TBD

SMMG – February 2018

Date: Saturday, Feb 10, 2018

Time: 10 AM – Noon

Location: RLM 4.102 (On the UT campus)

Speaker: Richard Wong

Title: Surfaces, Space, and Hyperspace: An exploration of 2, 3, and higher dimensions

Abstract: In the first part of the talk, we will investigate what happens when we change the game board of games like tic-tac-toe or chess. This will lead us to study mathematical objects called surfaces, which are objects that have two dimensions. In the second part of the talk, we will explore what it means to live in Flatland, a world with only two dimensions. How would a Flatland-er interact with a 3-dimensional object? What would it mean for us, living in a 3-dimensional world, to interact with a 4D or higher dimensional object? This talk does not have any mathematical prerequisites, and will be self-contained. It will be inquiry-based with an emphasis on audience participation, and there will be lots of examples, props, and pictures to help the audience understand what's going on.

Richard's slides can be found on his webpage here

TBD

SMMG – February 2018

Date: Saturday, Feb 17, 2018

Time: 10 AM – Noon

Location: RLM 4.102 (On the UT campus)

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Mann

Title: Not Just a Knot "...DNA can bend, twist, and writhe, can be knotted, catenated, and supercoiled (positive and negative), can be in A, B, and Z helical forms, and can breathe." - Arthur Kornberg

Abstract: DNA topology is the study of those DNA forms that remain fixed for any deformation that does not involve breakage. DNA molecules that are chemically identical (same nucleotide length and sequence) but differ in their topology are called topoisomers. There are three topological DNA forms that are the natural consequence of the structure and metabolism of either circular or constrained by being tethered at intervals to the double helix: knotted, catenated, and supercoiled DNA. Cellular DNA is organizing structures. Thus, DNA knot and catenane resolution and supercoiling maintenance must occur locally. Controlling the topology of its DNA is critical to the cell. If unresolved, DNA knots could potentially have devastating effects on cells; DNA catenanes prevent genetic and cellular segregation. DNA negative supercoiling is essential for cell viability. Topoisomerases are enzymes within cells whose function is to control DNA topology. In this session, we will see the amount of DNA in a strawberry as we appreciate the packaging challenges within cells, explore the topology of DNA, and learn how cells deal with DNA entanglements.