MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #73

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin


Spring 2008 Presentation #73 (Friday, April 25, 2008)
by Professor Colin Adams, Williams College

"Why Knot?"

Abstract: Knots have appeared everywhere from art, literature and religion to seafaring. We will discuss their past history as well as their future, with emphasis on the role they play in mathematics and the applications of that role to DNA and synthetic chemistry. This will be a hands-on talk with all audience members getting an opportunity to try their hand at making knots.

Biography: Colin Adams is the Thomas T. Read Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983. In addition to over 40 research articles, he is the author of "The Knot Book" and "Why Knot?”, a mathematical comic book with attached toy. He is also the co-author of the humorous supplements "How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide", and "How to Ace the Rest of Calculus: the Streetwise Guide", and the co-author of “Introduction to Topology: Pure and Applied", which appeared in 2007. The humorous DVD “The Great Pi/e Debate”, joint with Thomas Garrity, is available from the MAA. He is a recipient of the National MAA Distinguished Teaching Award in 1998, an MAA Polya Lecturer for 1998-2000, a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 2000-2002, and the recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Teaching Award in 2003. He also writes a humor column for the Mathematical intelligencer.


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