Topology Reading Group (TRG) Spring 2023

Spring 2023 Meeting Time and Place:

Tuesdays 12pm-1pm, Boston College Maloney Hall 560.

For Fall 2022 TRG info, head over here. For Spring 2022 head over to Fraser’s site, here; and for Fall 2021 TRG, head over to Braeden’s site, here.

Together with Mujie Wang, I am organizing the Topology Reading Group of Spring 2023.

Topology Reading Group (TRG) is an informal seminar for graduate students and post-docs at Boston College and nearby universities. Participants can volunteer to speak about anything topology/geometry/dynamics-related that they’d like to.

If you’d like to speak, or to attend, please email either:

  • Kevin, at: kevin (dot) yeh (at) bc (dot) edu (that’s me!)
  • Mujie, at: mujiew (at) bc (dot) edu


January 31th: NO MEETING.

February 7th: Braeden Reinoso

  • Title: The Giroux correspondence: how to do geometry by doing topology by doing geometry
  • Abstract: The Giroux correspondence is a translation guide between the theory of maps on surfaces and the theory of contact 3-manifolds. Though it’s famously not actually proven precisely, the correspondence is a fundamental tool in low-dimensional contact/symplectic topology. It also plays a crucial role in connections between contact geometry and Floer theory (especially Heegaard Floer theory), 3/4-manifold topology, mapping class groups, and related areas. Basically: if you were to learn any one thing about contact topology, this is a very good choice. I’ll give a broad overview and then dive into some hands-on, visual examples, mentioning important results along the way.

February 14th: Fraser Malcolm Watt Binns

  • Title: (1,1) (almost) L-space knots
  • Abstract: (1,1) knots are a special class of knots that admit particularly simple descriptions via Heegaard diagrams. L-space knots are the simplest knots from the point of view of Heegaard Floer homology. In this talk I will discuss a result of Greene-Lewallen-Vafaee classifying knots that are both (1,1) knots and L space knots.  Time permitting I will give a version of this result for almost L space knots. The latter result is joint work in progress with Hugo Zhou.

February 21th: Ali Naseri Sadr

  • Title: Spin and Spin^c Structures
  • Abstract: I will define what spin and spin c structures are in terms of bundle theory. This is the starting point of Seiberg-Witten invariants. Then I will show you how this is related to Heegaard-Floer theory and the cobordism maps in HF.

February 28:


March 14th: Laura Seaberg (online)

  • Title: Dungeons&Dragons&Dinosaurs
  • Abstract: Dragons are a class of self-similar curves defined throughout the 20th century, even inspiring Michael Crichton as he wrote Jurassic Park. They can come from a variety of constructions, including paper-folding, iterated function systems, and L-systems. This talk will survey these techniques and connect them to fractal geometry. I promise lots of pictures!

March 21th: Joaquin Ignacio Lema Perez

  • Title: Mastow Rigidity
  • Abstract: We’ll prove this thm haha.

March 28th: Ali Naseri Sadr

April 4th: Ethan Farber

April 11th: Fraser Malcolm Watt Binns


April 25th: Matthew Zevenbergen

May 2nd: Mira Wattal

May 9th: Joe Boninger

May 16th: