# $E_2$ algebras and homology - 1 of 2

Block sum of matrices define a group homomorphism $GL_n(R) \times GL_m(R) \to GL_{n+m}(R)$, which can be used to make the direct sum of $H_s(BGL_t(R);k)$ over all $s, t$ into a bigraded-commutative ring. A similar product may be defined on homology of mapping class groups of surfaces with one boundary component, as well as in many other examples of interest. These products have manifestations on various levels, for example there is a product on the level of spaces making the disjoint union of $BGL_n(R)$ into a homotopy commutative topological monoid. I will discuss how it, and other concrete examples, may be built by iterated cell attachments in the category of topological monoids, or better yet $E_2$ algebras, and what may be learned by this viewpoint. This is all joint work with Alexander Kupers and Oscar Randal-Williams.

This is the first lecture in a two part series: part 2

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