During the month of February 2000 I was the featured speaker for the UWM “Science Bag”. In its twenty-eighth season, The Science Bag is a program in which UWM faculty members give science and mathematics presentations aimed at th e general public. School children are especially encouraged to attend. Speakers aim to be both informative and entertaining.
My presentations, which took place each Friday evening in February 2000 along with one Sunday matinee, were titled A Tangled World: the Mysteries of Knots. Everyone who has tied a shoelace or a necktie, or ha s attempted to untangle a garden hose, understands what a knot is. Most people, however, are not aware that there is a large and important branch of mathematics aimed at understanding these objects. During my presentations, we explored the basics of the subject and learned why scientists and mathematicians are interested in understanding knots.