Integrated Conference to be held this weekend

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

An annual integrated conference in the related areas of geometry, dynamics and topology, hosted by the department of mathematics and computer science, is set for this Friday through Sunday in the Physical Sciences Building.

Registration will open in at 3:30 p.m. Friday in room 1205.

The first talk on Friday is by a leading expert in knot theory, Cameron Gordon,a  professor from the University of Texas at Austin.

The talk starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning by Allison Moore, from University of California, Davis, is about applying knot theory to studying how enzymes alter DNA.

Charles Delman, a mathematics and computer science professor, said geometry is the study of quantitative relationships in space, topology is the study of qualitative relationships in space and dynamics is the study of motion in space.

The conference used to be just one day, attended by mostly mathematicians from the region, but it has grown to a three-day event drawing mathematicians from across the country, Delman said.

“As one might imagine, the areas of geometry, dynamics and topology are very relevant to applications in physics, biology, economics and other areas of science and art,” Delman said. “We try to mix all three areas in the conference, although each year there tends to be an emphasis on one of them among the principal speakers. There are also generally some talks on pure mathematics and some that are more applied, and this year is no exception in that regard.”

The unique aspect and purpose of the conference in its current form is to bring together, or integrate, mathematicians at different stages in their careers, such as undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral students and both new and established professors, according to Delman.

Grant Lakeland, mathematics and computer science professor, said the topics discussed at this year’s conference are related to the area of the knot theory, the study of mathematical knots.

The conference is intended to fuel young mathematicians’ interest in research mathematics, promote inter- and intra-generational research ties and demonstrate how undergraduates can be incorporated into research programs in these fields, Lakeland said.

Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].