May 23, 2020

Young Mathematician Solves Old, Famous Knot Problem in Barely a Week

Posted by in category: mathematics

Mathematicians were shocked when a graduate student worked through a decades-old problem in just a few days. University of Texas at Austin mathematician Lisa Piccirillo learned about the Conway knot—a knot with 11 crossings, so named for the late mathematician John Horton Conway—from a colleague’s talk during a conference. Within a week, she’d solved the longstanding problem of whether or not the special knot was slice. (It’s not.)

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