The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series

“It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Becomes a Mathematician,” Allison Henrich, Seattle University

September 21, 2017

Play is essential for human flourishing. Whether you are a poet or a scientist, a grandparent or a child, play can powerfully enrich your life. For mathematicians, play is essential for building intuition. For undergraduates, play can inspire a desire to get involved in mathematical research. The world of knots provides fertile ground for understanding these connections. Playing games on knot diagrams can give us intuition about knotty structures, while learning about the theory of knots can reveal the “magic” behind rope tricks and excite us to learn more.

Allison Henrich is an associate professor at Seattle University and the 2015 recipient of the the MAA Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has a keen interest in studying knots from a mathematical perspective and, inspired by conversations with Art Benjamin, she is beginning work on a book with Louis Kauffman on the mathematics of rope tricks.

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