Mathematics Lecture Series, Spring 2014

Fresno State

DR. ALLISON HENRICH

Seattle University

“What is a Pseudoknot?”

Friday, April 4, 2014

from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Science 2 208

Knots are terribly interesting mathematical objects that have been studied rigorously since about the last century. An attempt at classification of knots was originally motivated by a misguided connection between knots and chemistry, but we have since learned of many useful applications of knot theory in the sciences. One important application is in the study of DNA replication in biology. The use of knots as models of DNA inspired a new notion of a knot-like object called a pseudodiagram.

Since their introduction in 2009, we have discovered many interesting properties of pseudodiagrams. We were also led to invent a bonafide knot theory called Pseudoknot Theory. In this talk, we will learn what is known about pseudodiagrams and pseudoknots. We will pay special attention to interesting obstructions to unknotting pseudoknots.

This talk will be accessible to undergraduates.

If you need a disability-related accommodation or wheelchair access information, please contact Carmen Caprau at (559) 278-4997 or e-mail ccaprau@csufresno.edu. Requests should be made at least one week in advance of the event.