Many people don’t realize it, but only half of a professor’s job at OU is teaching. The other half is doing research. To advertise this side of the department, this is the first installment of a series of posts about research in the OU math department.
Today we’re talking about Dr. Kyung-Bai Lee.
Because he has a brand new book out:
What is a Seifert Fibering? You can read about Seifert fiber spaces on Wikipedia, but the short version is that they are gadgets which show up in Dr. Lee’s area of expertise: Geometric Topology. That, in turn, is the area of math about objects which are interesting topologically but can be also studied using analysis type tools like differentiation and differential equations. This is the same area of math which involves the Poincare Conjecture and Thurston’s Geometrization Conjecture (which we discussed here).
To give you an idea of all the work Dr. Lee has done, if you look on MathSciNet (the catalog of research papers in math), you’ll see the Dr. Lee has 57 research papers! It’s hard work to develop all that new math. No wonder he’s taking a sabbatical leave this spring! Of course, a sabbatical is the opposite of a vacation. All it does is give a professor a semester off from teaching so that he or she can do research full time. No doubt, Dr. Lee is hard-core.
If you are looking for presents for people, you can buy Dr. Lee’s book at amazon.com (although it looks like they’re sold out right now!). If you ask nicely, Dr. Lee will probably even autograph it for you!
Warning if you are about to buy a copy for your uncle David: the publisher describes the target audience as “Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in topology”, so your uncle had better be a big fan of topology!
If you’re interested in taking a look, you can also peruse it at google books.
A somewhat related topic in math is Seifert surfaces which show up in knot theory. Other than the fact that they are related, we mention them here because it gives us an excuse to show you some of the niftiest pictures and videos on the web. Dr. Ken Baker, a topologist at the University of Miami, has a great blog called Sketches of Topology where he posts graphics he makes as part of his research. Check it out: