Encyclopedia of Knot Theory (Hardcover)

Encyclopedia of Knot Theory By Colin Adams (Editor), Erica Flapan (Editor), Allison Henrich (Editor) Cover Image
By Colin Adams (Editor), Erica Flapan (Editor), Allison Henrich (Editor)
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"Knot theory is a fascinating mathematical subject, with multiple links to theoretical physics. This enyclopedia is filled with valuable information on a rich and fascinating subject."

- Ed Witten, Recipient of the Fields Medal

"I spent a pleasant afternoon perusing the Encyclopedia of Knot Theory. It's a comprehensive compilation of clear introductions to both classical and very modern developments in the field. It will be a terrific resource for the accomplished researcher, and will also be an excellent way to lure students, both graduate and undergraduate, into the field."

- Abigail Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at University of California, Davis

Knot theory has proven to be a fascinating area of mathematical research, dating back about 150 years. Encyclopedia of Knot Theory provides short, interconnected articles on a variety of active areas in knot theory, and includes beautiful pictures, deep mathematical connections, and critical applications. Many of the articles in this book are accessible to undergraduates who are working on research or taking an advanced undergraduate course in knot theory. More advanced articles will be useful to graduate students working on a related thesis topic, to researchers in another area of topology who are interested in current results in knot theory, and to scientists who study the topology and geometry of biopolymers.


  • Provides material that is useful and accessible to undergraduates, postgraduates, and full-time researchers
  • Topics discussed provide an excellent catalyst for students to explore meaningful research and gain confidence and commitment to pursuing advanced degrees
  • Edited and contributed by top researchers in the field of knot theory

