James M Flaherty Visiting Professor Lecture

September 23, 2019

James M. Flaherty Visiting Professorship Public Lecture

Speaker:         Robert Osburn (University College Dublin)

Title:                 Knots, Modularity and Beyond

Hosted by:      Department of Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University

Date:                  3.30 pm – 4.30 pm Friday, 27th September 2019  – Room HH305


Knots are objects which appear in nature, science and the arts. We see them while untying our shoelaces, looking under a microscope or admiring the Book of Kells.   Knot invariants are quantities defined for each knot which are the same for equivalent knots.

Modular forms are analytic objects with intrinsic symmetric properties. They played a key role in the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem and occur in many diverse areas such as mathematical physics, algebraic geometry, combinatorics, logic and black holes.

Over the past two decades, there have been intriguing connections between these two seemingly disparate areas. In this lecture, we discuss historical developments and recent striking interactions between quantum knot invariants and a new spectrum of modular forms, namely mock modular and quantum modular forms.

Coffee and Cookies will be served in the lounge (HH 216) at 3:00 pm. Everyone is welcome.