Knots, Surfaces and 3-manifolds (Online) (21w5094)


Jennifer Schultens (Univ Cal Davis)



The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) will host the "Knots, Surfaces and 3-manifolds" workshop in Oaxaca, from June 20 to June 25, 2021.

A mathematical knot can be thought of as a piece of knotted string with ends attached. This knotted circle is allowed to move freely in space as long as it does not pass through itself. In recent years the study of knots has gained momentum through a series of applications, for instance in physics and in molecular biology. Such applications bring new urgency to certain classical questions pertaining to knots and how they sit inside 3-dimensional space.

Much like a knotted wand dipped into liquid soap will bound a bubble, mathematical knots sitting in 3-dimensional space bound surfaces. Studying pairs of the form (knot, surface) sitting in 3-dimensional space rather than just knots, provides additional structure to better grasp basic questions, such as whether or not a given knot can be untangled and if so how.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT