Is the Universe Closed? - Existence Problem of Compact Locally Symmetric Spaces,
colloquium, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, 12 July 2006.

The local to global study of geometries was a major trend of 20th century geometry, with remarkable developments achieved particularly in Riemannian geometry. In contrast, in areas such as Lorentz geometry, familiar to us as the space-time of relativity theory, and more generally in pseudo-Riemannian geometry, as well as in various other kinds of geometry (symplectic, complex geometry, ...), surprising little is known about global properties of the geometry even if we impose a locally homogeneous structure.

In this talk, I will give a survey on the recent developments on the question about how the local geometric structure affects the global nature of non-Riemannian manifolds with emphasis on the existence problem of compact models of locally symmetric spaces.

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