Invariants of random knots

Chaim Even Zohar
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
October 6, 2015
A knot is a closed curve embedded in the three-dimensional space, like a rope whose two ends are joined together. As usual in Topology, two knots are equivalent if one can be deformed into the other by continuous moves, where stretching and squeezing are allowed but with no cutting and pasting. Random curves in space and how they are knotted give an insight into the behavior of "typical" knots and links. They have been studied by biologists and physicists in the context of the structure of random polymers.

MINERVA-Red: An Intensive Survey for Planets Orbiting the Nearest Low-mass Stars to the Sun

Cullen Blake
University of Pennsylvania
October 6, 2015
Recent results from Kepler and ground-based exoplanet surveys suggest that low-mass stars are host to numerous small planets. Since low-mass stars are intrinsically faint at optical wavelengths, obtaining the Doppler precision necessary to detect these companions remains a challenge for existing instruments.