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  • Thursday, February 18, 2016
  • 3:40 PM–4:30 PM

Nathan Sunukjian (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

Geometry (and its cousin, topology) would seem to be, our intuition tells us, visual subjects. If that is the case, then how can one study objects whose dimensionality seems to transcend our ability to represent them either on paper, or with clay? In this talk we'll focus on 4-dimensional objects -- and see how we can draw pictures to geometrically represent the dimension that seems just barely out of reach. We'll see how things can get knotted up in 4-dimensional space, and prove that such knots are ``fragile'' in the sense that they can be easily untangled. We'll conclude with a few words about how dimension 4 is unique in this respect -- and why, if one pushes on into higher dimensions, that many questions in fact become easier to answer than they are in dimension 4.

Refreshments precede the talk at 3:30pm in North Hall 282.


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