The Many Strands of the Braid Groups (07w5104)


(Barnard College, Columbia University)

(University of Caen)

Roger Fenn (University of Sussex)

Vaughan Jones (Vanderbilt University)

(University of British Columbia)


Many of the world's top experts in braid theory will be meeting at the Banff Centre during April 22-27, 2007. Braid theory, which combines algebra and topology, is an offshoot of knot theory and has applications to all branches of mathematics and theoretical physics, and even such diverse fields as cryptography, molecular biology and polymer chemistry.

This event is organized by Professors Joan Birman of Columbia, Patrick Dehornoy of Caen, Roger Fenn of Sussex, Vaughan Jones of Berkeley (a recipient of the prestigious Fields medal) and Dale Rolfsen of the University of BC. The workshop, entitled "The many strands of the braid groups," will consider recent advances in the theory and applications. The organizers have made a special effort to include many young researchers and female mathematicians among the participants.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).