
Jennifer Austin
Associate Professor of Instruction
Department of MathematicsUndergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor; DNA Topology

Jennifer K. Mann Austin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Instruction and Undergraduate Mathematics Faculty Advisor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Austin chairs the Mathematics Undergraduate Studies Committee and the Mathematics College Readiness Committee and serves on various departmental, college, and university committees focused on undergraduate education. She helped establish and is now the faculty sponsor for the UT Austin Student Chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics. Fulfilling her passion for outreach, Dr. Austin coorganizes the Mathematics Teachers' Circle of Austin, volunteers for CNS Admissions events, CNS Family Day, and Explore UT, leads Girl Scout Troop 11235, and serves as a VBC Science Leader.
Dr. Austin's passion for knots began during her childhood when she tied and untied macroscopic, practical knots on a farm in rural West Tennessee and at Girl Scout Camp Hazlewood. Dr. Austin completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, a Master of Science in Mathematics from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of South Alabama, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Mathematics and a Doctorate in Mathematics from the Department of Mathematics at The Florida State University. As a biomedical mathematics doctoral student, Dr. Austin was jointly advised by Professor De Witt L. Sumners at The Florida State University and Professor E. Lynn Zechiedrich at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Dr. Austin’s interests include undergraduate mathematics education, mathematical outreach, inquirybased learning, geometry, topology, knot theory, biomedical applications of mathematics, DNA topology, and proteinDNA interactions.
A climate conducive to learning and creating knowledge is the right of every person in our community. Bias, harassment and discrimination of any sort have no place here. If you notice an incident that causes concern, please contact the Campus Climate Response Team: https://diversity.utexas.edu/ccrt/

“Requesting Letters of Recommendation.” eMentoring Network in the Mathematical Sciences, American Mathematical Society, 27 Sept. 2018, Jennifer Austin, https://blogs.ams.org/mathmentoringnetwork/2018/09/27/requestinglettersofrecommendation/.
Topological Information Embodied in Local Juxtaposition Geometry Provides a Statistical Mechanical Basis for Unknotting by Type2 DNA Topoisomerases, Zhirong Liu, Jennifer K. Mann, E. Lynn Zechiedrich and Hue Sun Chan, (2006) J Mol Biol 361, 268285.
HinMediated DNA Knotting and Recombination Promote Replicon Dysfunction and Mutation, Richard W. Deibler^{*}, Jennifer K. Mann^{*}, De Witt L. Sumners and E. Lynn Zechiedrich. (2007) BMC Mol Biol 8:44 (25 May 2007). (^{*}The first two authors contributed equally to this work.)

John R. Durbin Teaching Excellence Award, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2020
College of Natural Sciences Faculty Advisor Award, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2016
Great Ideas in Mathematics Course Development Grant, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2015
College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2013
Research Training Grant Postdoctoral Fellowship in Topology, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 20072010
Program in Mathematics and Molecular Biology Predoctoral Fellowship, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Interfaces Program, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 19992007

