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Sydney Mathematical Research Institute

Audience: General audience
Seminar series times: No fixed schedule
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The Mathematics of Knots with Jessica Purcell: Public Lecture


Where: Lecture Theatre 200 Social Sciences Building (A02) The University of Sydney Camperdown NSW 2006

Abstract: Since prehistoric times, humans have used knots for their functional and aesthetic value. Knots, links and braids have held decorative, artistic and spiritual significance across a myriad of cultures. For mathematicians, the study of knots has led to insights in disciplines such as geometry and topology. In this public lecture, Professor Purcell will provide us with an introduction into knot theory and some of its fundamental questions. When is a knot not a knot—how do you know if it can be unknotted? How do you know if two knots are the same? Professor Purcell will share what motivates her research, take a look at some of the modern tools to study knots and describe some of the surprising applications of knot theory, such as quantum physics, synthetic chemistry and molecular biology.

Speaker biography: Jessica Purcell is a Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences and Associate Dean of Research (Faculty of Science) at Monash University. Her research interests are in geometry and topology, with a particular interest in 3-manifolds, hyberbolic geometry and knot theory. Professor Purcell will visit SMRI in July 2021 as part of the Domestic Visitor Program (2020 Round 2 Awardee).

Registration: Please register by 14 July.

Please note this lecture will take place in-person and will not be recorded. Numbers may be limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment.

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