Knots, Colorings, and the Shape of Space

Event time: 
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 2:00pm
LOM 206
Patricia Cahn
Speaker affiliation: 
Smith College
Event description: 

Abstract: A mathematical knot is a positioning of a circle in space; imagine taking a piece of string, tangling it up, and gluing the ends together. Given two knots, a natural question is to determine whether or not they are the same: Can one be gradually deformed into the position of the other, without cutting the string? In this talk, we’ll look at method a for telling knots apart called Fox coloring, and its connections to linear algebra and group theory. If time permits, we’ll also discuss how colored knots allow us to build different 3-dimensional spaces (think: possible shapes of the universe).

Special note: 
SUMRY Colloquium