Invited Lectures
 SIAM TexasLouisiana Section Virtual Meeting, October 18, 2020, A Tutorial on the Topology of DNA
 Longview Micro School, Austin, TX, April 9, 2019, "To Be or Knot to Be"
 Women Breaking through Conference, St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, TX, October 14, 2017, “Not Just a Knot”
 Biweekly Seminar, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, March 13, 2017, “A Tutorial on the Topology of DNA”
 DNA Topology Course, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan, November 26, 2009, “Mathematical Models for Topoisomerase and their Motivation”
 DNA Topology Course, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan, November 26, 2009, “Knot Theory Software”
 AMS Fall Southeastern Section Meeting, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, November 34, 2007, “DNA Knotting: Occurrences, Consequences, & Resolution”
 Homecoming Lecture, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, November 2, 2007
 The Mathematics of Knotting and Linking in Polymer Physics and Molecular Biology, Banff International Research Station, Alberta, Canada, May 2025, 2007
 Sumnersfest: Conference on LowDimensional Topology and Applications to Molecular Biology and Biomedical Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, May 45, 2007
 Molecular Virology & Microbiology Departmental Seminar, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, March 15, 2007
 Biological Sciences Learning Center, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, February 12, 2007, “DNA Knotting: Biological Consequences & Resolution”
 Laboratory of N. Patrick Higgins, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, February 7, 2007, “DNA Knotting: Biological Consequences & Resolution”
 Center for BioDynamics, Boston University, Boston, MA, February 5, 2007, “DNA Knotting: Biological Consequences & Resolution”
 Mathematics and Computation Seminar, Department of Mathematics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, February 1, 2007, “DNA Knotting: Biological Consequences & Resolution”
 Mathematical Biology and Dynamical Systems, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX, October 79, 2005, “DNA Unknotting by Human Topoisomerase IIα”
 10th Annual Structural Biology Symposium, Sealy Center for Structural Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, May 2021, 2005, Poster Presenter, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 AMS Spring Southeastern Section Meeting, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, March 1819, 2005, “DNA Knotting & Unknotting”
 2004 Lost Pines Molecular Biology Conference, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park, Smithville, TX, October 2224, 2004, “DNA Unknotting by Human Topoisomerase IIα”
 International Summer School on “DNA and Chromosomes: Physical and Biological Approaches,” Institut d'Etudes Scientifiques de Cargese, Corsica, France, August 214, 2004, Poster Presenter, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 VI International Joint Meeting AMS and the Sociedad Matemática Mexicana (SMM), Hyatt Regency Houston, Houston, Texas, May 1315, 2004, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 AMS Spring Southeastern Section Meeting, Tallahassee, Florida, March 1213, 2004, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 Baylor College of Medicine Molecular Virology & Microbiology Research Retreat 2003, Warwick Hotel, Houston, Texas, November 21, 2003, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 W. M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology & Houston Area Molecular Biophysics Program, 2003 Annual Research Conference, Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake, Texas, October 3, 2003, Third Place Poster Winner, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 Statistical Mechanics of Polymer Models, Banff International Research Station, Alberta, Canada, May 10–15, 2003, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 Department of Mathematics Colloquium, Rice University, Houston, TX, April 10, 2003, “Unknotting by Type II Topoisomerases”
 Celebration of the Career of Clay C. Ross, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, April 5, 2003,“Topology, Enzymes & DNA”
 Math Career Lecture Series, Rice University, February 25, 2003 “Mathematics in Molecular Biology”
 SIAM 2002 Annual Meeting & AWM Workshop, Philadelphia, PA, July 8–12, 2002, Poster Presenter & Student Day Speaker, “Topology of Type II Topoisomerases”
 “Mathematics and Molecular Biology VII: Modeling Across the Scales Atoms to Organisms,” Santa Fe, NM, January 510, 2002, Poster Presenter, “Topology of Type II Topoisomerases”
Local Seminars
CNS Academic Advisors Meeting, The University of Texas at Austin, November 21, 2020, "Mathematics Major & Courses Overview”
Mathematics Freshmen Interest Group, The University of Texas at Austin, November 3, 2020, "Being a Math Major at UT"
CNS Admissions Open House, The University of Texas at Austin, October 14, 2020, "UT Math Major Options & Advice"
Gone to Mathematics, The University of Texas at Austin, August 27, 2020
Department of Mathematics Faculty Workshop, The University of Texas at Austin, July 27, 2020, "Proctorio: One Tool for Remote Assessment"
Texas Chautauqua XI: Beauty in Science, The University of Texas at Austin, April 5, 2018, “To Be or Not to Be”
Mathematics Teachers' Circle of Austin, The University of Texas at Austin
January 31, 2019, “Strawberries, Bands, & Knots”
September 26, 2018, “Mathematical Puzzles & Strategies”
February 23, 2017, “To Infinity and Beyond!”
February 26, 2015, “Puzzles, Bands, and Knots”Mathematics Teachers' Circle of Austin Summer Workshops, The University of Texas at Austin
June 23, 2016, “Games!”
June 27, 2018, “Exploring the Platonic Solids”
September 27, 2018, “Mathematical Puzzles & Strategies”
January 31, 2019, “Strawberries, Bands, & Knots”
June 20, 2019, “Mathematical Story Telling” and “I am a Mathematician because…”Saturday Morning Math Group, The University of Texas at Austin
April 4, 2009, “Not Just a Knot”
November 15, 2014, “DNA Knotting”
February 17, 2018, “Not Just a Knot”
September 15, 2019, “Strawberries, Bands, & Knots”Association for Women in Mathematics UT Student Chapter, The University of Texas at Austin
October 8, 2012, “To Be or Knot to be a Mathematician”
September 21, 2020, "AWM History"UT Math Club, The University of Texas at Austin
January 23, 2008, “DNA & Knot Theory”
April 14, 2010, “Knotty Biology”
February 1, 2012, “Topoisomerase: Knotenlöserin”
February 14, 2017, “Mathematics, Mentoring, and Motherhood”
February 25, 2020, “A Tutorial on the Topology of DNA”Topological and Cellular Biology Group, The University of Texas at Austin
May 11, 2010, Topology of Mitotic Chromatin
March 2, 2010, Discussion of “DNA supercoiling inhibits DNA knotting”
April 15, 2008, “Type II Topoisomerase Models”
October 23, 2007, “Resolution of DNA Knotting”
October 2, 2007, “Biological Consequences of DNA Knotting”Explore UT Public Lecture, The University of Texas at Austin, March 1, 2008, “DNA Knotting: Consequences and Resolution”
Graduate Seminar Introduction to Research, The University of Texas at Austin, January 22, 2008, “DNA Knotting: Consequences & Resolution”
Women in Mathematics Panel Discussion, The University of Texas at Austin, October 17, 2007
Topology Seminar, The University of Texas at Austin, October 1, 2007, “DNA Topology”

