Dr Joan Licata, from the ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute, researches topology and contact geometry.
- The drawings are really part of my research process, not just pretty pictures! My speciality is low-dimensional topology, specifically dimensions four and down, so one of the skills required is figuring out how to encode actual deep content into these pictures.
- Knot theory is one of my areas of study so I’ve included a few examples of mathematical knots: the red wire loop is a knot, while the flat black object and the round bronze one are surfaces whose boundaries are knots. A mathematical knot is like a loop of string you're not allowed to cut.
- In pure mathematics, we don’t have a lot of equipment needs. The major expense of my research is travel to be face-to-face with my collaborators. Travelling is why I have the foreign currency and the stickers, which were a gift for my kids from Japan.
- The spoons are from a family trip to Vanuatu last week. I don’t like throwing anything useful away!
This article was originally posted in the ANU Science website.