Why Knot?

Trefoil knot - the simplest nontrivial knot.

Trefoil knot - the simplest nontrivial knot.

On October 2-3, there will be a workshop about knot theory, just up the road at University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond! Here is the description sent from Professor Simmons, the chair of the mathematics and statistics department at UCO:

This is a workshop for undergraduates that introduces the fascinating mathematics of knots. Knot theory is
particularly exciting as there are lots of pictures and open problems can be discussed without the need for
much background.

The lecturer for the workshop will be Colin Adams, author of the highly praised “The Knot
Book”. Dr. Adams is the author of numerous research articles on knot theory and the recipient of a 1998 MAA
Haimo Distinguished Teaching Award. He is widely recognized as an expositor of mathematics and is notorious
for giving mathematical lectures in the guise of sleazy real estate agent Mel Slugbate.

This workshop is funded by the NSF and limited travel funds are available to deter the expenses of participants. Women,
minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to participate and to apply for support.

Addendum: Very soon we will be organizing people who want to go up to ECU for the Knot Theory workshop.  If you’re interested, send an email ASAP to Jon Kujawa in the OU Math department.  We will soon be organizing carpools, etc. for people who would like to go.  If you’d like more information, you can see the poster for the workshop here.


23 thoughts on “Why Knot?

  1. All,

    I already know of several students who plan to attend. If you are interested in attending you should do the following:

    1. Email Dr. Simmons at UCO to let her know you are interested and to find out what you need to do to be eligible for travel funds.

    2. Email Dr. Kujawa at OU to let him know you’re interested in going. We’ll coordinate carpooling, sharing of hotels, etc. for OU participants.

    3. Go and have fun.

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  3. This seems interesting because it is one of those high level concepts that can still be explained with requiring the audience to have a lot of background knowledge.

    • I wish we could do that with Calculus problems…Dr. Kornelson probably wouldn’t like it if I showed up with my homework not completed and torn in half though.

  4. Will we be covering how to untie my shoelaces when they get into one of those impossibly messy tangles?

    I kid, from the very little I’ve read of Knot theory it sounds fascinating, great exercise for the mind. I’ll see if I can go.

  5. I will have to agree, the little knot theory that I have looked at is fascinating. Especially once you start talking about the relation between knots and links and surfaces. For example the Seifert surface is a surface with a given knot or link, take the complement of the knot or link in 3-space and then you have a surface were the boundary is a knot or link. This blew my mind the first time I saw it.

  6. I don’t know a lot about knot theory, but I know that mobius strips are AWESOME! definitely going to try and make it out to this workshop.

  7. This certainly looks like an interesting talk. I definitely don’t know a whole lot about knot theory but it looks fascinating; maybe I’ll be able to find the time to go.

  8. This seems quite interesting, all though I definitely think it would be way over my head from what I read on wikipedia.

  9. Wow. I’d actually never heard of knot theory before, but it really sounds incredible. It definitely seems like something that’s worth looking in to. Hopefully I’ll be able go to the workshop and learn more about it!

  10. This sounds really interesting but confusing at the same time! I have never heard of it but it sounds like Dr. Adams really knows what he is talking about! I may have to look into going!

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  12. I’ve never heard of knot theory before either, but it sounds like this workshop would be really worthwhile and interesting. Theories like these make a person understand just how broad of a field mathematics is.

  13. Dang! Knot theory sounds exciting 😀 I’ll definitely have to look into it some more. Too bad I’m busy those days and can’t make it to the seminar…

  14. Hey it didn’t take me long to figure out the math of buying velcro shoes. Making correct change is my forte.

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