About the Author

Colin Adams is the Thomas T. Read Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, having received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983 and his Bachelor of Science from MIT in 1978. He is the author or co-author of numerous research papers in knot theory and low-dimensional topology and nine books, including the text The Knot Book", the comic book Why Knot? and the text Introduction to Topology: Pure and Applied. He is a managing editor for the Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications and an editor for the recently publishedcKnots, Low Dimensional Topology and Applications, Springer, 2019. A recipient of the Haimo National Distinguished Teaching Award, he has also been an MAA Polya Lecturer, a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, and a recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Teaching Award. He has worked with over 130 undergraduates on original research in knot theory and low-dimensional topology. He is also the humor columnist for the expository math magazine, the Mathematical Intelligencer.Erica Flapan was a professor at Pomona College from 1986 to 2018. From 2000 until 2014, Flapan taught at the Summer Mathematics Program for freshmen and sophomore women at Carleton College, and mentored many of those women as they got their PhD's in mathematics. In 2011, Flapan won the Mathematical Association of America's Haimo award for distinguished college or university teaching of mathematics. Then in 2012, she was selected as an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society. From 2015-2017, she was a Polya Lecturer for the MAA. Since 2019, she has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society.Erica Flapan has published extensively in topology and its applications to chemistry and molecular biology. In addition to her many research papers, she has published an article in the College Mathematics Journal entitled "How to be a good teacher is an undecidable problem," as well as four books. Her first book, entitled When Topology Meets Chemistry was published jointly by the Mathematical Association of America and Cambridge University Press. Her second book entitled Applications of Knot Theory, is a collection of articles that Flapan co-edited with Professor Dorothy Buck of Imperial College London. Flapan also co-authored a textbook entitled Number Theory: A Lively Introduction with Proofs, Applications, and Stories with James Pommersheim and Tim Marks, published by John Wiley and sons. Finally, in 2016, the AMS published her book entitled Knots, Molecules, and the Universe: An Introduction to Topology, which is aimed at first and second year college students. Allison Henrich is a Professor of Mathematics at Seattle University. She earned her PhD in Mathematics from Dartmouth College in 2008 and her undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Washington in 2003. Allison has been dedicated to providing undergraduates with high-quality research experiences since she mentored her first group of students in the SMALL REU at Williams College in 2009, under the mentorship of Colin Adams. Since then, she has mentored 35 beginning researchers, both undergraduates and high school students. She has directed and mentored students in the SUMmER REU at Seattle University and has served as a councilor on the Council on Undergraduate Research. In addition, Allison co-authored An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory for undergraduates interested in exploring knots with a researcher's mindset, and she co-authored A Mathematician's Practical Guide to Mentoring Undergraduate Research, a resource for math faculty. Allison is excited about the publication of the Concise Encyclopedia of Knot Theory, as it will be an essential resource for beginning knot theory researchers!Louis H. Kauffman was born in Potsdam, New York on Feb. 3, 1945. As a teenager he developed interests in Boolean algebra, circuits, diagrammatic logic and experiments related to non-linear pendulum oscillations. He received the degree of B.S. in Mathematics from MIT in 1966 and went to Princeton University for graduate school where he was awarded PhD in 1972. At Princeton he studied with William Browder and began working with knots and with singularities of complex hypersurfaces through conversations with the knot theorist Ralph Fox and the lectures of F. Hirzebruch and J. Milnor. From January 1971 to May 2017, he taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is now Emeritus Professor of Mathematics.Kauffman's research is in algebraic topology and particularly in low dimensional topology (knot theory) and its relationships with algebra, logic, combinatorics, mathematical physics and natural science. He is particularly interested in the structure of formal diagrammatic systems such as the system of knot diagrams that is one of the foundational approaches to knot theory. Kauffman's research in Virtual Knot Theory has opened a new field of knot theory and has resulted in the discovery of new invariants of knots and links. His work on Temperley-Lieb Recoupling Theory with Sostences Lins led to new approaches to the Fibonacci model (Kitaev) for topological quantum computing. He has recently worked on representations of the Artin braid group related to the structure of Majorana Fermions.His interdisciplinary research on cybernetics is concentrated on foundational understanding of mathematics based in the act of distinction, recursion and eigenform (the general structure of fixed points). This research is important both for mathematics and for the connections that are revealed in cybernetics with many other fields of study including the understanding of cognition, language, social systems and natural science.Kauffman is the author of four books on knot theory, a book on map coloring and the reformulation of mathematical problems, Map Reformulation (Princelet Editions; London and Zurich [1986]) and is the editor of the World-Scientific Book Series On Knots and Everything. He is the Editor-in-Chief and founding editor of the Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications. He is the co-editor of the review volume (with R. Baadhio) Quantum Topology and editor of the review volume Knots and Applications, both published by World Scientific Press and other review volumes in the Series on Knots and Everything. Kauffman is the recipient of a 1993 University Scholar Award by the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was also awarded Warren McCulloch Memorial Award of the American Society for Cybernetics for significant contributions to the field of Cybernetics in the same year. He has also been awarded the 1996 award of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association for his contribution to the understanding of discrete physics and the 2014 Norbert Wiener Medal from the American Society for Cybernetics. He was the president of the American Society for Cybernetics from 2005-2008 and the former Polya Lecturer for MAA (2008-2010). He was elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2014. Kauffman writes a column "Virtual Logic" for the Journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing and he plays clarinet in the Chicago-based ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra.Lewis D. Ludwig is a professor of mathematics at Denison University. He holds a PhD and Master's in Mathematics from Ohio University and Miami University. His research in the field of topology mainly focuses on knot theory, a study in which he engages undergraduate students; nearly a third of his publications involve undergraduate collaborators. Lew created and co-hosted the Undergraduate Knot Theory Conference, the UnKnot Conference, at Denison University which cumulatively supported over 300 undergraduate students, their faculty mentors, and researchers. Lew was a Co-PI and Project Team coordinator for the MAA Instructional Practices Guide Project - a guide to evidence-based instructional practices in undergraduate mathematics. He was creator and senior-editor for Teaching Tidbits blog for the MAA, a blog which provided techniques on evidence- based active teaching strategies for mathematics. Lew won the Distinguished Teaching Award for the Ohio Section of the MAA in 2013 and held the Nancy Eshelman Brickman Endowed Professorship.Sam Nelson is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Claremont McKenna College. He earned his PhD in Mathematics at Louisiana State University in 2002 and his BS in Mathematics with minor in Philosophy at the University of Wyoming in 1996. A member of UWyo's first cohort of McNair Scholars, he has published 75 papers including over 40 with undergraduate and high school student co-authors, and is co-author of Quandles: An Introduction to the Algebra of Knots, the first textbook on Quandle theory. He has served as the Section Chair of the SoCal-Nevada section of the Mathematical Association of America and is an active member of the Mathematical Society of Japan and the American Mathematical Society, where he has co-organized 17 special sessions on Algebraic Structures in Knot Theory. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications and the Communications of the Korean Mathematical Society, is the recipient of two Simons Foundation Collaboration grants, and was recently honoured as the recipient of Claremont McKenna College's annual Faculty Research Award. When not doing mathematics, he creates electronic music from knot diagrams as independent artist and composer Modulo Torsion.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781138297845
ISBN-10: 1138297844
Publisher: CRC Press
Publication Date: December 29th, 2020
Pages: 954
Language: English