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Is a knot a knot? That is the question!

When: Tuesday, 30 July 2019 - Tuesday, 30 July 2019
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Senate Room, 2nd Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House
Start time:18:00

Professor Eunice Mphako-Banda will present her inaugural lecture.

We go deeper into knots – those fascinating geometrical objects which are very simple to visualise, yet remarkably hard to analyse. Simply considering a piece of string, tying a knot and gluing the two loose ends of the string together forms a knotted loop. Such a knotted loop is called a knot in mathematics. Knot theory delves into answering the question of deciding whether two knotted loops made of flexible, but impenetrable material can be transformed by means of continuous modifications into knotted loops having the same shape. Further, one may ask whether an arbitrary knot is a knot. To answer such questions, knot invariants are employed. Two knot invariants; the number of components and the pathwidth of a knot will be discussed. Further, the mathematics behind these invariants, the Tutte polynomial will be presented.

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