SMRI ’What is ...?’ seminar: ’What is a virtual knot?’ Hans Boden (McMaster University) Tuesday, 31st May, 3:00pm - 4:00pm (AEST) Quad S224 & Online via Zoom Register for online attendance here: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqd-GpqTojEtay-NNhn95MOjOPMqvakwqB Abstract: Virtual knots were introduced by Louis Kauffman in 1999 as a completion of classical knot theory in which planarity is no longer required. Virtual knots have been studied using a variety of approaches, including algebra, combinatorics, and geometric methods. They also have strong connections to quantum topology and finite type invariants. This talk will survey some fascinating results that have been established and present also open problems and directions for future research. Biography: Dr. Hans U. Boden is a professor of mathematics at McMaster University in Canada. He is visiting the University of Sydney and SMRI from May 17 to June 11. His research interests are on the geometry and topology of manifolds, especially gauge theory and low-dimensional topology. In recent years, his work has focused on developing geometric methods to understand knotting and linking in 3-dimensional manifolds. While in Sydney, he will be working closely with Dr. Zsuzsi Dancso on a collaborative project related to the Tait conjectures in knot theory.