: or, in other ...
16
votes
1answer
723 views

Categorification of $\pi$?

Is there a categorification of $\pi$? I have to admit that this is a very vague question. Somehow it is motivated by this recent MO question, which made me stare at some digits and somehow forgot my ...
9
votes
4answers
249 views

Is there a “natural” / “categorical” definition of the “parity” of a permutation?

Given a permutation $\sigma$ on $n$ elements (i.e. $\sigma \in S_n$), there is a notion of "parity" (or "sign" or "signature") of $\sigma$, which can be defined in several equivalent ways (look here). ...
8
votes
1answer
105 views

How are groupoids richer structures than sets of groups?

This has been bugging me for quite some time: My intuition with categories is, that I can simply identify isomorphic objects. It does for example not matter, whether the entries in a sudoku are the ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Should the first be the last by composition of paths?

Given two paths $f,g:\mathbb{I}\rightarrow X$ with $f\left(1\right)=g\left(0\right)$ there is a composite $f.g$ defined by $t\mapsto f\left(2t\right)$ if $2t\leq1$ and $t\mapsto g\left(2t-1\right)$ ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

How do you construct the lifted topology of a groupoid cover?

If I have a particularly nice space $X$ (Hausdorf, locally path connected, semi-locally 1-connected, I think), then then there is an equivalence of categories between the cover category over $X$ and ...