Introduction to Mathematics, M 302, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Summer 2020, Fall 2020
Introduction to Financial Mathematics for Actuaries, M 339D/389D, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2020, Fall 2020
Theory of Interest, M 329F/389F*, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013*, Summer 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018*, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021
Honors Tutorial Course, M 379H, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2018
Introduction to Number Theory, M 328K, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2008, Fall 2014
Discrete Mathematics, M 325K, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Summer 2013, Summer 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021
Topology I, M 367K, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2009, Spring 2015, Spring 2016
Conference Course in Applied Topology, M 275T, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2016
Conference Course in Discrete Mathematics, M 375T, The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2015
Multivariable Calculus, M 408M, The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2011
Matrices and Matrix Calculations, M 340L, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2011
Sequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus, M 408D, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2007, Summer 2010, Fall 2010
Integral Calculus, M 408L, The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2010
Applied Topology, M 367L, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2010
Differential & Integral Calculus, M 408C, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2009, Summer 2012
Conference Course in Mathematical Models of Topoisomerase, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2009
Conference Course in Topology & Graph Theory, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2009

Information for Math MajorsTo schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Austin please email the Math, Physics, and Astronomy Advising Center at mpaadv@austin.utexas.edu.
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Research Experience for Undergraduates  REU Programs are summer programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). REUs usually consist of two parts: intensive study of topics through lecture and interaction, and student research on a question/questions. Travel costs are paid for as well as room and board. A stipend is given to participants. These are all available on a competitive basis.
Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute This intensive eightweek summer research experience for undergraduates in Tempe, Arizona prepares promising young scientists interested in working at the interface of mathematics, statistics, and the natural and social sciences for the rigors of graduate studies. MTBI is a research experience for undergraduates (REU); it is not an internship, nor will students earn college credit for participation.
International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports development of globallyengaged U.S. science and engineering students capable of performing in an international research environment at the forefront of science and engineering. The IRES program supports active research participation by students enrolled as undergraduates or graduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. IRES projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the IRES program.
Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute  Held at the Center for Nonlinear Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University, in addition to a stipend participants receive credit from Carnegie Mellon for this 7week learning and research experience.
Park City Math Institute Summer Program for Undergraduates  A 3week summer program where students learn about an advanced topic and work on an individual project.
Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) Summer Program  This program involves applied mathematics problems from industry.
University of Nebraska Summer IMMERSE Program  A sixweek summer program to help prepare students who are about to enter graduate school in mathematics.
EDGE Summer Program for Women  For women who are entering graduate school or who have completed one year of graduate studies.
2017 Fields Undergraduate Summer Research Program The Fields Undergraduate Summer Research Program (FUSRP) welcomes carefully selected undergraduate students from around the world for a rich mathematical research experience in July and August.
The SMALL Undergraduate Research Project is a nineweek residential summer program in which undergraduates investigate open research problems in mathematics. One of the largest programs of its kind in the country, SMALL is supported in part by a National Science Foundation grant for Research Experiences for Undergraduates and by the Science Center of Williams College. Around 500 students have participated in the project since its inception in 1988.
Summer Statistics InstituteUT's Summer Statistics Institute (SSI) offers intensive fourday workshops on diverse topics from introductory data sciences to advanced statistics. Whether you are new to data analysis or a seasoned statistician, SSI provides a unique handson opportunity to acquire valuable skills directly from experts in the field. The UT Summer Statistics Institute (SSI) is open to 700 participants.
Moncrief Undergraduate Summer Internship The Moncrief Undergraduate Summer Internship Program is organized to provide summer support for qualified undergraduate students of mathematics, science, and engineering to work within the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences during the summer months. Interns work with faculty and research staff from one of the Oden Institute's 21 research centers and groups on one of a wide range of research topics. Research activities generally focus on developing modeling and simulation methods to study problems in areas such as energy, advanced materials, biomedical research, nanomanufacturing, and related areas that draw on applied and computational mathematics, computing, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, mathematical physics, and biology.
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