2022 Toronto visitors: topological interpretations of knots, curves & more

In July 2022, international visitors from Toronto visited SMRI to work on a topological algebra project with University of Sydney mathematician Dr Zsuzsanna Dancso.

Professor Dror Bar-Natan (University of Toronto), Dr Nancy Scherich (Elon University) and PhD candidate Jessica Liu (University of Toronto) are working on a project with Dr Dancso and (University of Melbourne/University of Sydney PhD candidate Tamara Hogan) on topological interpretations for problems in algebra, based on work by Dancso and Bar-Natan’s work on knots in 4D space; and the topological interpretation of curves on a surface found by Alekseev et al.

Watch our group interview with the researchers, followed by individual interviews with Dr Scherich and Professor Bar-Natan.


Professor Dror Bar-Natan is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. He carries out research in knot theory from the perspective of algebra, geometry and quantum field theory. His research group at the University of Toronto includes current PhD student Jessica Liu, and he was formerly advisor to Dr Dancso.

Dr Nancy Scherich is a tenure track faculty member in the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Elon University in North Carolina (and a former postdoctoral researcher under Professor Bar-Natan’s supervision). She works in the field of low dimensional topology and is interested in knot theory, braid groups, and other visual/combinatorial objects. Dr Scherich was originally scheduled to visit SMRI in 2020: view her video interview with previous SMRI science communicator Dr Stephen Morgan.

Dr Zsuzsanna Dancso is a mathematician at the University of Sydney’s School of Mathematics and Statistics whose research interests include combinatorics, algebra and geometry.

Larissa Fedunik-Hofman