Department of Mathematics

Topical Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematicians

  •  Kristen Hendricks, Mathematics, MSU
  •  Avoiding Collisions and Braiding String: Configuration Spaces and the Braid Group
  •  03/23/2018
  •  4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
  •  C304 Wells Hall

There are many real-world problems that amount to studying the possible paths of n objects through a space X such that those objects never collide. (Examples include flight traffic patterns around an airport, or automated carts moving around a factory floor.) We think about such problems by studying paths in configuration spaces, spaces consisting of ordered sets of distinct points in X. In one of the simplest cases, these spaces turn out to be closely linked to a seemingly different mathematical object, the n-stranded braid group. We introduce configuration spaces and the braid group and learn about their relationship.



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science