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Funding and registration





Conference description

The national conference First National Forum of Young Topologists; will take place at Tulane University in New Orleans between November 13-15, 2009.

Its organizing committee consists of Professor Slawomir Kwasik of Tulane University and Professor Weimin Chen of University of Massachusetts Amherst. The main purpose of this conference is to bring together graduate students working in various areas of topology.

During the two and a half days, students will have an opportunity to meet other young topology students from around the country, and talk about their research and the challenges they face when working on their Ph.D. degrees. They will also have a chance to obtain more global and comprehensive views of several active research areas in topology. The starting point for the conference is the shared experience of the organizers and their colleagues that regardless of the strength of a mathematics department, graduate students all too often feel isolated with their entire mathematical universe being their Ph.D. adviser. They do not feel that they are part of a larger community of young mathematicians and have little contact with students at other universities, even those with similar research interests. We feel that this is one tradition that needs to change. By having an opportunity to interact with other students and discuss their research as well as their experiences of being an aspiring mathematician, and vent if necessary their frustrations, they will form a community of young topologists that will continue beyond the conference. It is hoped that this conference will establish a network among graduate students in topology and will build a sense of community.

There will be six lectures by leading topologists Professors Sylvain Cappell (Courant Institute), Ron Fintushel (Michigan State) and Rob Ghrist (University of Pennsylvania) discussing the past and future in their areas of interest.

There will be two lectures by Professor Rob Kirby (UC Berkeley) who will talk about his extraordinary experience of advising graduate students during his long career.

Three lectures by young topologists: Professors Eli Grigsby (Boston College), Matt Hedden (Michigan State University), and Rafal Komendarczyk (Tulane University). In addition to their mathematical content will have the effect of showing examples of success stories starting out as graduate students through obtaining a tenure track position.

There will be no lectures by graduate students describing their work, but ample time for informal discussions, mathematical and otherwise.

On a more formal level the organizers are planning a panel discussion where topics of interest to graduate students can be discussed. While registrants are free to suggest discussion topics to the organizers via email (, one idea for discussion that we have been considering centers around the issue of finding ways for graduate students to spend a semester or a year at another institution where their research interest is better represented than at their home institution. Working out the practical aspects of such visits can be daunting for a student as well as both the home and the visiting institution. Establishing a source of funding in a form of grant could be one way to approach this problem and will be discussed at Saturday's disscussion panel.

We hope that this is not the last National Forum of Young Topologists and that there will be a follow up conference at the University of Massachusetts in 2011.


Refreshments will be served everyday between 8-9am in Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, Bldg. 29, in Stibbs room on Friday, and 1834 club room on Saturday and Sunday. See campus map for precise locations.

Friday, November 13 (location: Dixon Performing Arts Center, Bldg. 69)

9:00am Welcome  
9:15-10:15am Prof. Sylvain Cappell  
10:20-10:50am Guest speaker: Prof. Mac Hyman  
11:00-11:50am Panel Discussion
(in Jones Hall Bldg.25 room 102)
  Break (25min)  
12:15-1:15pm Prof. Sylvain Cappell  
1:15-3:00pm Lunch  
3:00-4:00pm Prof. Ron Fintushel  
  Break (30min)  
4:30-5:30pm Prof. Rafal Komendarczyk  

Saturday, November 14 (location: Freeman Auditorium at Woldenberg Art Center, Bldg. 82 )

9:15-10:15am Prof. Ron Fintushel  
  Break (30min)  
10:45-11:45am Prof. Rob Kirby  
11:45-2:00pm Lunch  
2:00pm-3:00pm Prof. Rob Ghrist  
Break (30min)  
3:30pm-4:30pm Prof. Rob Kirby  
  Break (30min)  
5:00pm-6:00pm Prof. Eli Grigsby  

Sunday, November 15 (location: Freeman Auditorium at Woldenberg Art Center, Bldg. 82 )

9:15-10:15am Prof. Rob Ghrist  
  Break (30min)  
10:45-11:45am Prof. Matt Hedden  
11:45-2:00pm Lunch  
  End of the conference  

Titles and abstracts of talks are available here.

Funding and registration

Registration is now closed, please see the list of conference participants.


The Mathematics Department of Tulane University has made hotel reservations at:

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Astor Crowne Plaza,
739 Canal Street,
New Orleans LA 70130

Hotel Front Desk: (504)962-0500
Hotel Fax: (504)962-0501

The hotel is located at the corner of Bourbon Street and Canal Street located in the historical French Quarter district.


At the airport, the Airport Shuttle which is located just outside of the baggage claim area will take you to the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel 739 Canal St. at Bourbon St. The fare is $20 one way and the route is about 1 hour. A taxi from the airport is about $35 and that ride is approximately 30 minutes.

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The Mathematics Department of Tulane is located at 6823 St. Charles Ave., and the easiest way to get there is by the street car which runs along St. Charles Ave. . The street car stops at the corner of Canal St. and Carondelet St. .