I am interested in geometry, topology, dynamics, and Lie groups. These days, I am mostly thinking about knot theory and low-dimensional topology.
Once, I worked on a project in mathematical biology about the very early embryonic development of the fruit fly drosophila melanogaster. That was really a differential equations modeling project in the end.
I really like getting students involved in research, and that influences the kinds of things I can spend time on. Some questions just have too steep a learning curve for an undergraduate to do anything meaningful. (Every question related to my PhD thesis fits in this category.) But knot theory is a very good field for undergraduates to work on. It has:
- easy realizations of the basic objects, since you can just use string,
- lots of visual appeal,
- interesting questions that can be understood quickly,
- connections with other things that one can learn quickly (like graph theory),
- stuff you can do immediately to get started, and
- plenty of depth.
Anyway, these days I am exploring some “classical” knot theory topics from a new perspective. For experts, the relevant words here are: bridge indices, branched coverings, rational tangles, and butterfly diagrams.