The Department of Mathematics

Colloquium Series for Spring 2014
April 17

"Fundamental Group, Braids and Circles"

Braids Circles

with Dr. Pete Goetz, Associate Professor,
Humboldt State University Mathematics

Topological Spaces are sets on which it makes sense to consider continuous functions. An incredibly useful and fruitful way of studying topological spaces is to associate to each space an algebraic structure. In this talk I will define one such structure, the fundamental group. I will discuss the extremely important braid group, the fundamental group of the configuration space of points in the complex plane. Finally, if time permits, I will mention some work in progress on an analogue of the braid group in which braids are replaced by "tubes" coming from the motion of unlinked circles. I plan on making this talk as non-technical as possible so that everyone should get something from it.

4 p.m. BSS Room 166

For a complete list of the Mathematics Colloquia for Spring 2014,

please go to